07 August, 2018

Fast fashion & menstruation...

The only sustainabile approach on both of these is simple. Refuse, Reduce & Reuse...as always.

If not the above three...Avoid buying anything new (we have to try and focus on not creating more stuff, while the experts figure out what could be the most environment friendly way of dealing with all the wasted stuff which has already been created).
Idea is to become really mindful and aware of what we are responsible for..what business we are supporting...what products we are getting produced more of...are the ventures we support sustainabile?

Eco friendly period...reusable natural fabric pads, panty liners, menstrual cups.

Eco friendly wardrobes...curating the pieces that actually bring you joy, which you like...reducing the amount of 'space' we take that way as well. Donating whatever doesn't go with the above lifestyle.
Trying to borrow whatever we don't have, for occasional use.
Buying/using second hand wherever possible.
And goes without saying... not Falk mg for the 'retail therapy' traps anymore.
Fast fashion...as it is called..is never long-lasting. The products wear easily. Are just increasing the load on our environment.
We buy things in fashion. Waste our precious resources on them, only to see them go out of style within months. Just really wasteful.

Also...Living frugally is also good for the environment. Remember that.
Anything and everything produced and even recycled or donated needs resources...raw materials, fuel for transport, water, power (thanks to all the places where people have being battling life-threatening conditions due to the coal mines) etc etc. So, before buying anything at all..we must think ten times, if we really 'need' or actually just 'want' that thing.

I have said all the above points multiple times in multiple groups/pages/comments/posts too, if you search similar topics.
Good luck :)

18 July, 2018

Diy natural water purification...

1) Stir some alum in your pot of water.
2) Add a handful of Moringa (sehjan/drumstick)+Tulsi+Neem leaves.
3) Boil for 10~20minutes, depending upon the quantity.
4) Let it cool.
5) Strain the top water into an earthen pot, but leave the last few cups in the pot. Use this residual water for gardening/flushing.
Good luck :)

Never Leave Home Without Zero Waste Kit

* Reusable water bottle
* Your own beverages to avoid the disposable cups when out (or empty cups, to get your favourite Barista to fill it for you)
* Packed meals or empty container, when going to eat out, to bring back leftovers without disposable packaging
* Ziplocked wet face towels, as wet wipes alternative
* A bunch of hankies, as tissue paper/paper napkin substitute
* A few extra container for snacks on the road (or empty ones, to use, if you feel like catching a bite to eat-out or take away)
* Reusable cutlery
* Reusable straw for coconut water (or anything else)
* Always shove a bunch of reusable shopping bags in your purse. You never know

More Zero Waste Ideas...

Zero waste groceries shopping I...
Found this gem in Govindpuri market today. Another option, if the old Nirvaaha store in Defence Colony doesn't suit you...
We bought:
* Flour- wheat, ragi, soy, gram & jau (bought all these flours separately and then mixed them up to make a multigrain flour)
* Nuts- almonds, cashews and walnuts
* Largest packs of pre-packaged cornflakes and oats (the kind of size and healthier brands, you don't find in the modern kind of local stores)
...in our own reusable shopping bags
- If you buy larger quantities, they would sell their wares lose (bulk). Otherwise, they keep 500gms of flour and 250gms of nuts, packed in plastic, readily available.
-They also had soy chunks, badi (/vadi), puffed rice (mamra/murmura), Poha, all kinds of grains, beans, lentils and such things, loose as well.
There have to be such old-timey flour mills near you as well. Look them up on Google maps.
#bringyourownbag #bulkbuying #oldschoolmarketing #exploreyourneighbourhoods #supportyourlocalbusinesses
Good luck

Zero waste grocery shopping II…
Zero waste spices, herbs, nuts and seeds. Bought at our local traveling market in Delhi (Shani Bazaar), in our old assorted reusable cloth bags.
Zero waste grocery shopping #bringyourownbag #bagbottlebins

Zero waste tea shopping…
#bringyourownbagbottlebox #sustainabileliving #ecofriendly #bulkbuying Shiv Shakti Agencies, CR Park, Shop no 139, Mkt No 2, 1st floor. #newdelhi
Along with a reusable tea strainer, instead of tea bags, of course!

