The Minimalistic Lifestyle

Featured

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the word ‘Minimalist’? Some popular ideas include – an empty house, the colors- black and white, fashion, slow and pale living and most importantly a hell of a commitment. The only one I’d partially agree to is the last. So to break it down to you, being a minimalist, simply means investing your money and time on the things that serve a functional purpose and nothing else.

While we run towards our dreams and aspirations trying miserably to keep it together and find happiness, perhaps we need to sit down with a cup of coffee and think if these dreams we keep running after, this idea of absolute satisfaction and joy is worth this whole struggle. Let’s look into why we are almost all the time in need or something or the other.

Given all that the current market has to offer, like cute Japanese stationery, millions of gadgets convincing you that you need help with just about everything, an option to choose from for every other item, a substitute for everything you probably already own and so on. Just when you decide to not go outside, you realize they’re all ready to deliver it to your doorstep. it may seem like a struggle but try to look at the bigger picture. Why are we constantly in search of something? Can we ever actually be content?

A popular blogger and minimalist, Leo Babauta wrote, ‘An ongoing quest for me, and one that I am renewing this year is to eliminate all that is unnecessary from my life.’ he continues by explaining what is truly necessary for life and that the rest can be avoided.

We are constantly engaged in making a list of things we believe we need. Seldom do we pause to question, ‘why’ and ‘Is it important?. ‘This isn’t limited to the market, even with relationships and any general investment of time or effort, we need to question if it’s truly worth it. Because if you do figure out the key to living a life that is simple and control this constant rush towards everything that your eyes fall on, that is when you’ll be a little more content and as far as happiness is concerned, well decluttering the unnecessary has never brought anybody sorrow. Unburdening yourself will ensure you control waste and save time.

Featured

Why are environment issues mainstream?

As species who place themselves above the eco-chain, it is inevitable for humans to not participate in everything that goes about in the world, both green and grey. Through the recent years, there have been loud attempts to increase awareness amongst people about the nature of impact we have on everything we touch. From our deepest oceans to the mountain tops, we’ve left an imprint, one that we mustn’t be proud of. Disturbing all that co-exists and still expecting minimal disturbance for our comfort is probably just one of our many hypocritical acts.

We stand at a time and place where we know the consequences to our actions and yet somehow convince ourselves to remain passive. We may not seem to care about the pile we add to this nurturing planet but we sure complain every time it behaves undesirably.

This is where write-ups come in hand. We know that we’ve been conditioned to not care about nature although that’s all we’ve read growing up. Adults, with their adult problems, often forget what the purpose of awareness truly is. People who share an interest in matters related to the environment and take the time to write on it usually have one of the two aims. Firstly, to make readers understand what their actions result in and secondly, what actions to take, both aspiring to build a crowd that shows gratitude to this ever giving planet, and respecting its limitations.

So why must one read up on environment write-ups? Problems like the use of plastic, petrol, or any other material that we believe have no substitute and are the foundation of a comfortable life can be broken down with the help of such write-ups. Furthermore, there is an ease of transitioning from a careless lifestyle to one where one makes conscious efforts to make minimal damage to nature and live sustainably.

Lighter write-ups that present complex information by breaking it down in a way that it facilitates broader and better understanding amongst all who seek information regarding the same. For all the clusters that exists, there’s almost always a simple solution, one that needs to be brought to light for the masses to use as the guiding force.

Tutorials on how to live green, promotion of organic farming, books and other write-ups on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, advertisement of eco-friendly products and services are all functional steps that help achieve a better standard.

Water : Too much or Too Little?

In a country like India it isn’t news that resources are kept at the doorstep for some and kept at the horizon for others. The rich and poor divide isn’t just theory around the nation, it’s a daily sight for everybody. Nobody really knows who to blame but it’s time we look into the logistics of the same.

The city of Bangalore acts as a crucial example for all that’s wrong with the entire country considering it’s the IT hub as well as the ‘Garden City’. Over the city, there is almost some construction work going on every day – be it drains, potholes, footpaths, flyovers etc. What media fails to mention is that every time there is a “crisis management” it is almost never planned, this is because there is no central account kept of all the development projects. Which means that drains are fixed right after road construction is accounted for.

