Sustainable living

Green crusader shows the way forward in zero-waste lifestyle

Makes bio-enzymes out of household waste | Exhorts people to shun use of plastic

Green crusader shows the way forward in zero-waste lifestyle

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 2

Architect Meenal Verma organised a puja at her place a few days ago and chose not to dump fresh marigold flowers. Instead she chose to make a bio-enzyme out of these which she plans to use as an insecticide.

“I put all flowers in two disposable bottles, added some jaggery, water and concentrate from a previous bio-enzyme bottle and used it after a few weeks,” she said, while showing the bottles. “My aim is to create a zero-waste environment. I try not to bring any plastic bag in my home and if I happen to use them by chance, I make it a point not to throw them in the dustbin. Instead, I store them till I am able to collect enough to weave a smart, usable handbag.”

She has been educating people on environment issues by way of videos, photographs, webinars etc, which she keeps on organising through her FB page ‘Sense by Meenal Verma’ and another popular page among residents ‘NoticeBoard – Jalandhar by Tinu Luthra’.

Last month, she also got picked as ‘Recyling Hero’ by the Swachh Bharat Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

She is already the winner of the Water Hero Award by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, last year.

In fact, Verma has been a crusader for water conservation for the past many years. “I had been going door-to-door, telling people not to use water unscrupulously for washing cars or porch areas and verandahs. I have been telling people not to go in for RO filters as these are not required here and lead to a lot of wastage of water. I keep drums on my rooftop to harness rainwater and reuse it for watering plants, cleaning floors and other purposes for which we must not use potable water. I do not let the water used for washing fruits and vegetables go waste and reuse it for some other purpose. I tell people who are constructing their houses to get tanks of treated water from the Pholariwal plant for the purpose,” says the 41-year-old who has been on mission "save environment" since her school days in Chandigarh.

Even as an architect she keeps advising her clients not to indulge in designs such as using huge glasses for windows. “We only end up creating tandoors as these are not fit for the kind of climate that we have here in the region. Ideally, we need to ensure that there is proper cross-ventilation in the house. I also suggest my clients to have a well-ventilated kitchen. I tell them not to keep the drain area in the kitchen covered with wooden cabinets as it only invites pests.

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