Zero waste snacks shopping…
* Shop number 14, CR Park, market number 1. Bulk snacks.
* Any halwai or bakery.
All packed in our reusable containers, of course :0)
#bringyourowncontainers #bagbottlebins #saynotoplastics #lifestylechange #supportyourlocalbusinesses

Zero waste eating out/take away…
Simply bring your own box/bottle/bin and utensils and request them to serve/pack in your things!

Refuse! Reduce! Reuse! Upcycle! Donate! Compost! Recycle!

Low Waste Toiletry List...

All natural, chemical free, DIY things made at home.
* Soapnuts soap (soapnuts + citrus peels)
* Moisturizer/lipbalm/hand cream/foot Cream/hair serum/massage oil (mix of oils)
* Sesame seed oil as sunscreen (doesn't block tan)
* Herbal shampoo (no poo)
* Conditioner (Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water)
* Bugspray (Diluted Neem oil)
* Toner/Freshner (rose water)
* Perfume (patchouli oil)
* Acne/spot treatment (tea tree oil)
* Room freshner/deo spray (baking soda+water+essential oil)
* Cream deo (baking soda+coconut oil+essential oil)
* Bamboo toothbrush
* Toothpaste (coconut oil+baking soda+clove oil+Neem+peppermint essential oil)
* Eyeliner/Kajal (activated charcoal+castor oil+vegan wax)
* Decanted all the old lipsticks to use them up in small containers. Will make beetroot+vegan wax lipstick when these run out
#Zerowaste #toiletries
#DIYs #makeyourownconcoctions #saynotochemicals #saynotoplastics

Zero Waste Travel Tips...

* Bring your water bottle and refill it with filtered water, wherever possible.
* Bring your own meals and snacks in your own containers. Dry foods are allowed on planes as well.
* Bring your own drinks in reusables cups/tumblers.
* Once emptied at the airport, before security, empty cups and water bottles can be refilled at the airport wirh tea and other drinks to bring into the plane as well.
* Use all your reusable bottles, cups, containers, cutlery and straws on the go while you are sightseeing/driving on the highways too- wherever you find them being served in disposables.
* Support eateries where food is being served zero waste, wherever possible.
* Support local business that are zero waste too, wherever possible, while sightseeing and shopping
* Chose the right snacks throughout the journey. For instance, fresh fruits, vegetables (salad), biscuits bought from the bakery loose in your own containers, namakparas or mixtures bought loose from the mithaiwalas in your own containers, nuts bought loose etc will be healthier for both you and the environment.
* Wherever you see something litered, please take a moment to pick it and drop into bins, if possible too.
* Avoid airplanes, if you can since they also cause immense pollution.
* Be mindful of your consumption of all our resources, like electricity, fuel, water, etc even during the holiday as well
Happy journey! :)

DIY Natural Chemical Free Low Waste Recipes Toiletry Recipes...

Zero-Waste Cleaning and Bathroom Supplies
1. Glass cleaner: one part white vinegar, nine parts tap water. Fill directly in old colin kind of a spray bottle
2. Toilet bowl/bathroom sink/taps/faucets etc cleaner: plain old baking soda (meetha soda)...sprinkle for five minutes of surface which needs to be cleaned. Wipe down with a wet rag. And done.
3. Leave a ziplock baggie full of white vinegar, tied around the taps/shower heads, for full night, for the toughest strained
4. Natural cleanser/ conventional soap alternative recipe:
• Soak about a 100gms of dry reetha (while herb, not powder), which is called soap nuts in English, in a couple of litres of hot water for 8 to 12 hours (not boiling hot. Just more than lukewarm). I have only ordered these online so far. But these can be found in the neighbourhood weekly bazaars as well, unpackaged, apparently. Cost around Rs.250 for 750gms. And last a bit more than 3weeks.
• Press them with your hands and squeeze out the seeds after an overnight soak.
• Boil for five to ten minutes.
• Add about 20 to 30 drops of your favourite organic essential oil (lemon/orange/lemongrass/rose/sandalwood/ceader wood etc can be ordered online and cost about 250/- on average, for a bottle which lasts me 4 months)
• Let this cool down.
• Mash out the pulp with hands, as the innermost part, closest to the seed is what gives it cleansing properties.
• Strain twice. Bottle up and keep in dispensers, all around the house.
• I use the same thing as body wash, face wash, hand wash, baby shampoo, dishwashing liquid, laundry soap, surface cleaner, etc.
5. Lemon halves also work on sink stains
6. Coconut husk instead of dishwashing scrub pads.
7. Rags, cut out of old torn clothes, instead of paper kitchen rolls
8. Hankies instead of tissue-paper
9. I also use my daughter's old baby washcloths, or face towels, instead of buying plastic based loofahs
10. Soak a face-towel in water/rose water and freeze it in a ziplock/air tight container. Take a couple of these every time you leave home, to avoid using wet-tissues
11. Bamboo toothbrushes, instead of plastic
12. Old-school metal razors, instead of disposable ones
13. Menstrual cups, reusable cloth pads/ panty liners
14. The Soaps by Sangi's, Stain Stick. Coconut oil based eco-friendly, packaging free laundry stain removal stick

