SECOND- HAND LIFE
What makes a 40-something sell their car and start cycling to work? In G V Dasarathi’s case, the motivation was his daughter’s childhood respiratory problems. “My daughter was five, and had awful asthma. I was contributing to the very pollution that was the cause of her illness. When I can’t make changes in my own life, then how can I blame anyone else,” says the 59-year-old, who ten years ago built his dream home — from kachra.
“We took many of the materials from demolished homes,” says the mechanical engineer who cut building cost to half. From tiles to commodes, everything in their bathroom is second hand. An award-winning architect helped them turn waste into a home that draws many curious visitors in Bengaluru.
The sustainability doesn’t stop with the house. The family does not have air conditioning, cars, or a TV connection. Dasarathi also harvests their grey water — water that comes out wash basins, kitchen sinks and bathwater. “We use that for the garden, or for commode flushing. We also drink the rainwater we harvest, which one can do with a UV filter,” he adds. His blog, Low Carbon Life, is where he collects all the learnings from the last few years of dedicated environmentalism in his everyday life. “There are plenty of little things all of us can do to help, such as buying clothes that don’t need ironing or buying thin bath towels that dry easily. That reduces the load on water bodies and our groundwater.”
G V DASARATHI
Used materials and fittings from demolished houses to build home