Category Archives: Waste

Plastic Free July! Are you ready to take the challenge?

Plastic constitutes 10 % of the total waste we generate. It is estimated that 10-20 million tonns of plastic end up in ocean every year. The use of single use plastic is growing like never before. Items like plastic bags, take away containers, plastic bottles and plastic cutleries are some of the many items that we use just for few minutes but last forever.

The Plastic Free July challenge was started to raise awareness about the single use disposable plastic and encourage people to think and do something about this.

Why is plastic a problem?

Once produced it takes forever for plastic to degrade. Instead it breaks down into smaller pieces causing severe problems to animals and human health. The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world’s oil production. It is estimated that worldwide 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed every year. More than one million bags are used every minute.

Plastic items thrown into public bins on the street, in the park or picnic area might accidently escape the bins and may end up in streets, open spaces or water ways causing threats to human and animal health.

Plastic Free July 2017n.pdf

What can we do?

Here are few practical yet simple ways we can easily help reduce the amount of plastics entering the waste stream.

  • Let’s avoid plastic especially single use plastic and plastic packaging as much as possible. Ask yourself if you really need to buy it. Choose alternatives like cardboard paper, glass, metal and wood over plastic.
  • Reduce everyday plastics, such as replace sandwich bags with reusable lunch box and glad wraps with container with lids or bees wax wrap.
  • Buy in bulk and opt for refill and use reusable containers.
  • Refuse single use plastics especially straw, cutlery, plates and cups.
  • Carry your own reusable bag and water bottle. Plastic bags and bottles constitute a huge portion of plastic waste.
  • If Recyclable, recycle all that cannot be avoided. Donate and giveaway the items you no longer use.
  • Collect unavoidable plastic packaging separately and take them to your nearest supermarket.
  • Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the impacts of plastic pollution.

Lastly but most importantly, don’t compare yourself with others. We all have different priorities in life and living it in a different way. Plan your life and to what you can. You don’t have to do everything at once. Start small and one at a time. You will find solution to the plastic in your own way. Just remember every single action when multiplied by many can make a significant difference.

Do share what you are doing to keep up with this challenge.

The sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”

Janai Purnima is one of the important and great festivals for Hindu People. Janai Purnima is also known as Rakshya Bandhan. This festival is about the holy thread which is about bound of purity and security. In this day there is big fair at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur and many devotees go to the Gosaikunda, which is believed as the mountain lake which is consider as holy sites of Lord Shiva. This Festival is celebrated at the full moon day of 21st August in this year. In Janai Purnima every temple of the Kathmandu valley has got fair. On this special festival Government has confirmed public holiday to the people. According to the legend following the celebration of Janai Purnima is held because Lord Vishnu once punished his proud devotee who is known as Bali. Then Lord Vishnu ties Bali with the scared thread and sent him to Hell. Then the legend say that from that day it was introduced as sacred threads(Janai) which was tied around the wrists or other parts of body by Hindu peoples to get free from their sins. So from that time it has been celebrated in great way.

Janai Purnima

In Janai Purnima the men of Hindu religion change their Janai. Janai means the sacred thread which is provide to the men by doing the long process of religious ceremony which is known as Bratabandha. This janai have to be wear by the man for his whole life after listen the mantra from during the Bartabandhan. Actually the Janai is regarded as the symbol of body, speech and mind and when these three knots are tired and given to wear to the person then is it supposed that it will give complete control over each of them. In Janai Purnima men change their Janai and the married girl and unmarried girl put the scared thread around their wrist.

