Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly’

Biodegradable containers on a very long train journey

December 4, 2013

I was away in the foothills of the Himalaya, very far away (the journey from Bangalore to Guwahati alone was 2992 km, and passed through 8 states…Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam!) and came back with such a variety of experiences.

Just wanted to mention, in today’s world of plastic bags and cups, the biodegradable containers that are still being used in many places, that I saw on the train.

One is what is called, in Bengali, “bhAnd” (or matkA in Hindi)…the earthen cup that can be thrown on the tracks, or out of the window, or anywhere, because the mud will disintegrate again:

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This one contained “mishti doi” (sweet yogurt), one of the specialities of Bengal.

It was covered by a bit of newspaper and a rubber band:

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This was, after ages, a typical “bhAndEr chA” (tea-in-a-mud-pot)…it has a taste all its own:

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As you can see, it goes well with the cryptic crossword (that’s from The Telegraph).

When the “JhAlmoodiwAlA” came by, I asked for some,

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I got it in this “tongA”, which is Bengali for this kind of paper container:

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It’s better than an ordinary folded paper bag, as when it opens out, it has some width, and sits well on a countertop:

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The third container I liked very much was the “dOnA” (called donnai in Tamizh, and dOnA in Kannada, too), which is made of a certain type of leaf;they are stitched together, very expertly, and shaped into bowl-shapes:

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Can you see the way the stick has been expertly used to “stitch” the leaves in place?

How I wish these traditional, “eco-friendly” (to use a hackneyed term) and full-of-character containers continue to be used, and are NOT replaced by Ghastly Plastic….

Staples….

October 25, 2011

Staples. A “staple” is something that is supposed to be very good…it forms the main part of what we eat, for example. But another kind of staple…those ubiquitous little twice-folded pieces of metal that hold two surfaces together…seems to be taking over the world. They are so popular that a famous chain of stationery is named after them!

I’ve learnt to utterly detest staples. Every document of an official nature that arrives at my doorstep seems to be festooned with them. A cheque or an important document is attached to the covering letter with one, the envelopes are often closed with two or three more, and several other staples seem to be added on in some random way, for what reason, I cannot fathom.

What is even worse is that so many packets of foodstuff are stapled shut. Every so often, these staples make their way into the packets themselves, and are a deadly danger to the unwary consumer. I remember, long ago, finding a staple in a dish of pulao that I’d ordered (it was the Peacock restaurant that used to be on Residency Road) and I promptly quipped that “rice is our staple diet, and the restaurant cooks know that!”

I googled around and can’t see much on the impact that staples have on the environment…but surely millions of small pieces of sharp metal can’t be a Good Thing!

So I was quite happy when a forward from Padma Kanani of Kalanjali gave the following news:

“Environmental company creates a staple-free stapler to avoid staple pollution.

“Staples are supposed to be so bad to the environment that a company decided to create a staple-free stapler. This product promises to make collation eco-friendly. Instead of using those thin metal planet-killers, the staple-free stapler “cuts out tiny strips of paper and uses the strips to stitch up to five pieces of paper together.” You can even order them customized with your corporate logo so you can, you know, brag about what your company is doing to stop the staple epidemic.”

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I would like to use one, but first I have to first find out how it works! Goodbye to the “staple” diet hereafter! Let me google and find out where I can get one…or, alternatively, I resolve to use only paper clips…and reuse them, too. Can anyone tell me who makes this eco-friendly stapler?

This post is for Venkat Mangudi, whose post on Facebook, and Gabin’s comment on it, that got me back to the subject of staples!

The Dilemma…that is, Emma’s heart…

August 13, 2008

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/348-eco-friendly-questions

Spent a short but peaceful time at Lalbagh this morning…will post some pictures later…

Protected: The environmentalist/ecologist/activist’s dilemma…..

July 28, 2008

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Whoa, Rohan!

August 31, 2007

Here’s rohan_kini‘s entry about an initiative by two young men to publicize the merits of cycling, and the dangers of global warming:

http://rohan-kini.livejournal.com/89888.html

I was typing out my comment to him, when I decided that I would make a post of it:

Well, Rohan, I am not belittling the effort of these young men, but I do take issue with your assumption that only if you do something oriented towards publicity are you doing your bit. What about the rest of us, who walk and cycle wherever we can, who take our own bags to the market, who make sure our neighbours don’t litter? I do feel that PR seems to be the name of the game…you must do even good things in a “cool” way in order to be praiseworthy!

Not all of us stop at cribbing, you know. Many of us try to do whatever we can; but few of us are articulate or vocal about it…especially since we feel we are in a small minority.

When I had started cycling, (I don’t cycle for weekend trips, but do so for all my daily work, instead of taking the car), I phoned up the number that had been given in the newspaper about a cycling initiative (which Bob Hoekstra had joined). I was told I was too old for the campaign, and that they wanted only “well-known” people, for weekend cycling. Humph!

What I appreciate about people like you, Rohan, is that you cycle DAILY to work, and also do your weekend leisure activities without polluting the environment.

Yes, many of us in the city may be apathetic.

But- don’t dismiss the rest of us with one line–“But have not seen anyone do anything about this” –just like that!

And…I want you to keep in touch with these people …two years later…are they still cycling? Are they still following the same precepts? That would be a sustained effort, after making a good start with the run/cycle trip. Sustained effort is as important as the first keen beginning…that’s where many of us falter.

But perhaps I sound graceless..actually, I feel that there is so much to be done to change people’s mindsets that each and every initiative like this is just great. My best wishes to the duo, I hope their effort is successful.