From the past few years, my family has been undertaking certain chores which have helped us in connecting with nature in a better way. For instance, we make compost from raw fruit and vegetable scrapes, using the three-tier pot method.
At first, we gather a lot of green and brown waste from the kitchen. (Green waste means anything organic that can be composted, like domestic or kitchen waste. Brown waste refers to anything biodegradable that is predominantly carbon-based, like dry leaves, paper, etc.) We collect this waste regularly for some days. Then, one day, we put all of it in an earthen pot. After every 3-4 layers of this waste, we spread a layer of soil. To keep all of it a little moist, I sprinkle some water on it. Then, about three months later, as this mixture gradually dries, one can see some dry granules forming inside the composting pot. This is the manure which nourishes and flourishes the plants at my home. It fertilizes our sugarcane, mud apple, guava, lemon, cherry tomato, brinjal, areca palm, amla, tulsi, giloy; and many flowering plants, like rose and mogra.
During the COVID, we gladly lent our giloy to over 150 people or so, when it was assumed that it is an immunity-booster. We also distributed many of its saplings in our neighbourhood. The giloy plant is beneficial for curing various types of fever, indigestion, stress, and anxiety; it also releases a lot of oxygen. Our areca palm also exhales oxygen 24x7 and is known for cleaning polluted air.
Lately, we began reusing our waste collection drums by turning them into plant pots. We also made flower pots out of discarded coconut shells. To do this, we first cleaned these shells to prevent any ants from feeding on the coconut pulp. We drilled holes at the shells’ centre to help drain out water. Then, we tied ropes to these shells so that we could hang them in our garden.
Finally, we planted small flowering plants in their coco pits and that’s how we attempted to reuse our household waste. Since the pandemic, we began offering food and water to the birds in our vicinity, and milk and bread to the stray dogs of our colony. I hope, this protected them from starving then and is still helping them to survive and thrive in our environmentally-challenging times.