This brings the spotlight to the authorities who take immense pride in boasting about all the “development” they’ve been aiding. The state has no ‘single/central plan’ for wholesome improvement which means they continue to invest millions from the treasure called ‘tax’ unthinkingly and this is problematic.

There are only a few things that are more problematic than improper management of resources, (which can be discussed on a later work) the most recent concern has been that revolving water. For a planet that is 2/3rd water we sure have a lot of water related concerns, this means both abundance and scarcity of the matter can kill the entire human race and for the same reason is something that should be written about.

In recent news, India has experienced floods in Karnataka and Kerala, two states where there were zero precautions taken for the same on a practical level. This is a result of inexperience on crisis and disaster management which is not a limited to “reaction” but also pro action. This includes coming up with a proper detailed safeguarding plans which ensure that any future disasters will cause minimal damage.  Which is absent in the present development cells.

Lets look at Bangalore City

The metropolitan city that hugs multiple cultures has drains almost at every nook and corner but the question is :

  1. Where do they meet?
  2. How is sewage treated?
  3. Are drains maintained regularly?
  4. How often are the drains blocked?
  5. Do the drains help during heavy rains?
  6. How effective are the road plans with regard to drains?
  1. Where do they meet?

These are all problems that end with revelation of the harsh reality. In practice, the locals almost always complain about how the drains  meeting up with lakes and ponds thereby polluting whatever water resources are available. This further leads to health issues and a larger problem of water scarcity.

India has not had the luxury of planning cities but Chandigarh, the shared capital of Punjab and Haryana stands as a classic example of why it should be popular and implemented.

For any piece of land to hold commercial and livelihood standards, a plan is essential. A systematic distribution of elements, a proper treatment of waste water along with other resources is a game changer for any economy.

In the city of Chandigarh not only is the commute planned but also the flow of drinking water, sewage and water bodies.  Bangalore, on the contrary rarely even carries out maintenance work for the existing drain networks. This just results in clogged drains, overflowing of water on a light downpour, scavenging and a fundamental destruction of all road or land projects.

The drains in the city usually pollute water bodies; a typical example is that of the foaming news of Bellandur lake. Other small towns usually have to wait for the local government inspections to even bring the problem to attention and then the wait for an actual situation takes another decade.

Most of the people are unaware of the pollution of water. This is typical of cities were overcrowding is a growing concern. This means high risks of communal diseases and damage beyond control.

  • How is sewage treated?

The bbmp along with all other state municipals have slight to no clue about waste water. This isn’t a local issue, it’s a national issue considering almost to state treats their waste water is a resourceful manner. The grey water is never flittered and sent for irrigation nor is it sent for treatment. Which means that we continue to exploit water until we can complain about its unavailability.

The sewage doesn’t collect in one big area, it is disseminated at various spots and because the covered drains are usually blocked due to the ignorance of the citizens, who take much pride in throwing out their garbage into the nearest water body, it isn’t surprising that treating this water would take a lot of effort.

Having stated that, other than private hotels and some companies, there is no real public sewage treatment plants. Most of the sewage is diverted to the lesser populated parts of the city, a disaster of a idea.  [https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-bengalurus-sewage-treatment-plants-may-never-be-enough-city]

  • Are drains maintained regularly?

The city has closed drains, which is admirable but these drains have slots for the water to run in which are very conveniently always blocked therefore cancelling out the very purpose of the drains. A simple way to avoid this and many other damages is by maintaining what we’ve already invested in. 

This doesn’t mean waiting for the rainfall to dig up freshly constructed roads in order to fix clogs. This means a regular check on the drains, proper filtering of waste, designing roads in favour of the flow and using assertive methods to ensure people aren’t throwing around garbage wherever they want.

  • How often are the drains blocked?

To clearly understand this, one can refer documentaries like “This is how we do it: cleaning a sewage.”  In simple words, drains in the country are blocked by a range of things like – construction waste, heavy plastic, cans and sometimes even dead animals.

In Delhi, the major internal stormwater drains were were caused by garbage, so much that TOI carried the news.  [https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/most-internal-stormwater-drains-blocked-by-garbage/articleshow/]

In the city of Bangalore, as depicted in the picture attached, the drains are blocked by as small as tea cups to unmanaged plastic.

