Auroville

Sustainability as a way of life.

Now I will go back to my childhood again because since then this whole concept attracted me. Being environment friendly, energy efficient and love for nature were all an integral part of my life in the sense it was not an additional duty I put on myself but just the way I lived. Again if you know me personally, I would murder you with a lecture if you are walking with me and then casually throw an empty juice pack/bottle across the street. I will make you pick it up, else I will pick it up myself. When plastic touches the soil. I have this kind of an irritation that I can literally feel growing through my fingers and toes.

When CEASID introduced this to me, it was just like a revision of my own personal principles. But I am glad to find a growing set of like-minded people on this Planet Earth, here in this workshop with me! 😀

Auroville is a growing example of humankind’s willpower and hardwork to bring Mother Nature back alive and kicking in this world where man has taken advantage of the powers and Intelligence granted to him.

For me, Environment friendly methods are not a separate category of methods, but the only method.

If you observe an Ant hill, it has got an extraordinary network within itself. It has got Highways, flyovers, metrostations of its own. Beautifully organized colonies living as a community with network of passages for commute. Helping each other and living as a single soul would do. An anthill is definitely ecological and sustainable. Then why can’t we build ecologically? Sustainably? If you look at vernacular methods they are age-old techniques which prove to be the best climatically and cost effective. But of course we all know the Supply Demand Curve. What has more demand is supplied more and is hence cheaper. Since the majority of the people consider our tried and tested ancient methods as primitive and obsolete, the mass produce and labour cost will be quite higher for sustainable architecture. Simply by more people opting for our indigenous methods, we can reverse the supply demand curve and of course it will become cheaper, since we use LOCALLY AVAILABLE MATERIALS, and reuse them, and mostly use them from nature. They come from the earth and go back into the earth like all living creatures.

When you go to heritage buildings, don’t you feel that sense of timelessness? Our best buidings according to me are those that go one with nature, coexisting as a part of it rather than a separate entity.

Waste water regeneration, rainwater catchment, solar energy use, using materials like CSEB, Adobe, COB, wattle and daub, bamboo, etc. arelike using the natural resources already gifted to us and available in plenty. Earthship biotecture is a beautiful modern way to reuse plastic/glass bottles/ old tires in an integrated manner to allow in light and even aesthetically pleasing.

Auroville is a living example of how community living makes people happier and helps us to live by spending less, by working for ourselves. Which is how every other creature lives on the planet. Works for their needs and gains the fruit. We go to unreasonable lengths to kill our hearts just to gain a piece of it back.

Today I learnt about Cow Dung. You apply it on the floor to keep termites and insects and mosquitoes and scorpions away. It’s a natural material available free of cost. Works wonder when compared to your HIT and plastic mosquito meshes and detergents and chemicals and what not.

Now I know my grandpa was right. Advancement in science is amazing but sometimes it finds solutions to questions which already have better answers.

Cow Dung is a natural binder which is required in soil like black cotton soil (like the one in Pune). In smaller amounts it is required in red soil (Pondicherry has this type). For places with laterite soil cow dung isn’t required as the soil is amazing in itself(like in Kerala, my place!)(I told you I brag sometimes)(Yeah, I got cool soil)

Anyways. Fun fact: Cow dung is a great moisturizer. Not that I tried and even I didn’t believe at first, but when I was mixing it and applying it as flooring, and after washing my hands, my skin felt a little softer.

Fact 2: Use fresh cow dung. Properties are at its best and plus it doesn’t stink.

Lovely. That’s all for today’s hands-on class. Chaos! :*

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