SEC­OND- HAND LIFE

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special -

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

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