The problem comes when we realise how quickly our drains block. MG road, the primary spot in the city were maintenance work isn’t as rare as the rest of it, drains get clogged the very hour after BBMP clears out waste. This indicates that citizens are just as responsible for clogged drains.

  • Do the drains help during heavy rains?

The city is currently experiencing a late monsoon, thanks to global  warming and the general ignorance around environment. What is worse than unnaturally heavy rain? Rain with nowhere to go. This is one of the reasons drains were built in the first place around commuting areas. Taking a drive around the city during a downpour accounts for the quality of the rains, not only does the water have no escape (due to blocks) but the water from the drains comes right out. This is because of the point mentioned in the introduction – improper management of resources. As the roads and drain maintenance is done without central plan, the roads are no longer slant slightly towards the drains but are the other way around. This is clearly evident in some parts of the city, thereby, yet again, cancelling out its very purpose, which is the sixth point of the argument made.

This ignorant use of water that is used and of the usable rainwater is to be looked upon while we complain of both water scarcity and floods. Planning the use and reuse of our resources sustainably will not only minimize our present chaos but also safeguard our future. The city of Bangalore represents all cities in the nation, one can only imagine the damages caused in areas with lesser commercial value.

Here are some images taken through smart phone while observing the water chaos in and around the city.

Not about green life. Perhaps Green mind?

Been in your pajamas all day? Complaining about how your day got ruined because your mom forgot to make you favorite breakfast?

It irritates me to see people constantly complain about how their day got ruined because of one thing or the other. Do I do the same thing, yes I do. Do I plan on doing something about it, yes I do. I’m not a morning person, so every time I get off the bed, I’m cranky, sleepy and probably cursing everything and everyone. We have 24 hours a day, how many of us actually use 50% of it? You can spend your day like a robot and complain why you’re day isn’t better or you could actually give a damn about other people, help them out a little bit, try not to be a complete @#$& , do something productive or helpful and come back to your home feeling a tiny bit better about yourself.

If we constantly focus on just ourselves we’d have very little reasons to be happy. Do something, make a difference and then maybe you could sit back and feel good about yourself. Help someone in need. Tell your friends they are important. Stop looking at the mirror and maybe look at your friend for once. Try keeping the phone away next time somebody tries to talk with you. In short , be someone you would respect. Become a person who is honest, worthy of respect and most of all loving.

Why did I bring this up? Its quite simple, we have all come to this point where kindness is a miracle and being selfish is a survival adaptation and self explanatory. How many times have you asked somebody to shut up? How many times have you cursed for no reason at all? How many times did you try to make someone smile today?

These are all pretty simple questions we can ask ourselves. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be a kind person. And honestly, the world could use a little bit of kindness and love.

Accidentally Eco-friendly

It’s lovely to know that some habits, that come naturally to us are a step in the right way. The problem however is that the majority of our habits aren’t “Ideal.”

Here are some of the observations I made this month.

CCD seems to be doing it right! Greener options at your counter!
Met this vendor names Aruna, told me ” Everybody needs a matka during summer, so I made it more High Tech”
A friend recently yelled out ” ‘Eco part of ecofriendly’ but all freaking plastic bottles”, do you read out descriptions too? These folks

Some of the things we do right involve :

  1. Using stairs instead of elevators in our buildings – Not only is this a healthier option but it also ensures saving some amount electricity and let’s not forget all the infrastructural waste involved. Some of us don’t do this because of all the money involved and I believe it comes to mind only after making a building with more than 4 floors, traditionally speaking.
  2. Utensils – Steel/wooden/mud utensils are quite popular in some cultures, more so in Asian kitchens, these are great alternatives for plastic. The use of such utensils and other kitchen appliances ensures long term use and easy disposal.
  3. Our storage choices – One of the perks of not having great import material selection in my country is the absence of zip-lock bags. I know, super convenient. But here’s the thing, you get a 100 in a pack and suddenly you need a ziplock for everything. Not so ideal. In the absence of such luxuries, you store your fruits normally i.e, without a shield, which is quite appropriate if you ask me. Use your containers, or store them casually, all it takes is regular cleaning – which I support and encourage.
  4. Social Media Addiction – We keep scrolling, in the morning, while using the loo, at the bus stand, in bed, everywhere. The chances of us not knowing about environmental issues is extremely minimal. And every once in a while it affects a person or two, which is the intention of this blog as well. With the prominent discussions on the issue, even the smallest group of people who are affected is a good sign.

