Waste Management

lifestyle, Sustainable Swaps, Tidying Up, Waste Management

Tidying Up The Green Way

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The lovely Alice from Tidy Home has put together a list of ways one can tidy up, while being green

How to Declutter the Green Way

You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo from all the “spark joy” memes and jokes in the media and now her show on Netflix. However, for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past year, she’s a world-renowned expert in organizing who has risen to fame through her no-nonsense approach to decluttering, which means little more than getting rid of old junk.

That’s something you need to do — and now. Studies have shown how living in a cramped environment that’s swamped with clutter causes stress, often leading to serious anxiety disorders and depression. It’s a high price to pay for having all that stuff.

There’s just one problem: all that stuff. You can’t just throw it out, at least not if you have any interest in the environment and keeping your ecological footprint to an absolute minimum. As you already know, the dumps are overflowing and the oceans are filled with plastic. Luckily, there’s a better way to declutter: the green way.

Sell Stuff

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Start off with the most profitable way to get rid of things: in exchange for cold hard cash. That’s never been easier thanks to all the websites created specifically for this purpose, where you’ll find buyers for items that you thought were totally unsellable.

Donate to Charity

As for those items you can’t sell, donating them to charity would make you feel better than tossing them in the garbage. At least somebody’s getting good use out of your old clothes and utensils. If you’re wondering just where to take what, the home experts at the Spruce have broken it all down for you based on 10 categories, from books to tools. As for that old bedding, animal shelters are usually on the lookout for more.

Recycle to the Max

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Even after all the selling and donating, there are bound to be some items you simply can’t sell or give away, perhaps because they’re too worn down or broken beyond repair. These should be recycled, no matter how big they are. My kabadiwala takes everything, from appliances to electronics.

Embrace the Cloud

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Once all of your unwanted stuff is gone, focus on keeping your home clutter-free; one way to do that is going digital. While digging through chests and drawers, you probably came across a few boxes of old photos. Those can be scanned and uploaded to cloud services like Dropbox for better preservation and easier sharing while taking up zero space in your home.

Switch to Electronic Billing

And there’s more when it comes to high tech. If you haven’t been making automated bill payments directly from your bank account, get on that. It eliminates a huge chunk of paper waste from your home and life, which is great when going green and killing clutter. You’ll also avoid missing payments and late fees, resulting in a better credit score and more money.

Think Hard Before Buying

Speaking of more money, the easiest way to have it is by spending less, which also means fewer shopping trips and impulse purchases stuffed in your closet. If that sounds sensible, then take some advice from Living Well Mom and consider seven things before buying anything, beginning with whether the item in question even has a purpose.

Stay Clean

Now that you have more space in your home, keep it spotless. That’s much easier to do when you have a closet stocked with all the right equipment, including a mop, broom, and vacuum cleaner. Speaking of the latter, cordless models offer significant advantages as they’re lighter, more efficient, easier to store, and pose no tripping hazard.

Use Organic Cleaners

Before you start mopping, make sure whatever detergent you pour in the bucket is organic. The same goes for all the other products that keep your home spick and span. You’ll know by the ingredients on the bottle, all of which should be biodegradable.

Now you’re on your way to an organized home and a clearer mind, with no guilt about your impact on the natural environment. That should make you feel better about life.

Beach Clean, Clean4Shore, Plastic not so Fantastic, Waste Management

Organizing A Beach Cleanup

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Early this year, a friend and I had been toying with the idea of organizing a beach cleanup in Mumbai. I’ve been cleaning beaches for a while, usually picking up a bagful of stuff every time I pay a visit. Sometimes only 3 items (check out #take3forthesea on instagram). She saw one of my pictures and messaged me.

Even though summer had come early to Mumbai and we were hitting 40ºC + in April! (go ahead and tell me climate change isn’t real). we started scoping out a few sites. Chowpatty beach, our number one option was pretty clean, it seems the BMC has been doing a good job there for the past decade. So, that was a no go. Next we checked out a small spot opposite the aquarium. There was trash, but mostly flowers, and even in low tide the spot wasn’t too big. On top of that there was ongoing construction.