One day before the Janai Purnima the men will have great experience of the partial fasting that they will have meal one time only but the meal should be vegetarian like no meat, onion, and garlic. The meal must be pure. In the Janai Purnima morning the men usually takes bath by going near river or ponds and dip for three times and break old Janai and wear new janai which is given by the Priest by chanting the mantra. In the same way in the city area the priest come to the residence and the whole family gather together to celebrate the festival. The priest reads the important story from the holy book known as Patro, and the new Janai is given to the men and priest tie the yellow or red color thread to the hand of the women. Then the family members offer Dakshina to him. The people believed that the thread which you has wear today should be removed after the laxmi Puja because people believed that if you will tie the thread to the tail of a cow then after death of people it will help to cross the river known as the Baitarni and the journey of the soul after life. In this special day there is a special food has been made but specially the Kwati. Kwati is delicious souThe sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”p made of 9 different beans. In Newari community people celebrate this festival as Kwat purnima.

Janai Purnima is also called as Raksha Bandhan. Where Raksha means protection and Bandhan means bond, this bound will protect against evil. According to the historical relation and legend the Raksha Bandhan ceremony was followed by Lord Yama (Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna (the river in Northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and present immortality. Then the Yama was so moved by the peacefulness of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister the brother promised her protection will become immortal. Then till now this ceremony is being celebrated by the Hindu people that symbolized the sister loves and goodwill for their brothers and same way the brothers promised her sister to protect her for lifelong.

In Kathmandu valley, Pashupatinath, Guheswari, Kumbheswar and Bhadrakali have seen large number of devotees gathering since early morning to tie the sacred thread in the hand.

Source: The sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”

Live Sustainably Everyday- Make Everyday an Environment Day

World Environment Day is just around the corner. While different organisations, educational institutions and community groups are undertaking various activities to mark this day, why don’t we take this as an opportunity to reflect upon our own lifestyles and see the impact of our actions to the environment as well as our well-being.

Waste is one of the biggest problems the world is facing at the moment and there has never been a better time to think and rethink about our consumption pattern and disposal
behaviour. According to the World Bank’s report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management ,globally we are producing1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. Similarly according to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems.

Australians are the second biggest producer of waste and needless to say hundreds of tonnes of waste are dumped into landfill sites every year. In addition, most people these days think that landfill is the ultimate destination for most of the waste we produce, where as it should only be taken as a last resort.

The modern lifestyle and technological advancement is leading to not only increase in volume of waste we produce but also producing different composition of waste which is making the waste issue more big and challenging than ever. Disposal of different types of waste ranging from green waste, hazardous waste, e- waste and other household waste in the landfill is not only taking up bigger chunk of our valuable land which could have alternatively been used for other productive causes, but it is also causing severe and irreversible impacts in the environment, socio-economy and health. Wastes dumped in the landfill accounts for air pollution, water pollution and land quality at the same time methane gas produced during the decomposition of organic waste is one of the potent green house gas which is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

If we really want to make our impact in reducing the waste or managing it, we need to reduce the production of waste at source. One of the successful and practical mantra that we have been hearing and to some extent practicing is 3 R Principle- Reduce Reuse and Re cycle.

Reduce mean avoiding the production of waste at source. Avoid the things that we can do without. Reuse is about using items over and over for a longer period.
Recycling is re-processing the item into a new raw material so that
it can be used in a new product–for example grinding up plastic bottles to make fibre. While recycling is helping us in a great way by keeping our waste from going to landfill; a huge quantity of waste could be reduced and reused before it goes to recycling.

What are the benefits of reducing and reusing waste?

1. Keeps materials out of landfill.
2. Helps to preserve the “embodied energy” that was originally used to manufacture
an item.
3. Reduces the pressure on raw material, energy and water.
4. Creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling one.
5. Reduces overall production of waste.
6. Reuse often creates an affordability of goods that are often of better quality .

So what can we do to reduce waste going to landfill?

Here are 10 different ways that will help to reduce and reuse waste:
1. Change consumption pattern: Ask your self do you need or want that product. Only buy what you need
2. Buy quality products what would last long
3. Burrow thing from neighbours, friends and family
4. Rent it rather than buying if you are using for a short term
5. Covert your food waste into rich fertiliser though composting or wormfarming
6. Donate your unwanted items to charity organisation or give away to your friend and family
7. Buy and sell second-hand at flea markets and garage sales.
8. Maintain your goods, it will last longer
9. Repair the items such as electronics or furniture
10.Upcycle the items you don’t want and expand the life of your preloved goods

These simple actions can easily be incorporated in our everyday life at a no or vey low cost. All we need is a little bit of passion and commitment to change ourselves and create change. Every single action multiplied by thousands will certainly make a difference. So why don’t we start from ourselves and from today. And make every day an environment day.