All purpose DIY Natural chemical free soap recipe:
Soak around fifteen soapnuts (reetha/Aritha) in lukewarm water overnight.
Squeeze out all the seeds in the morning.
Boil with citrus peels from four to five lemon/orange/limes for ten minutes or so.
After it cools down, squish the pulp with your wands and fish them out of the mix.
Strain, store and use for all your cleaning requirements...handwashes, facewash, body wash, mild shampoo, dishwashing liquid, laundry soap, surface cleaner (Colin/lizol substitute) and wherever else you are required to use a mild soap.
It stays good for three days or so.
Apparently, if you add bioenzymes to this mixture, it'll last months.

DIY natural, chemical free shampoo recipes:
* Soak 100grams each of Amla, reetha, shikakai, brahmi, bhringraj, methi seeds, onions seeds, black sesame seeds in a litre of lukewarm black tea (100gms) overnight.
The next morning, squeeze out the seeds from the reetha (soapnuts/Aritha) and shikakai.
Then boil the entire mixture- along with a 100grams each of aloe Vera gel, curry leaves, Tulsi leaves, Neem leaves, mehendi leaves and hibiscus flowers- for ten minutes.
Once the liquid cools down, squish all the ingredients with your wands and fish them out.
Strain and store.
This would stay good for months too.
* If you can't find whole herb or fresh versions of any of the ingredients, you can use powders are well, in the same quantities.
* The basic cleaner in this is soapnuts. Which can be used as it is.
* Traditionally, most popular version of this is amla-reetha-shikakai.
* Black tea and onion seeds especially darken hair. So skip them, if you don't want that.
* For blonde hair, you can use green tea or chamomile tea as a substitute for the above darkening ingredients.
* I add all the other ingredients in addition to amla-reetha-shikakai, for their added benefits. None are compulsory.
* For long term travel, get dry herb versions of the above ingredients and dry the fresh ingredients yourself of the ingredients that arent available in dried form.
Then grind all of the dry ingredients in a mixy/food processor to make a powder mix. Or buy them all in powder forms.
This powder can be used as it is for shampooing as well...Take a spoonful of the mix, rub it onto your scalp, shake the excess off, then rinse thoroughly with water.
Or add lukewarm water to a spoonful of the powder to create a paste and use that a shampoo and then rinse with water.
** Disclaimer: all DIYs are plenty of trial and error kinda experiments. So, don't give up if the first result doesn't seem perfect.
Also, everybody's body, skin, hair etc are different. Please do check the properties of all the ingredients individually to check what your body needs more or less off.
Lastly, it would take at least 3months for your body to detoxify from the chemical abuse of the past. It would also take your body as much time to get used to your new regimen. So, don't give up. Stick it out.
Good luck

Simplest DIY natural zero waste travel friendly powder shampoo recipe:
Amla powder: 1 part
Reetha powder: 2 parts
Shikakai powder: 1 part
Mix and store in an upcycled container.
(All the above dry herbs can be bought in bulk (loose) in your own reusable bag/box and then ground at home. Or you can directly buy the powdered versions)
Either add a bit or water to a tablespoon full of the mix and create a creamy paste, if you want to use it as a hair pack. Leave in for as much time as you can (anywhere from 2 minutes to 2hrs) and then wash.
Or add more water to create a runny (watery) liquid to a tablespoon of the powder mix. Use it as you would use a normal (conventional) shampoo.
Good luck

Diy natural chemical free Conditioner recipe:
Dilute apple cider vinegar in water. One part acv to give parts water.
ACV smells really strong. Dilute the mix with more after, if you can't stand the strong smell.
Use this, as you would use the conventional conditioners.

