Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guest Post: Akhila

It is two weeks after our last post. A lot has happened after that. One of which was this:

More details of that event, in another post.

But this post, is all about introducing my friend, Akhila. (She is the architect who designed the renovation of our house) and is yet another sustainability geek. She and her husband Basav follow a lifestyle similar to ours,  and are our recycle-pool buddies as well. All that apart, she is also an amazingly creative person, who has done a lot of cool things in and around her house by upcycling some of her wastes. So over to her now:

Hi, I'm Akhila. I am basically a conservation architect. And this is how I've embraced sustainability in my life. (Besides reusing buildings as a career focus :) )

a. I am also a zero waste warrior. I've made different containers for different types of  dry wastes using newspapers

b. I also have been composting from the day I got to know of it (about two years now). I've been constantly trying to improve the whole composting lifecycle and have recently switched to ReapBenefit's Degrade accellerators.

c. I work from home (yeay!) so I barely have any daily carbon foot print. Whenever I need to go out, I either walk or take the bus. My work involves me to go to different sites across Karnataka (for now) and I use trains for most of my commute. Car is reserved for weekend trips mostly.

d. I live close to a market, and hence, buy what I need, so lesser storage, lesser wastage. I also use only cloth bags ( I have one in each of my purses) for shopping.

e. I switched to a tab recently. This has simplified a lot in my life. I don't carry printed reports as they're loaded in my tab. I can annotate pictures that I take in my tab as well.

f. I always carry a small water bottle in my bag. So, I avoid buying a water bottle wherever I go.

g. I make most of the "ready to use" condiments in my kitchen: like butter, different masalas. It is that much packaging saved.

h. Whenever I gift something, I pack my gifts in newspaper and jazz it up with some colour - either in form of coloured tapes or colour paper strips, thus saving on paper.

i. And, whenever I'm bored at home, I make stuff with what I have! These are some of the things I've made:

a) CD Coasters - fabric paint on the CDs for the colour and pattern covered with a layer of cling-wrap to keep it from peeling plus making it easy to wash
b) Pizza cartons/ cardboard packaging
  - lamp shade - a (stuffed) old carton for the base, the cardboard core of kitchen towel roll as the support, pizza carton cut in trapezium (stuck together with glue + tape). Fabric paint helped add colour and cover the print. To support the bulb holder, I re-shaped an old hanger (wire, not plastic) and fixed it inside the lamp.
  - shelves - Cardboard packaging cut to required size. While i just covered them with clingwrap (easier cleaning of oil spills from lamp), they can be just painted also. Hung them  from exisitng glass shelf using carbdoard strips, thread and leftover hanger wire. So I extended my single shelf into 3!
c) Leftover cloth - used excess cloth from dress material to make veggie bags for my refrigerator
Lamp shade

Coasters from old CDs
Veggie Bags from leftover cloth


So, let me know if anyone needs any more details of how I created these or want me to make any for you in the comments section. Thank you!

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