Things you need to stop buying right now.

So many of us fall into the trap of capitalists and drain our energy and income on buying everything available in the market. Everytime money flows into our hands we run to the nearest store and fill up our carts and expect happiness over the counter.

“If you’re someone who cares about environment, then being a minimalist is easier but people usually tend to find it very challenging when they’re not sure about their priorities. That is until they practice it and suddenly their bank account isn’t as sad as it used to be before,”


Ms. Justine Adams, an environmentalist.

One of the most compelling reasons to try out this lifestyle seems to be the better investment of money and few people are willing to try it out. If you’re someone who never feels good enough about the things you own and keep thinking “I need to go shopping,” here are some things you can stop buying.

  1. Bags – Think about it, how many bags do you need? Like really. How many of the 7-15 bags you own, do you use? Theres no need for a giant collection of bags because most of them serve the same purpose. Now if your argument is “But they don’t all go with every piece of clothing,” my response would be, life isn’t a runway in this particular sense. Do get or DIY cloth bags to avoid buying plastic bags but don’t get too much of any thing. Follow the golden rule – Get your basics
  2. Show pieces – You want to upscale your place? The first thing that comes to mind happens to be decor items. They serve no real purpose. Its as simple as that. Instead of getting an odd giant dog statue (Friends reference, I know) get a functional item. Invest in a plant, a real one, breath a little better. Put up photographs and no mini statues, your house doesn’t have to be museum.
  3. Furniture – So many of us have a dinning set thats just there, serving no or minimal function. Stop buying furniture in bulk, understand that for a house of four, four chairs is enough. Don’t rationalise it with “What if guests come?.” Thrift furniture, this helps you save money and ensure you don’t fall for the ‘wholesale’ idea.
  4. Grocery list – By the age of 20 or 25, I’m sure many of us develop a mental list of the things we eat as per the quantity. So while shopping for grocery, don’t pull in that chips packet (Struggling with it myself), buy items in bulk so you don’t keep running errands. Look for longevity of products rather than packaging appeals. Before going to the counter, go through the items and check if there is anything that’s avoidable.
  5. Water Bottles – An extremely small item but one that makes a huge impact. Take the effort of carrying a water bottle with you, do not try to be a camel. Carry water to avoid buying small water bottles that get dumped almost instantly. Same goes for other drinks, if you have the choice of getting the drinks in paper cups or glass bottles,prefer that over tetra-packs.
  6. Body wash and Lotion spray – Inexpensive and most importantly, doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. So many of us fall into the idea of “its easier with a shower gel” or , in the case of body lotion”why apply lotion when you can spray it?” Because, these aren’t tiresome tasks. Take a moment to understand that using soap, isn’t similar to moving a huge rock, it’s legit the size of your palm. Advertisers know their job and so now you think having a gel is going to make your bath-time easier.
  7. Shoes – “But there are so many options!!! I need one for each kind of outfit,” is something my sister told me a week ago. After being asked, “How many of them do you use regularly, we both came to the conclusion that she didn’t, infact need all those shoes. Again, the golden rule of basics can be applied here. Keep it simple and understand the role of a shoe.

These are small steps to ensure that your wallet doesn’t drain out. Buy things when you have to, don’t make purchases for the sake of it. If you restrain yourself from buying items that are unnecessary you will have the luxury of savings, most importantly a sense of security and if you’re doing it right, you might just find happiness and contentment.

Minimalist – What’s enough?

Quick update on my life, I’ve been trying to be mindful of my actions. The struggle is real when it comes to sorting out the media content I expose myself to but very recently I happen to choose a documentary instead of binge watching on anime, Titled “Minimalist.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Co1Iptd4p4 (Directed by- Matt D’Avella, available on Netflix)

I have to admit that I made that choice because that’s one lifestyle I’ve been trying to adopt. But once I got around 10 minutes through, I realised I was in for a movie that was going to disturb me just enough to think about ‘What’s enough?’