DIY Natural Cream Deodorant recipe:
Baking soda
Cold pressed coconut oil
Essential oil of your choice (tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, lemongrass, etc have cleansing and anti-bacterial properties) few drops, as per your preference
Mix baking soda and coconut oil, to create a paste like consistency. Then add a few drops of pure skin/ therapeutic-grade essential oil. Mix well and store in a glass jar. Lasts months.

DIY Natural Spray Deodorant Recipe:
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Essential oil (pure therapeutic/skin/food grade) of your choice (tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, lemongrass, etc have cleansing and anti-bacterial properties), as per your preference 10drops
Drinking water 250ml
Repurposed spray bottle 300ml
Put the baking soda in the spray bottle.
Add the water.
Add the essential oil.
Close the spray bottle.
Shake well before every use.

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellant Recipe 1:
Neem Oil
Coconut Oil
Mix both food grade (cold pressed, purest forms), in equal quantities and store in a dark glass bottle. Ready for use

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellant Recipe 2:
Citronella Oil 10drops
Drinking water 250ml
Spray bottle 300ml
Mix citronella oil in water, directly in the spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellant cum Natural Pesticide Recipe 3:
Neem oil
Mix a few drops of neem oil in water and store in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipe 1:
Sesame Seed oil 80%
Non-nano zinc oxide 20%
Mix the two well. Store. Shake well before each use.

DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipe 2:
Sesame seed oil, as it is.

DIY Natural Toothpaste Recipe:
Cold pressed coconut oil- 1 tbp
Baking soda- 1 tbp
Peppermint essential oil- 5 drops
Neem powder (optional)- 1 pinch
Turmeric powder (optional)- 1 pinch
Mix all the ingredients to create a paste-like consistency. Feel free to increase or decrease any of the ingredient’s quantities to choose your taste. Lasts months

Natural Perfume:
Essential Oil Blends like- Ylang ylang, frankincense, patchouli, bergamot, myrrh, ciderwood etc

DIY Natural Moisturizer cum Hair Serum:
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Almond oil
Jojoba oil
Argan oil
Mustard oil
Sesame seed oil
Neem oil
Vitamin E oil
A few drops of an essential oil (pure therapeutic/skin/food grade) of your choice (tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, lemongrass, etc have cleansing and anti-bacterial properties)
Mix all ingredients to suit your own preference for fragrance and properties (do read up on each ingredients’ properties before attempting this). Store in a dark glass bottle. Shake well before each use.

10 April, 2018

Chintan Public Hearing

Listening to Waste Pickers
The Real Environmentalists
10 April 2018
2:30pm ~ 4:30pm
Indian Social Institute
Organised by Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

