23 April 2008

zero waste india

you wouldn't guess by the gutters full of plastic bags but india is
going zero waste. it's happening. the future. happening. now.

we made it nasik after two days of hectic non-bicycle travel, visiting
baskar save's farm in umaragaon on the way. let it be said: there is
no relaxing sentimentality in joining the industrial travel movement
after three weeks on a bicycle. none. everyabout the cycle is better
except the lack of gears. the AC is silent, the meditation
ever-present, you can start and stop whenever you please, it is
pleasantly free, easy, and clean. no waiting. no bus stations. no
pollution. minimum bumpiness, especially with tomas' slovakian seats.

pilgrims! start your bicycles.

but due to the mountains being manlier than we are, we left our horses
with mahesh kothari's school for deaf children in navasari, and took
the petrochemical route to nasik. one day at baskar save's farm -- i
took some notes, they are forthcoming -- who developed through his own
research a fukuokan approach to horticulture in gujarat. amazing
bounty and beauty, peace and prosperity, a la vez. it's amazing.

and then a few more buses to nasik where 50 people of various
generations states and languages have gathered to teach and learn
about waste. it's a week long conference where we all take turns
cooking and cleaning together. each day there are various sessions,
casually and intentionally disorganized, giving us an opportunity to
learn from each other. movies and music at night. the occasional dip
in the local river. and really good people and conversation. so much
love in the world and so so ever so clear

that plastic is not the way. it just doesnt go away. one of the
clearest messages i took away from a talk and slideshow by alex,
earlier in the week, is that there is no such thing as "throwing
something away". There is no such Away. Every Away is Somebody's Here.

so what do we do with all this plastic we generate, if throwing it in
the garbage doesnt get us anywhere, and burning it releases toxic
dioxins into the air, and landfills leach toxicity into the soil. they
have tried everything in the last fifty years and none of it works. it
seems the only option is to Stop Generating Plastic, to stop viewing
waste as an option. we are learning to reuse and upcycling everything
we generate and, more importantly giving consumption patterns and
levels, to stop consuming.

Not accepting food and drink that come in plastic packaging.
Working ecological consciousness into desire.
Taking responsibility for our trash.

What if everything piece of trash we generated we had to wash and
store under our bed. How long could we keep consuming? How many
planters would we make out of plastic bottles before we gave up and
found a better way.

Just some basic notes from the zero waste meet. other nice
conversations about city farming, worm compost, sanitation, how to
talk to people and not offend them, the possibility for a sustainable

And safe and healthy and finding mangos. Will head out to near
Sevagram and Paunar and Wardha and Vasant and Karuna's farm on

one love,

back to mangolandia.

1 comment:

Elise De Grande said...

so proud of you, ank!