The movie speaks about so many things and I’d suggest it to everyone who has the time but here’s a list of focus points mentioned in it that I personally would like to bring to your attention.

“We have a lot of personal space now than we did in the 50s but people don’t use this space the way they should and now there’s a 2.2 billion square foot personal storage industry.”

“People use only about 40% of the space in their homes.”

My reaction? Disappointed but not surprised. Now clearly this is a study of the US but I’m sure the situation is all too relatable for most countries, we live in big houses but we always are in need of more space. From what I see around, the idea of improper use of space is all to common – which is something that can be dealt with on an individualistic level.

Nothing is more responsible than living in the smallest space you possibly can”

Talking about tiny houses, Jake Austin mentions how “There’s this element of affordability, simplicity and sustainability that just makes tiny houses seem like a perfect solution and one that makes sense environmentally”

If you haven’t already familiarised yourself with the concept of tiny houses, I shall be talking about it in the next blog, for now they are exactly what they sound like – small living spaces that are extremely functional. In a era where population seems to be ever growing, tiny houses not only act as a logical option but their minimal footprint also allows nature to get minimum recovery rate.

We’re confused about what makes us happy. Everytime money lands in our hands, we run to the nearest market and spend money on what we think we need. The urge is so real, you readily fight with your own self to buy it. This unthoughtful buying behaviour is what’s makes us think we have all we need to be happy over the counter. For us to be happy we need to balance what we need in fair amounts and not rip our pockets trying to live a life that has no direction whatsoever.

Our attachment spill from people to objects. We look at objects the same way we look at people”

Our constant need of attachment has tied us to the log of irrationality. If we can’t get over a piece of clothing from over ten years ago, how can we expect to get over toxic or unwanted attachments with people? It all starts on the ground level.

“You can never get enough of what you really don’t want”

Rick Hauson (PhD. Neuropsychology)

We need a new laptop, we need a new phone, we need that particular coat just because we saw it on one of the celebrities, we need that cute something that serves no real function, we need a car… What do we really want? And how long will we want it for? There’s always going to be something better, something you can’t achieve so whats the point of running like everybody else? It’s time you go back and read why the rabbit and tortoise ran in the first place, nobody remembers why but we all obsessed over the turtle winning. This race is created for you and if you start moving back or even just slow down, you might just see something that makes you smile a bit wider.

We’re never going to able to achieve the environmental gains that we’re seeking while still expecting our lives to be the same. We’re going to have to give up a lot. But a lot that, we’re not actually going to miss.

I’ll leave that quote for you, to understand and really ponder upon.

If you get the time and if you’re interested in finding the elixir, one that shows you that simplicity is the way to attaining satisfaction, I recommend you to watch the above mentioned movie.

Take A Deep Breath…

Here are some of my favourite spots to spend quality time in. Some may say poetry has been mankind’s greatest contribution to the planet but to all those, I ask you to look closely and truly breathe in this magical dust we spread with every step. These are just some of the ones that have taken my breath away, literally, I will constantly update it with more content to ensure that nobody misses out on such wonderful sight.

I urge you to take it all in with a deep breath, let your heart pump in blood and oxygen to your brain,in order for you to think and remember, the last thing I’d want of you is to relax. Lets start our deep breathing sessions, shall we?

He’s adjusted to your crap, will you?
Why wait when there’s all this place to throw garbage!
Wanna bend down and take a quick sip?

We messed up and it is late but don’t let that USB cord you threw away into the water, years ago, crawl back around your leg and sink you into the never-ending ocean of garbage you made with billion others.

I urge you take a picture next time you see a site like this or one that makes you hold your breath, share it across so that we all get the prick we need to get our act together. And for completely selfish reasons, I ask you to share it in the comment box as well!

Tried Going Zero Waste Yet?



Lets say you’ve grown up and decided to get your act together. This would involve starting a savings account, buying less and investing more, buying something like a plant or pet to test your responsible self and if you’ve figured it all, you think of the Zero-Waste life.








