Sustainability: A Way of Life for One and All

Simple Shower Room

“In India there is an old Sanskrit proverb “Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam – the whole world is one family”. Today we live in a world in which this philosophy must be our guide. Because there is crucial (scientific) evidence that a more sustainable and responsible use of natural and personal resources is inevitable. The way we shape our society, our environment, the global economy and our individual lives, determines our future and the future of our planet. Because we humans need the earth and its resources – not the other way around. Sustainability must be the goal and not just a much-used, fashionable buzzword.

 

This also applies to tourism! We as a travel service provider are convinced that there cannot be two forms of tourism, but only one and the one that focuses exclusively on sustainability. Take a look at the website of Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Sustainable tourism has to consider Environmental, Social & Economic Impacts. All service providers in the tourism industry are called upon to act very responsibly and be accountable. And the same must apply for travellers!

 

In this section you will find valuable information and services for a more sustainable organization of your everyday life and for your personal well-being. We hope these suggestions are valuable for you. Please contact us if you need further assistance. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Health & Immunity, Stress Management, Pranayam, Yoga & Ayurveda

 

Health & Immunity: With the advent of recent pandemic, more than ever before, we have realised the importance of keeping good health while materialistic pleasures and monetary world has taken a backseat….Much has been and is being talked about, so we shall keep it brief.

 

Here at India Invites, we have been drinking tea made of local herbs (for long already), way before Pandemic struck and of course we have added more ingredients lately, which we are lucky to have readily available here in Goa!

 

Lemon Grass, Black Pepper, Raw or Processed  Turmeric, Fresh Turmeric Leaves (if available), Cinnamon stick, Ginger and leaves of Indian Basil (Tulsi), Guava, Custard Apple, Mulberry, Arjun Tree, Neem (Margosa), Parijat flower, etc – of course we don’t put them all together! Also added are cumin seeds and local dark jaggery (coconut or sugarcane one). All these things do add to immunity building & boosting. Same concoction we make warm again to drink day long! In Hindi, we call it Kadha and for best effect, its always drunk warm / hot. It clears throat besides increasing immunity! When the vapour of same is inhaled (steaming), it clears nasal passage and helps kill virus in lungs. Eating raw garlic regularly is great too.

 

Stress Management, Yoga & Pranayam: Many of us are having a stressful life which may have increased since Corona virus gripped most of the world in March’20.  However, those leading a regular life with daily exercises, breathing techniques like Pranayam and practicing Yoga have managed to cope very well. They even come out of it stronger it!!

 

Ayurveda: They say rainy season is the best time for Ayurveda as the pores of skin open which helps get the toxins out more easily. As we write this article (end Jul’20), its been raining cats and dogs in Goa specially, besides rest of India having received fairly good amount of it, which augurs well for farmers. However, we must wait for things to become better when you can physically be present in India and take advantage of  this age old rejuvenating Indian practice, a great gift to the World! Till then, you can contact us for any recommendation for future.

 

We are pleased to let you know, meantime, while physically being present is not possible, you can still take advantage as we can help organise training sessions for you. We have a panel of experts (see below) who can be of great help in guiding you with yoga, pranayam, Indian martial arts, stress management and other related sessions online.

Aneesha

Ms. Aneesha N. von Gunten, certified Systemic Coach & Breathwork-Therapist / 16 years of working experience in the corporate world

 

Founder of Living Your Quest : Personal Evolvement for more Well-Being-Resilience

 

“My passion is to accompany individuals who want to manifest personal or professional change and are looking for more self-knowledge, well-being and internal freedom. Clients who wish to reduce stress, enhance their personal resilience capacity and find deeper fulfillment and contentment within themselves and in their life. I also work with companies that are interested to offer employees support in the area of “stress management & resilience training”.

 

“I offer (online)-services in the field of personality development, holistic consultancy and breathwork therapy.”

Mrs. Priti Rao, Eco-Entrepreneur, Sustainability Practitioner, Yoga Teacher & Karate Black Belt Holder

 

Priti Rao is a Bangalore based eco-entrepreneur. She is the founder of Soil and Soul, an organization that is engaged in bringing awareness about Sustainability. Priti is a learner, sustainability practitioner, yoga teacher and holds black belt in Shotokan Karate. Priti likes traveling & teaching.