A very happy environment day 2016 to all of you!

Happy International Composting Awareness Week 2016!

Half of the waste we put in our rubbish bin consists of food or garden waste. These organic waste get dumped into landfill where they decompose in the absence of oxygen producing potent greenhouse gas such as methane. The leachate produced by these organic waste also results in depletion of ground water quality.   By composting our food scraps we are not only diverting the huge amount of waste going to the landfill but also reducing carbon pollution.

Composting is a natural process by which the organic waste get decomposed into nutrition rich compost by the action of bacteria. In order to work effectively, composting requires the right blend of air, moisture and carbon & nitrogen balanced materials. Little bit of extra TLC (Tender. Love and Care) will work wonders.

Alternatively we can also get our food waste converted into the top quality compost by through worm farming. Worms munch on organic waste and produce casting which are high quality compost . Worm farming is the best way to manage organic waste within the small space and with no smell.

Here is a simple and easy step by step guide on worm farming and composting:

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Happy composting and do share your experiences 🙂

 

 

Happy Green New Year 2016

hny1

First of all let me wish you all a very happy 2016. With New Year come new hopes, a new beginning and a desire to achieve something substantial. My recipe for this year is nothing new but to continue what I am doing, but with additional dose of enthusiasm, commitment and passion. And I’m hopeful that this will enrich my year with additional contentment, satisfaction and gratification. As my previous years this year too, one of my main focus would be to continue my sustainability journey and extend my commitment to environmental stewardship; at the same time Educate, Inspire and Empower (EIE) people to do the same. While saying that, I’m also so looking forward to unleash loads of energy and love in raising and nurturing my two little kids and spending more quality time with my family (hubby, our parents and siblings). With my heart full of love, compassion and empathy, I am all set to go on an exciting ride to make my home (my little world) as green and sustainable as possible. I whole heartedly would also like help you achieve the same for your home if you allow me to do so through this very platform of blogosphere. Collective efforts, be it small or big always matters.

So, let’s get started with few simple and easy actions that you can do to live a healthy and ethical lifestyle. Please be assured that sustainability is achievable without compromising your comfortless and spending lots of money. All you need to do is make little modification in your daily lifestyle. Here are 8 little things that you can start straight away from today that will not only help you live a healthy and ethical life but also make you feel great for being able to contribute for the betterment of the mother earth.

Identify the difference between need and want. Think twice before buying anything and ask yourself if you really need that item or you just want to add one more thing to your collection. Do not waste your money and generate additional waste buying unnecessary things; It will eventually end up in the landfill. Instead invest on your needs and buy durable products.

  1. Reduce your food waste. Think before buying. Cook the correct portion size and preserve the food well so that it doesn’t get wasted. Fruits and vegetable scrapes could easily be converted to compost through composting or worm farming.
  2. Commit to the 3 R’s. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the best mantra to minimise the consumption and production of overall waste. Consider practising this at home and at work.
  3. Buy local. Locally made/ grown products generally have lower transportation cost and associated pollution. Promoting the local product will also help local economy and community.
  4. Make green and healthy choices. Make the habit of buying environment friendly products and avoid purchasing or using toxic products. Watch out for the labels saying Poison, Toxic, Hazardous, Warning and Explosive. If you can’t avoid using them for any reason, store them in the safe place and keep it away from children.
  5. Be energy efficient. You can save a considerable amount of energy by practicing various energy saving behaviors at home and work, and by using electrical appliances effectively and efficiently. This will also help you save lots of money in the long term.
  6. Be water wise. A lot of water and money could be saved adhering to simple water saving techniques at your home and work. A significant amount of water can also be saved by installing water saving devices.
  7. Grow your own food. Growing food in your backyard or balcony will not only give you healthy and organic food but getting yourself involved in gardening activities is also proved to be good for your physical and mental wellbeing. You can also be a part of community garden initiatives in your community if you do not have space to grow your own food.

