Joy of Giving

This simple yet amazing exercise of spreading joy was started by Ritu. She asks her friends to complete a single task within a week. This week she has asked us to say no to showers and use bucket and mug for taking a bath. Read below what she is saying:

This week we have a card that is so easy to follow, any one can do it.

But first, a prelude:

Long ago, taking bath under a shower was considered a luxury. Not only because showers were considered an indulgence but because showers were considered an indulgence due to the amount of water they consumed. A bucket of water was considered enough for a clean, thorough and hygienic bath.

Somehow things changed. Homes with more advanced forms of plumbing became popular. Suddenly it was not enough to just take bath – we needed “rain shower heads” in our bathrooms to replicate the rain that poured naturally… Needless to say, water consumption increased and slowly but steadily through our patterns of water use we started depleting our natural water sources.

Did you know that a 10 minute shower can exhaust 120 liters of water from your tank (@ 12 liters per minute)? With an average of four members in a family, that is almost 500 liters of water everyday; 15000 liters of water a month; 1,82,500 liters per annum.

How can we cut down this massive water consumption without compromising on hygiene? (If I ask my kids they will gladly say “Bathe twice a week!”)

Use a bucket. That’s the card for this week:

To join the Joy of Giving just follow the cards. To know how it started, please click here.


In Pursuit of Happiness: Out of Box Thinking

I feel immense happiness when I saw people flouting all conventional norms and doing something extraordinarily different . It gives me pleasure to write about such people. Bunker Roy can easily belong to the Baba/Baby brigade as he was educated at Doon School and later at St. Stephens College, Delhi. His grand future was all chalked out by parents and society.

Does life means draping yourself in expensive designer clothes? Eating at all the known joints? Visiting all the tourist destinations? For most of us that will be a dream life. We feel happy to feed already overfed people by indulging and copying elites. But there are some out of box thinkers. Due to their efforts humanity moves ahead.

If you want to be a solar engineering degree from Bunker Roy’s Barefoot College, your qualification is either you have to be illiterate or semi-literate. You will get extra point at admission if you are an illiterate grandmother! Honestly I am not joking. This out of box thinking belong to Bunker Roy. Bunker Roy founded Barefoot College in Ajmer, in 1972.

His out of box thinking says you won’t have to be educated to be a solar engineer. Many Indian and African grandmothers under his guidance received training to install, repair and maintain their solar units and now they are training other village women in India and Africa to be solar engineers.

He says that there are only two conditions for acceptance to the program: that the women are older than 45, and that they are illiterate.

Once we train an illiterate woman, they never forget what theyve learned, says Bunker Roy. We find that literate women tend to forget because their mind is so cluttered. With illiterate women, we find that when we visit them in their villages after a few months, they havent lost their knowledge.

Weve found men are quite untrainable, Bunker Roy says. They are restless and ambitious. They want a certificate, and as soon as they get it, they move to cities looking for work. Grandmothers are not interested in a paper to hang on their walls. They stay in their communities. Also, they have the patience to be great trainers.

Bunker Roy was selected as one of Time 100, the 100 most influential personalities in the world by TIME Magazine in 2010. He is busy to bring solar power in the rural, remote, non-electrified villages. To electrify a village he trains the villagers so that they can acquire necessary skills to look after their own power system and don’t have to depend on the outsiders from the city.


If More and More of Us Can Imitate These Cool Dudes

I have read about some real dudes. Though they belong to a very small place but their work is worth emulating. Is there any solution that on Vijayadashmi, we can do something else with Durga Idol instead of immersing it in our already polluted rivers? Will we be able to find out a way. I find some good news from Kanpur (U.P.).



Source: Dainik Jaagran (29/09/09)

And some more good news:

Novel idea to check pollution in Ganga.

Kanpurs city mayor Ravindra Patni and Rajeev Sharma, municipal commissioner identified around five different ghats for Durga Utsav Committees to bury the deity’s idol in the sand instead of water immersion.

"Although, nothing is absolute, but for the sake of saving Ganga, we had to sought for an alternative and no better alternative than this. We are hopeful that the efforts would be fruitful in sensitizing the masses and creating awareness about the eco-friendly moves to be taken even during the festivals," pointed Rakesh Jaiswal, a city based environmentalist welcoming the idea.

I wish if more and more of us can follow this new tradition. They are the real cool dudes on which MSM doesnt want to waste sound bites.


River Gym




River Gym (Image Source: ecofriend)

Currently clean and green living has caught my fancy. I try to read what people are doing to keep our environment clean. Sometimes I come across most amazing ideas. In this fitness conscious world most of us try to do our bit is to remain healthy. When an image of gym conjure up in our mind we often think of hi fi equipments and people sweating their extra calories out while huffing and puffing. But very few thought about the repetitive and controlled motions we make while exercising. The kinetic energy we all produce go waste. Architect Mitchell Joachim, along with Douglas Joachim, a personal trainer think of using the gym enthusiasts activities and convert it into electrical energy.

The best thing is River Gym will float on a sea. So you will not get bored by watching TV or listening music. You can watch the playing waves and scenic and calming beauty of sea. And  your crunches, running on mills or weight training are producing enough electricity to drive the floating boat!


Wash Clothes Using One Cup of Water




Xeros has introducing environmentally friendly washing machine that will use very little water to wash clothes. But common consumers have to wait for such a washing machine. Xeros will produce it for hotels and drycleaners first.

The appliance, which could save billions of litres of water a year, has been developed at the University of Leeds.

It uses less than 10 per cent of the water of conventional machines and 30 per cent less energy by replacing most of the water with thousands of tiny reusable plastic beads to attract and absorb dirt under humid conditions.

Image Source:


Vertical Farming!

I accidently came across this article, The Vertical Farm Project Agriculture for the 21st Century and Beyond. I find the concept of vertical farming simply amazing. They are planning to execute it in 2060. But it seems that vertical farming will meet the need of the growing population. After all we have started living in skyscrapers so why not start farming in such type of buildings too. Someone has rightfully said that a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Image Source: World Culture Pictorial

Vertical pyramid farming