 

Under the umbrella of Soil and Soul she fulfills all her desires to explore experiential learning. This journey of exploration started after she became mother. She wished to give all the goodies available on earth and hence the seed was sown in mind to bring in differences in lives, the way we live, the way we think, the way we are connected to nature, understood the fact We are the part of Nature, Nature is not our part and decided to live in harmony with all the living things in and around us. It made her world full of life , a new
perspective towards happiness, happiness in small little things, happiness in understanding subtle science of nature, happiness in sharing all that she learnt.

Ms. Lang Maria Liu, a Martial Artist, Dancer, Healer and Scholar

 

Lang has been teaching the fight/dance art form called Capoeira in Toronto for over twenty years and her mother school is based in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. She is a passionate advocate of community-based, transformative art forms.

 

Lang has a right-hip condition (FAI) from birth that limits her range of motion and creates imbalances in her body. Rather than give in to the doctors’ prognoses that she would need a hip replacement in her forties and should drop any strenuous physical activity, Lang embarked on a journey to Asia in search of healing tools. During the two years that she spent in an osteopathic clinic in India, she learned a dynamic stretching technique from Manipur (northeastern India) and saw improvements for the first time in decades. She came across Esther Gokhale’s book, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, and knew that she had found a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Stretching

Having lived both in Brazil and in India, Lang was already interested in the impact of Western lifestyles on posture and health. She was therefore eager to learn a method that provided lasting solutions to the epidemic of back and joint pain plaguing the West (including India with changing lifestyle).

 

As a passionate advocate of healthy living and the environment, Lang bases her approach on the mind-body connection. She is eager to help others heal their bodies so that they can live more joyful and free lives. Lang offers Gokhale Method Foundation Courses in Toronto, Canada. She has completed a Bowen Therapy certificate and holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Toronto, where she focused on the field of holistic and transformative learning. Her book, Bimba’s Rhythm is One, Two, Three: From Resistance to Transformation Through Brazilian Capoeira, is available on Amazon.

Ms. Anouk Aoun Wendel , Yoga & Pranayam Teacher

 

“I feel one of Yoga’s most precious gifts to humanity lies in its emphasis on our relationship to ourselves and to all other Beings around us. It is a constant challenge to apply a fluid stream of tolerance, kindness and contentment in our daily lives, but as result of my own spiritual search, I am persuaded it can only start from contemplative work we do within ourselves.”

 

“Today, my Yoga classes are inspired by my heart teacher and husband Emil Wendel.”

 

“My intention as a guide and teacher is to encourage us all to learn to be awake to the present, remaining self-observant, inquisitive, and kind to one another. I find that the quality of being joyous and non-dogmatic along our spiritual journey helps to cultivate a lightness of being.”

Ms. Roberta Da Costa, Yoga Teacher

 

Meet Roberta, a disciple of Iyengar and hatha yoga. She has been learning, practicing and teaching since 2015. She received her RYT300 in 2014 from Mysore Indeayoga under the guidance of Bharath Shetty and is currently a student of Radha Gopalan.

 

An avid lover of nature, animals and natural way of life. She tries to live green allowing as much freedom to all plants and animals around her.

 

She provides personalised private classes at residence (in Goa) or online. Ideal for beginners who are looking to learn and improve their own practice. Check with us about private online classes with her, fine tuned to your specific needs.

Sustainable Architecture & Green Living

 

INTRODUCTORY TEXT IS COMING SOON….

Ms. Tallulah D’Silva, Architect, Environmentalist and Writer

 

Tallulah D’Silva is a practicing architect by profession, an environmentalist and writer by passion. She is well known for her ecologically sensitive approach to building construction, resource conservation and waste management. She is deeply engaged in teaching as a visiting faculty in several colleges and schools. Her ‘nature walks’ and ‘outdoor workshops’ are highly acclaimed for their approach in ‘learning from nature’.

 

Her work with children and young people includes leading the ‘Kids of Tigers’ program and ‘Young Global Shapers’ local chapters. Her own initiative and a collaborative programme, the ‘Travelling Dome’ has a radical approach to learning through travelling, observing and interacting with nature, people and places in a sensitive and empathetic way. She has won numerous accolades for her work and widespread media coverage for her achievements.