Have you made any quick green New Year’s commitment for 2016? Please feel free to share them in the comments.

 

 

 

4 Simple Tips to Living Ethically

Living a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t put too much pressure on our environment is really not as hard as it seems. Here are 4 really simple tips for ethical living for the time-stressed, space-constrained individual

Ethical_living_inforgraph

Buy local and in-season

It’s spring time here in Australia! From asparagus to blood oranges and zucchini (oodles of zoodles anyone?), this is when an abundance of fruit and vegetables become available. Buying local and in-season means that the produce travel less distance from the farm to your table so you get the best of what’s available taste-wise and price-wise. Check out our handy guide to fresh seasonal spring produce.

If you want to go a step further, consider starting a compost bin in your backyard to turn all the bits and ends into natural fertiliser.

Recycle

In Australia, we consume around 3 million of single-use coffee pods a day. 95% of these are not recyclable which means they are sent to landfills to sit there forever. While we hope that someday, these coffee pods and takeaway coffee cups will made from biodegradable materials, we can take a stand against this single-use mentality by investing in a reusable coffee cup for our daily brew.

Minimise wastage

Food waste is a big issue not only in Australia but also worldwide. Do you know humans never eat almost 40% of all food? That’s a ridiculous amount given that food insecurity and starvation is a real issue around the globe. The United States are starting to take implement laws to reduce food wastage and hopefully more countries will follow suit.

Buy consciously

Approximately 80 billion garments are produced new every year. Can you imagine the amount of resources needed to create this much garments for the fashion industry? By shopping consciously and buying less, we consume only what we need and nothing more. We suggest fixing stuff instead of dumping them (psst, it’s good for your wallet too).

Any other tips? Share with us in the comments below!

Source: 1 Million Women

Happy Environment Day 2015 World..!!

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment day is celebrated on 5 June every year to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action  and reduce negative impact to protect the planet earth. People organise various programs globally to mark this day. Ideally, we should be grateful to environment every day  and should curtail any actions that have adverse impact on the environment and not limit our action to only one day of the year. However on this special day, we take this opportunity to thank and honour environment for all the privileges it has provided to us all. The theme for this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” in short  “live sustainably”. Due to urbanisation and modern lifestyle, people are consuming more products than ever and subsequently creating more waste. In order to meet the growing demand of ever increasing population, we are not only exploiting our valuable natural resources but also limiting the access to these resources for our future generation through over extraction and pollution.

Below are  5 simple yet doable things that we can opt in our daily life to live sustainable life. What better day can there be to start this than today… Happy World Environment Day World!!

Reduce your Waste:

sort your waste

1.Before buying anything , THINK and identify if you really need or just want that item. Don’t buy if you don’t need them.

2.Reduce your waste by refusing, reusing and recycling the waste.

3.Put your household waste in the appropriate bin provided for general waste, recyclables and green waste so that more waste is diverted from landfill.

Save Water:

save water

4.Turn off the taps when not in use especially while brushing your teeth or shaving

5.Fix all the leaks including taps and toilets.

6.Take shorter shower and minimise the use of bath tub.

Save Energy

save energy

7.Turn off the light when not in use and replace your bulbs with CFLs

8.Use your washing machine only when it is full load and go for cold washes.Dry your clothes in the sun rather than dryers.

9.Make sure your refrigerator is in good condition. Get rid of second fridge or only use when required

Grow Your Own:

grow your own

10.Grow your own vegetables or buy locally grown food to reduce food miles and stay healthy.

11.Use natural pest controls and minimise the use of harmful chemicals

12.Turn your organic waste from garden and kitchen into compost and use them in your garden