Meenakshi Lekhi ji was also there, along with a ton of Govt officials from a myriad of departments. That in itself is commendable. Great work, Chintan :)
After a quick welcome from Chintan, the public hearing started with a few words from Bharati, Ms. Lekhi and then the Waste Pickers started listing grievances, one by one.
The Waste Pickers/kabadiwalas still constantly struggle with issues like:
• Lack of uniforms
• Lack of masks, gloves
• Lack of I cards
* In spite of the Delhi Nagar Nigam's assurances for all these facilities for them, they are still not included in the organised sector.
• So many years ago, hey had started with a goal to get users to segregate at source. But that's still a distant dream.
• No Aadhar cards
• No pension benefits, medical aide
- Ms. Lekhi responded to this. Said all Indian families already have bank accounts now. All working members should now get bank accounts made. And promised to work on this.
• All the waste pickers also had big accolades for Bharati and Chintan.
• Lack of housing (living near drains/street)
• They still deal with broken glass, pins and other such harmful things found from homes. But there is no medical aide available. No help with injuries at work, pregnancy (especially, when there are complications. Anecdote shared of a case). They aren't admitted, are told to arrange tens of thousands of rupees, aren't even seen if they don't have proper documentation, are asked to arrange for blood, and other medical equipment, etc etc.
• Every few kilometres, there should be medical centres for them and ambulance facilities should also be make available in their areas, for prompt medical response.
- Meenakshi ji agreed with this issue. The entire unorganized sector has the same issue. But she's going to get them included with the organized sector’s vans that are already exist. But reminded that she can only commit to New Delhi and Delhi Cantt Vidhan Sabha areas.
- She promised to help them with their Aadhar allotments, insurance, pension and other such government schemes as well.
- Assistance in medical aide was also assured (medicines/equipment arrangement and such things), as and when the need arises, if she is made aware of emergencies.
- Depending upon the resources she has under her disposable, she promised full support in areas under her jurisdiction.
Other issues which could not get covered with Ms. Lekhi, due to time constraints: toilets, Anganwadi, etc
- Meenakshi ji responded that she would help with everything, if she can. The last few issues aren't under her control, as they are Jal Board related. But promised to pass such grievance letters to the respective concerned departments and do follow-ups as well.
- Meenakshi ji added that 14th, Mahadev Road is where her office is. And offered to start a camp for the Waste Pickers right there ASAP, if required.
- Before leaving, she requested the government officials, who had joined the hearing, to stay till the very end and to ensure that they share their findings with her office as well by the end of the day.
Issues continued:
• Issue- Lack of shared toilets. They can't get toilets made in their own homes, due to the lack of space. It takes too long to get qued-up for using the public toilets nearest to them. This forces them into open defecation. Even the nursing homes closest to them are surrounded by filth. Open defecation scares them too. Secluded areas are always filled with drug-addicts and criminals.
• Issue- Anganwadi (day care for children of working mothers); Khatoon: No facility to leave their children anywhere, when they have to go to work. If there was an anganwadi near them, they would also love to send their children to get some education, but more importantly, to keep them safe.
• Issue- Clean water; Jharana: No drinking water near their residences. Request to the authorities to install some boring facility or have a tanker come to their locality. If they go to other nearby localities to fill drinking water, they aren’t allowed to get water from there, due to castism and other reasons.
• Issue- Dirty drains; Pramod: They are constantly prone to infections and diseases due to this issue in their localities. Entire streets get flooded with sewage, even more so during the monsoons. Very dangerous living conditions for children. Please help.
• Issue- Schooling, illiteracy; Anwar: Especially secondary education is not available within reasonable distances from their residences
- Govt official’s response: Identity cards process has started. Around 700 or so are already handed over as well. Please go to the South Delhi office for assistance with yours.
• Issue- Funds not being utilized: Maharashtra and Punjab are the only two states that utilize the funds that get allotted to them for Waste Pickers’ help. Please help us by utilizing the govt funds allotted for us.
- Govt official’s response: Water, drains and toilets etc come under them. Please go in large numbers and meet your local MLAs
- Govt official’s response: (To other Govt officials gathered there) Identify all waste pickers and give them IDs.
• Issue- We have hired tempos, filled them with our people and gine in large numbers to our locals MLAs. But always get asked to not crowd public places and go away.
• We must give our problems in writing in respective Govt depts. All of us must meet the concerned people together, in large numbers, under Chintan’s guidance, with the requisite Govt documents.
• Issue- Scholarships- Ex-intern from Chintan- Tarun; There are scholarships available for waste picker’s families. But only three states are utilizing these scholarships.
• Issue- INNFS- Tarun; INNFS is in direct contraction with waste pickers. Landfills have turned into landhills. INNFS burns all the trash, rather than segregation. Which doesn’t even product more than 10% of the amount energy, they had claimed incineration would produce.
- Govt Official’s response; Wet waste mixed with e-waste and other hazardous materials becomes extremely dangerous. Request you all to implement segregation strictly. Especially more during monsoons. The localities around landfills suffer the most when it rains. All municipal corporations must implement segregation.
- South Delhi corporation started issuing IDs. Once you have that, all other facilities, benefits, servicing and training etc will also become accessible to you.
- Request only registered pickers to come for waste-picking in localities. This will make registration a priority and then all waste pickers will start getting the benefits as a result of registration.
• Waste picker, in conclusion: And we all must use our votes for our benefit too. When they come to ask us for votes next, we must first ask them to solve our problems.