When I thought of giving it a try, here are all the reasons that it didn’t quite work out.





Supermarkets sell nothing without plastic. The toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, food products, name it and it’s probably packed in plastic. A few items like – jam, sugar and other items sold loosely might seem like a good option but it’s rare to find paper bags for them as well.





Here’s where traditional stores stand out. Indians are familiar with the concept of “Sabzi mandi” which roughly translates to market I suppose. I remember visiting these kind of markets when I was younger. The reason i mention this is because these markets sold almost everything with no plastic in the picture. People were expected to carry tins and cloth bags to carry the veges and grains. Slowly plastic crawled in and we lost our ways to markets.





Having failed in my attempt, I did what I do best, YouTubed “How to get into the Zero waste life?” The results were fun, A bunch of folks tried the lifestyle and tracked zero waste stores that were build exclusively to make sure that the use plastic was controlled. For those who don’t know how these stores work, it’s basically a supermarket but one that requires you to carry your containers to buy things. Lets say you have a container for dish soap or cereal, you can get them to the store, buy directly in it (the container and material will be weighed separately). This way you avoid packaging and you don’t even have to unpack.





Now I’m all about that but then I didn’t find a store of that kind around my place, so I went on and did some online shopping, or tried to at least. Again, nothing comes without packaging and therefore i went to the packagefreeshop (its the name of a store I did not make that up), don’t get me wrong, I think they’re great but do I want to be bankrupt trying to ship products to India? No thanks.





So what did I learn? The availability of products without plastic does help people to make a sound choice but they shouldn’t be scared off by the price. Also, If you can carry a bag/container and visit a market or places that do offer you option, take the step. Maybe we can stop making more food delivery systems and work on companies with similar values like the packagefree.

Baby ways to go green (^.^)

As someone who constantly irritates people with the whole ‘ do not litter’, ‘don’t ask for the straw’ and my most favorite-why aren’t you using the bamboo toothbrush I got you’, It’s quite common that I hear the question, ‘Do you seriously care? And if you do, do you really take all that effort?’

My answer to this, very honestly, is that I try but I clearly don’t have it all figured out just yet. And although I’m generally cynical, I tend to be strangely optimistic about this one thing.

Since I’m no expert myself, I think it’s not a very bad idea to share some of the things I personally take care of to reduce plastic consumption.

A. Steel alternatives.
Having steel cutlery instead of plastic helps in more ways than one. I also tend to gather wooden forks and spoons that come with the food deliveries, they come handy.

Steel bottle instead of plastic has been my most mature decision after hitting 20. I Recommend it.

Steel cloth hanging clips – this may be unpopular but it’s just a lifesaver – never breaks.

B. Toiletries
Toothbrush – You guessed it right, bamboo toothbrushes. I also got some cute wheat fiber ones off of amazon. Now if you don’t think changing toothbrushes is important, allow me to enlighten you, every toothbrush ever used, till date, remains exactly the same. (Allow it to bother you)

Soap dish – not sure what exactly they’re called but there are Eco-friendly options for these. High end and low end. So next time maybe try it out. (It’s waterproof if that’s worrying you)

Soap dispensers- After a lot of time on online markets, I decided that soap dispensers weren’t something I’d put money on just yet (hostel rooms aren’t the best place to invest), and so I reuse the little bottles for the same. This doesn’t help too much but buying refill packs is better than buying new bottles every time.

C. Cloth bags
Very recent practice and one that takes much getting used to, is carrying a cloth bag every time I step out to the market. Having a backpack as your constant fashion statement helps a lot. Avoiding polybags whenever possible is also a choice we need to make.

D. Cloth mats
Honestly, there’s inexpensive, so that’s perfect and the only thing better than throwing a plastic mat is throwing a cloth one.

E. Straws
I personally try to avoid plastic straws every time possible but I do save an Eco-friendly one at my room for any straw emergency. Most places do give paper straws now so that’s a relief.

F. Less plastic

It’s important to understand that plastic isn’t the lifesaver. Even if its something as small as earbuds, if you can look for the wooden ones, that’d make a difference. Prior to purchasing any item, it is essential we look for greener options. I’m guilty of falling for the packaging and cute presentation of items but my attempt to reduce the flow of plastic items to the room is real.