Somehow we ended up at the Bay View Marina garden at Cuffe parade. It seemed to check off all our boxes.

  • Covered in Trash? – Yes.
  • Large enough to host a cleanup? – Yes
  • Accessible? – Mostly

Free of Poop? – Ummm. Nope! – Unfortunately so many people in India still live without access to a toilet, and sometimes even when they do often prefer to go out in the open


So despite the poo situation, we picked the spot. In the meantime a friend just happened to put me in touch with Divya from Skrap. The timing couldn’t be better.  Permissions fell into place super easily – I have to say, I didn’t think working with the BMC or the local corporator would be such a smooth or pleasant experience.

In the week leading up to the cleanup things got a bit crazy. I made a little graphic on Canva, (not exactly the best graphic, but hey, it was my first time) and shared it with a bunch of groups and on social media.

3 days went by  and it was mostly people who said they couldn’t make it. I was so nervous, what if no one came? What if it was just Annuja and me, squatting on the rocks picking up trash? I had already placed the smallest possible order for facemasks, and 100 of them were arriving at my house soon. What was I going to do with so many?

By Tuesday, a few friends had said they would be there. So that wasn’t so bad. Annuja and I made a couple of site visits, once with the BMC and once after the Farmer’s Market with Divya. We figured out that we could use this time as a dry run and learn from it for when we plan to make it regular.

People who had seen the infographic were emailing , suddenly the registrations started rolling in. Okay, now I was nervous again. What if too many people showed up. What if there wasn’t enough trash (yes, for some reason I thought that was a serious concern)

Anu and I made a checklist, masks, gloves, bagasse glasses for lemonade, lemonade (duh!), a tarp for sorting the waste and finally old cement sacks for collecting the garbage in.

Everything in hand by Saturday evening, except the tarp, I went to bed early. I needed to be on time for starters and no matter how much I try, I am just not a morning person. As it goes, I didn’t sleep that whole night. I had dreams, no nightmares, that it had rained and everything was ruined.

Woke up, got to the site, and I swear one person had shown up early, in Mumbai? Like I said earlier, I was afraid that there wasn’t enough garbage for everyone so we did a bit of a walkabout scouting the shoreline for a “trashier” but came back to our original plan.

But once we started cleaning there was so much. The pieces were small and wedged between the rocks that were piled up to break the tide. Things went incredibly. There were over 30 of us cleaning up (Including some lovely girls from the Udayan Shalini Foundation), filling bag after bag with milk packets and ghost nets. In the end we picked up 50 bags of trash. It isn’t even a dent in the amount of plastic waste that litters our shorelines, but it’s a start.

Stay tuned, because we’re planning the next one, and you are invited! Leave your details here so that we can keep you updated.

Happy cleaning

Waste Management

The Most Important R – Refuse!


We learned the 3 R’s of waste management in school – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Lately the Zero Waste Movement has expanded this

Reduce: Use Less

Reuse: Don’t just throw things away or send them for recycling – use it for something else

Recycle: Send it to the recycling center. This is easier said than done. Often waste ends up in the dump because it wasn’t put in the right bin or wasn’t cleaned before being thrown away.

Recover: Sometimes it’s possible to recover energy or raw materials from items that cannot be, reused, repaired or recycled

Replace: Adopting eco-friendly products vs. those that produce trash

Repair: India has an amazing repair culture, torn pants, take them to the tailor. Broken chappal – guaranteed there is a mochi within walking distance.

And Finally – my new Favourite R – Refuse. It’s almost the same as reduce – but it is more about actively refusing. For example, every time I go to a restaurant, I make the waiter write down “NO STRAW” with my order. It may sound a bit over the top, but believe me, I’ve ended up with plenty a straw even after repeating myself about 10 times.