More about Chintan:
Website: http://www.chintan-india.org/ 
Facebook: https://fb.me/ChintanIndia.org 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChintanIndia 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chintan.india/ 
Winner of the UN Climate Solutions Award, 2015

19 March, 2018

Water Pollution...

With the way humans started using water, ever since indoor plumbing, is wasteful to say the least.
A century ago, while the population was a lot less and our natural water bodies were a lot bigger (and cleaner), indoor plumbing didn’t exist. Therefore people were a lot more mindful of their water consumption. Since someone had to travel a certain distance carrying their water containers, fill them up, and then carry them all the way back home- several times a day. Till half a century ago, at least in India, water consumption was still in check, as the government water board would only send you the water supply for a few hours a day. People would have to fill their buckets and drums up and have to manage with only that much for the day.
Some thirty or forty years ago, as people had been wasting water so much and the population had been increasing too, our groundwater levels went further down. People started installing their private water pumps to get to the deep water and improve the water pressure, which lead to the further downfall.
Half a century ago, our chemical and plastic consumption also started. All that didn’t just start polluting our air, but also got into our water systems along with our ground (soil). As a result, our oceans are choking in plastic, our rivers are running dry because of the trash dumped and our lakes are emitting hazardous gases because of all the chemicals dumped.
But there is hope. If we only started being less wasteful and a little more mindful about things, at least we would not be contributing to this sad situation. So, here are some tips on how we can all contribute to water conservation:
• Switch to natural products and stop contaminating our water systems with chemical laden cleaning supplies and toiletries. Because of those, a lot of the used water gets wasted instead of getting reused.
• Switch to bucket baths from showers/baths
• Stop using your taps at full pressure. Not everything needs that kind of a pressure
• Turn your faucets off while washing your hands, face, shaving or brushing your teeth
• Always ensure your taps and faucets have been turned off properly before leaving your kitchens and bathrooms
• Either get your leaky faucets and flush tanks fixed or at least turn them off from the source
• Reuse the waste water from your ROs and ACs
• See if you can capture at least some of your used water and re-use it
o Water used for last washes of your lentils, rice, fruits and vegetables can easily be used for cleaning and gardening
o Water from laundry, dishwashing and so on can also be used for flushing
Only 3% of water on our planet is drinking water. And it’s only a matter of time till our over population, pollution and excessive usage turns our cities into the next Cape Town too.
Ponder on…S m i l e

05 March, 2018

Responsible Waste Management...

Firstly think ten times before dumping anything into the public dust-bins. They don’t get washed. So, things just keep rotting inside. And then eventually all that goes into the landfills and create even more pollution as the sheer high quantities of waste we have been generating has been overwhelming them. So much so, that the government has even started thinking about promoting incinerators (which basically burn everything to destroy it for generating energy in industries that need high temperature heat). These in turn, cause even more pollution. Moreover, it's only so many times, anything can be recycled. And most recycled things take upto 900yrs to break down completely! So, better yet, say no to anything that is not 100% natural, and comes in 100% eco friendly packaging, if not any.
Its not just air we should be considering. Our water system has been getting from bad to worse too over the past decades. We drink and wash with the same thing. The same polluted environment (air, water & ground) is where our food grows.
Reduce whatever we can as far as our consumption as well as disposal goes.
Reuse everything that you possibly can.
Recycle everything else that remains.
Refuse all the excess that you don’t need or truly appreciate. Fast fashion is becoming one of the biggest banes of environmentalists. Look up French Fashion to see how the most stylish of the world live amazingly with some 30 item wardrobes if not less. More importantly, whatever doesn’t bring you joy, should not be a part of your life and clutter it. It should be given to someone who will find joy in it instead.
Repair everything at least five times before chucking it out. Or get it mended professionally.
But most of all, start being Responsible about all the new ‘stuff’ you getting created (via consumerism) and then in turn all the waste you are generating to litter our gardens, cities, beaches, forests, lakes, rivers and oceans.

Here are a few tips on how we can all be more responsible when it comes to waste generation and disposal...

