World Environment Day-Green Traditions Coming Out of India

Long before the start of modern  industrial revolution humans in different parts of the world  had a sustainable life style. ‘Green’ word was not separately mentioned anywhere. All civilizations had natural remedies for ailments, farming, community living and so on. Its not correct  when we assume that only our nation gave sustainable traditions to the world.  Infact we could have done better had we used quantification or standardization of our green life style.

We never considered  research in quantifying herbal medicines and establishing  the science behind the herbs like some of other alternative treatments . We have motivated big sustainable lifestyle magazines with readers running into millions. That’s ‘Treehugger’ inspired by our Chipko movement but  we have forgotten the importance of trees now. World over people shell out a lot of money for organic hand spun naturally died fabric which was once our way with fabrics. Most of the agricultural books when dealing with sustainable crop production refer to our traditional way of farming. There are many such green traditions which are  lost or taken up by other parts of the world where sustainable lifestyle is a priority.

However there are some Day-to Day green traditions we can still bring back into our lives.

 Naariyal ki Jata (Coconut scrub)-

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Even in my childhood our kitchen had the coconut fibre  scrub for cleaning tough greasy utensils -common in Indian cuisine. Though it looked dirty but given an option I would still go for it as the usual  nice looking  hyped cleaning scrub pad is made out of plastic microfibers which can not be recycled and leaves fine fibres in our water .

Related imageNo household  today  can survive without the  plastic scrub pad and we often wonder why our steel utensils loose shine so quickly.

We  almost lost this tradition.  An  innovating sustainability person made coconut fibres like a scrub pad -all nice looking and easier to use.

This scrub pad is completely eco-friendly as it can be composted anywhere. The website of the product mentions that they got the idea from Indian tradition. Not only for utensil cleansers coconut fibres can replace a lot of synthetic fibres used.

Neem Datun( Margosa stem bush)- Tooth brushes are one product which are  not recycled due to lot of work in separating three different kinds of material in one brush. Plastic handle, brushes and metal clips inside to hold the bushes. its one product which can take upto 10% 0f a landfill as its changed every few months. Hygiene concerns  hinder its recycling even more. This is one thing which has to be completely eco friendly and till now no product can claim 100% eco-friendly in the current model. Bamboo tooth brushes have bamboo handle but brushes are plastic. Old way of using pig hairs as brushes is also not acceptable these days due many reasons. The world is now looking at Indian tradition of Neem brushes.

50-pcs-Neem-Sewak-Miswak-Meswak-Natural-Toothbrush-Neem-tree-chewing-stick Many online portals are selling it as Indian traditional teeth cleansers. Blogs mention it as best option for eco-friendly living . Neem combs and hair accessories  are very popular in eco community now. Only one negative here-if all people across the world start using neem brushes there wont be any tree left.

Pattal(Banana leaf plate)- A viral video being shared by one and all is how an European counry has stopped using plastic disposable and now using banana leaf plates.  images show a machine moldling clean banana leaves into perfect plates. All nice and symmetrical. Guess where they are getting banana leaves from? That’s right we are exporting our green tradition and are increasing land fills domestically. Infact our leaf utensils are not limited to banana leaves but include many other big leaves. Even small leaves are joined by thin stems to make small bowls. We have almost lost this tradition.

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Kulhad(terracotta cups)-

What a fun it was to have hot tea in running train and throw out the kulhads on the tracks. A simple joy our kids will not know. The thin terracotta cups were answer to our plastic tea cups. This would also provide jobs to lots of pot makers. A perfectly synergistic system of soil-cottage industry-green living-back to soil. Traditional take-away  specially for sweets and biryanis too were similar unglazed earthen pots of bigger sizes. Out side India people have urged big coffee chains to imbibe our traditions and one may find lots of exporters of such cups on the web.

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The list doesn’t stop here as we have given a lot to the world. It only remains to bring them back in lives.  World over we are debating climate change. Its time for us to show how we practise sustainability.

After all its My Environment, Your Environment,   Our Environment.

Happy Environment Day

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post Photographs are taken from the web and sources are mentioned in the links

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A physicist turned green living advocate.

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