How to be kind to good earth

Frequent powercuts and water shortage have forced Bengalureans to seek alternatives. Many have found solutions in building ecological homes, installing solar panels and making provisions for water harvesting. ‘Metrolife’ picks a few Bengalureans who have led the way.   

The benefit of ecological homes

Chitra Vishwanath, the architect at Biome Environment Solutions, says, “The demand for ecological homes in Bengaluru has risen. It is pertinent to note that clients demand for use of different material and look for sensible water and sanitation solutions.”

Eco-friendly home

You can’t help but stand and stare at Rohan Ninan Eapen’s home near  Manyata Tech Park. The five-year-old structure is made from stabilised mud blocks. And Rohan says that when he decided to build a house in the city, he was sure that he didn’t want to make a regular one. “The desire to make an ecological home stem from my childhood experience where I had to carry almost 20 pots of water. We lived on the outskirts of Coimbatore and water was indeed a luxury. It was my job to ensure that we 20 pots at home were full and that we never ran short of water,” he recalls.

Rohan says that the first thing he was keen on doing when he planned his house was to make provision for water harvesting and recycle wastewater. “The solar panel takes care of the lights, fans, kitchen gadgets and laptops. This has helped slash the electricity bill by almost half,” he explains. Another highlight is the grey water treatment system. Explaining this system, Rohan says, “Water from the washing machine, wash basin and water after bathing has less dirt. It is collected in a 300-liter sump on the ground level. It is then pumped and passed through a reed bed set up in on the terrace. This helps remove dirt and soap. The water is then sent through a sintex tank which is connected to the flush tanks in the toilet. This is how we recycle and reuse the excess water.” This, he says, reduces the freshwater consumption by almost 50 percent. 

Rohan explains that his home works on gravity has zero maintenance and consumes zero power. The flooring in the house is made of yellow oxide and clay tiles. “The shelves are made from Kadappa stone which keeps the insects away,” he says. According to Rohan, it takes will, courage, knowledge, and money to construct an ecological home. “I always tell people that if I can do it then they can too,” he adds.

Going the solar way

Ittira Davis, chief operating officer of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, switched to using solar panels eight months ago. What got him to convert? “Solar panels are an environmentally-viable option and helps reduce the carbon footprint. We decided to switch because of frequent power cuts. We also wanted to reduce our dependency on the UPS,” says Ittira. He adds that installing a solar panel was the idea of his wife Anna Davis. “My wife was more passionate and keen to switch,” he adds. Ittira points out that the solar panels help support all the kitchen gadgets, lights, and fans. “The electricity bill has reduced by half,” he adds.

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