These are just some of the little ways I keep my little green soul happy, I shall continue to try and make plastic disappear from my life, I hope you feel the same as well.

Let’s Learn From The Carbon Negative, Shall We?

While we talk about our struggles and issues, it’s important we look at the ones who are doing it right. It is getting dull how the so-called “developed” countries continue their talks about climate change. When are we actually going to see actions? When will people collectively understand that global warming isn’t a myth? Will we act in time?

These are all questions that we must ponder upon. For now, let’s look at a country who’s doing it right. Bhutan, a baby country squished between India and China stands out for plenty of reasons. The country is known for its tourism and monasteries. Bhutan is always widely popular as “The land of Happy People,” given the google images and some travelogs, I happen to agree with this idea.

The country priorities national happiness over national product, which to me, is quite lovely. The legislation not only gives free education but also provides free healthcare and medicines to all its citizens.

My favorite part of this country is its constitution that demands that a minimum of 60% of Bhutan’s land must remain under forest cover. Take a moment to appreciate that. Allow it to sink in while you stare at your foe plants.

72% of the country is covered in virgin forest. 80% of the population depends on agriculture but if you’re picturing a sad green place (if that’s even a thing), you’re extremely wrong. The government provides subsidies for electric automobiles and even supplies free electricity to its rural farmers among many other facilities to ensure that the citizens are happy and not merely participants of the state.

Bhutan is the ONLY Carbon Negative country in the world.         

What exactly is a carbon negative country? In simple terms, Bhutan has enough forest cover to balance out the carbon dioxide it produces and still have more goodness to give out, which is not even a dream for the countries today. This small country has kept their promise they made around 2009 and here we are.

So what have we really achieved while trying to be the most powerful country, the most technologically advanced, the best military? This would all be pretty tragic if we die because we couldn’t handle this mess called “global warming” we created and billion years from now if we were studied it would all look like some sort of mass suicide. Then again, we do have our choices to make, if yours is to join the cult that drives right into the pit, sure go ahead. If not, maybe it’s time we learned from those around us.

The Right Kind Of Waste

My last blog was about taking waste disposal seriously. It got me into thinking, how do we differentiate the right kind of waste from the giant pile of mess?

The whole biodegradable versus non-biodegradable is too obvious here. Let’s break it down to a practical level, shall we?

To nobody’s surprise, FMCG Products win the trophy for generating the biggest pile of garbage. Why? because we believe that there is no immediate alternative for the same. Since this includes everything from toiletries to over-the-counter medicines, people often choose to not look for any solutions.

A start would be – look into the recycling quality, purchase refill packets, consider a store that sells items loose (like food grains) and find your personal way of storage, switch from shampoo bottles to shampoo bars, try out bamboo toothbrushes, keep plastic off of your shopping list.

Medicine packaging usually has better recycling potential but unfortunately for some countries, including mine, the options are limited. People either don’t segregate at all or simply collect a separate pile because they can’t burn them (there are others who simply throw them away, but why talk about the mindless?)

Food waste is another popularly misunderstood issue. If you throw your food in a plastic bag, that’s not biodegradable. Collecting wet waste and ensuring that it gets decomposed is an understated responsibility.

There are various ways to deal with food waste, my favorite observation in these past few days have been – crows. Strangely nobody’s favorite bird but a perfect solution to food waste. Crows not only provide direct pick up of the waste but also don’t come with any peculiar demands. So maybe next time, don’t be so hateful towards them.

That’s a picture of a tender coconut water seller near my place, or as I like to call him “the coconut wala.” The reason I mention him is that this man feels quite alright to throw the coconut shells behind him (as you can see). Is that waste? yes. Does that cause discomfort to others? Perhaps it does. But it is still biodegradable, right? If you think that’s okay, that’s exactly what’s wrong.

Do not use “but it’s biodegradable” as an excuse to throw waste wherever you want. If you throw paper on a tiled floor, it’s not gonna decompose itself. Understanding this difference is so very crucial. This isn’t an alien concept to anybody and yet we forget our basic learning of biology whilst we try to understand the human brain.