• Kitchen waste (vegetables and fruits peels, cores, seeds, food leftovers, pencil shavings, dirt collected after sweeping the floors, stray hairs, nails, bits of uncoloured paper, dry foliage waste from the garden, etc) Collect them all in a strainer/sieve/colander next to the kitchen sink (to ensure that they aren’t dripping wet). Then add your ‘browns’ (dry leaves, cardboard, cocopeat, etc) and add to composting. Then either use for your own plants/ or drop it off at the neighbourhood nursey/park
• Cardboard- use as browns in composting/ use as craft material
• Paper/Metal/Glass/Plastic- Wash/Clean and collect all. Go through the collection every now and then and see if you can reuse any of the jars/containers/bottles for anything. recycle/kabadiwala the rest

Hazardous waste-
• E-waste- Collect all for a few months and then either drop it off or sell it at an e-waste collection point (look up ‘e waste’ on Maps)
• Medical waste- Collect for a few months and then drop them off at the doctor’s on your next visit

Old Stuff-
• Old Clothes, Shoes, Bags, Books, Toys, Furniture, Furnishings, Kitchenware, Decorations- Either donate or sell them. As a matter of fact, an Indian NGO that works with the underprivileged, is running a charity drive  this month, where they have even offered doorstep pickups for old/Holi clothes.
("Dear all, new school session will begin soon. Now that you will buy new books, new bags, new pencil box, tiffinbox, bottles, new uniform & shoes. You will discard, old books, old dresses, Bag & bottle. You will either sell or dump somewhere all these stuffs, not to ever use again. 
Do you know, all these things which are scrap to you, can be useful and new for someone in need. Can bring smile on the face of so many. Need is of making it available to them.
 "Goonj" your close to heart organisation, under its "school to school" initiative, is happy to accept all exercise books, note books, loose papers, stationery, Water bottle, tiffin box, compass box, shoes, socks, slippers, uniforms, school bag, including old spectacles etc... everything which you feel are of no use to you, but will be useful to someone in need. Please come forward and contribute all you feel, will help to run a parallel life. 
Please contact Kavita Bansal on  9320009766.
A small request to please forward to all your groups. A small forward may bring a big smile on someone's face.
Goonj dropping centres all over India
Please refer http://goonj.org/page_id=22873/index.html for the same.")

Dry waste-
• Torn out Dal/Rice/Spice packaging, stickers, tapes, etc- Collect the handful and drop off on its own/ wrapped it newspaper into your neighbourhood dumpster or collect in a disposable plastic bottles and create your own furniture/crafts
• Grocery bags- Switch to bringing your own reusable bags and buy from the hawkers, street side produce vendors or farmers markets around you
• Dal/Rice/Spice/Online shopping packets- Save and reuse later for travel, storage or passing things to others, which need plastic packets. Also, keep trying to look for eco-friendly options for these. Like bulk buying (packaging free) grocery stores, flour mills and traveling weekly bazaars around you for flour, grains, lentils, whole spices, nuts, seeds, teas, coffees and cold pressed oils, etc that you can buy in your own reusable bags, bottles and containers
• Milk packets- Switch to buying loose milk that you can bring in your own containers or better yet, go Vegan and make your own plant based milk
• Chips/Cookies/Namkeen Packets- Buy package free from your neighbourhood bakeries and halwaiwalas in your own reusable containers
• Disposables that store snacks and beverages on the go- Make your own favourites and bring your reusable bottles and containers with you, along with the Bag-Box-Bottles for every outing, to avoid creating more plastic waste
• Doggy bags from restaurants- Bring your own containers to pack the leftovers in order to avoid plastic waste
• Grocery Bags- Bring your own reusable shopping bags and containers and say no to any excessive packaging
• Bin liners- Switch to eco-friendly packets/ use plain old newspaper to line your dust-bins

Bathroom Waste-
• Diapers and Feminine hygiene waste- Switch to the modern cloth diapers, Menstrual Cups, reusable Cloth Pads and Panty liners
• Cotton Buds/Q-tips- Switch to eco-friendly alternatives
• Disposable toothbrushes- Switch to bamboo toothbrushes
• Disposable Razors- Switch to the modern stainless steel Safety Razors
• Toiletries- Switch to eco-friendly products or DIYs

Ponder on...S m i l e