ECOLOGIC : Get creative with your organic-lifestyle shift

29-Aug-2019 : Pavitra Sriprakash, Director and Chief Designer at Shilpa Architects Planners Designers writes a weekly column on Sustainability for The New Indian Express titled “ECOLOGIC”. This week she writes about shifting to the organic lifestyle-creating a zero water discharge home.

Full article below: (Also available at The New Indian Express Website)

Get creative with your organic-lifestyle shift

The word organic lifestyle immediately conjures images of vegan hippies growing their food and living in simple ‘earthy’ homes. While this is utopian organic living, it really doesn’t have to be this extreme to live organically. So why should you choose to live like this?
There are many reasons that people take to this lifestyle but primarily it is because living organically is healthier for you. As time goes by, more researches have shown that everything that is in our daily lives is loaded with chemicals, preservatives and pesticides which are doing great harm to us and causing an array of health issues.

From the building materials that go into your homes and offices, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the plastics in our lives and even the very things that are meant to clean our bodies and habitable spaces are all chock full of toxins. By flushing these out from our lives, we are improving the health of ourselves and our families and lowering the risk of many diseases.

It is also true by extension that living organically will help the environment and have a better eco-footprint. What is bad for us happens to be bad for the Earth as well. Some people want to live organic to be part of the new age mantra and don’t want to be left behind. Whatever the reasons you find appropriate, living organically is good for your health and for that of the planet — so get on with it!

One way to ease into this lifestyle change is to start by focusing on one area and then building upon it, adopting a laundry management plan is one such idea for any household to consider. At an average of six loads of laundry per week, each household produces about two lorry tankers of wastewater annually, which is chemical-laden and gets added into our rivers and lakes with minimal treatment. There are two impacts here — the effect of wasting large quantities of water and the usage of toxic chemicals which will leach into the earth unless properly managed. Small changes on either water or laundry detergent will keep your family and our Earth thanking you for a long time to come.

The first of any water reduction ideas when it comes to laundry is to reduce — the towel you use to dry after a shower does not need to be laundered after each use, so hang it up and re-use it. Washing your household’s towels when they actually need to be washed is a much better use of water than daily loads. Rather than running many small loads of laundry, save them to run larger, fuller loads instead. Every time the machine is used, you’re consuming water, so consolidating washes will be more efficient.

If you are upgrading your washing machine, opt for an efficient machine that minimises water and electricity usage. Look for a front-loading machine as these tend to be more efficient. When it comes to the use of detergent, look for organic, natural and septic tank-friendly options.
Many products made for babywear tend to be mild and chemical-free. Also, there are natural ways to make your own detergent at home. So go ahead, get creative and embrace your inner hippy, organically.