Below appeared in Architects & Interiors India:

 

“As an architect with a deep sensitivity towards the environment, D’Silva engages with the local community and inspires them to adopt a sustainable way of living. She leads nature walks  through mangroves, jungles, beaches, wetlands… and has powered urban intervention initiatives such as NoMoZo (No Motor Zone), Black Spot Fixes (city clean-up initiative) and Travelling Dome (outdoor learning experience), besides designing ecological projects such as the EcoLoo and bio-remediation systems.”

 

“She is treading an unconventional path without a doubt, and her future endeavours allude to it too: experimenting with tree houses, floating structures, emergency boats, portable domes, shelters for climate refugees, etc. “My recent tryst with designing and working with temporary structures, emergency boat making is something I’m looking forward to making bigger and better!” discloses the passionate architect.”

Tallulah trying her hands on Tilling the Land with Machine

Check out following detailing her wonderful architectural creations and works related to environment, community & education:  architecture t I architecture rt

Here are some references of online sessions/ webinar/ interviews she has done so far:

 

Webinar July 2020: Understanding Sustainable Living

 

Golden Door Awards 2020, Champion of Change 2020: Listed in the Top 20 international writers/authors, for truth and integrity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4B3H5CBsx0&feature=emb_logo

https://archtallulahdsilva.blogspot.com/2019/12/champion-of-change-2020-golden-door.html

 

TEDx Talk November 2017: Beyond Classroom and outdoor learning 2017

 

Here are the links to her blogs where her published writing is posted among other blogs she writes:

https://environmentallywrite.blogspot.com/

https://missiongreengoa.blogspot.com/

https://archtallulahdsilva.blogspot.com/

Tallulah spending Leisure time connecting Children with Nature & Soft Adventure

Composting

 

 

Composting: Nature recycles everything – do you! Its only human species on this earth, which has created loads of unsurmountable non bio degradable waste. Anyway, here let us take care of what can be decomposed, i.e. all bio degradable waste!

 

In words of Clinton Vaz, highly specialised in the matters of Composting & Recycling, says: “Worldwide, composting is an increasing trend. Over the last decade, western countries like the US and Canada have begun to realize that their landfill sites are filling up faster than they anticipated. This is cause for concern, as finding and setting up new landfill sites is expensive as well as problematic. Redirecting organic waste from landfill to composting is one solution to this problem.”

 

Therefore, its duty of each individual to take care of own waste as much as possible. Here we explain how some of us have been practicing it for years already and inspiring others to follow the suit. It makes life simpler too, not having to depend on someone else, besides getting some manure for home garden!! Perfect win win situation!

ABC of Composting by Clinton Vaz of VRecycle (appeared in Goan Newspaper):

 

Wet waste or Organic waste comprises of about 50% of the total waste that an average Goan family generates. Composting is one of the easiest ways to take care of this waste fraction. Just imagine, if everybody just composted their organic waste, we would have been able to reduce Goa’s garbage crisis by half!

 

Download Composting Tips from Clinton (PDF, 5 MB)

 

Composting is a natural process of converting your organic waste into a soil nutrient. In a very simple process, natural and harmless micro-organisms convert organic material such as leaves, paper, and food waste into a soil like material called compost.

 

Composting requires three main ingredients: Air, Moisture and Bacterial culture /micro organisms to work without any problems whatsoever. All these three ingredients are found locally, including the bacteria and microscopic organisms that live all around us. Bacteria are the prime decomposers in a compost heap and they arrive on every single piece of organic matter. Composting merely controls the conditions so that materials decompose faster.

 

Compost is quite different from the material that it was originally made from. Once waste has turned to compost, it has no unpleasant odours, is easy to handle and stores for long periods of time. It is a natural plant food, soil conditioner and can even be used as mulch for tree rooting in organic plantations. An added advantage is that compost fed gardens have more organic matter to the soil, increasing the soil life and encouraging earthworm populations to grow. Therefore, composting provides the garden with an inexpensive and excellent material to enrich the soil.

 

Environmentally too, composting makes good sense. It is a simple, efficient and natural way to recycle your kitchen and garden waste materials. It is cheaper than taking these materials to a municipal collection station or causing air pollution from burning garden waste. Compost spread on the soil surface improves soil texture, structure and fertility. It also helps loosen up sandy or clay soils, helps plant growth with major and minor plant nutrients plus trace elements essential for plant growth which chemical fertilizers try to duplicate. It’s great fun as well as participating in an action that helps to create a better future for us all.

 

What Can You Compost?

Vegetable and fruit peels, kitchen scraps, egg shells, bread, tea leaves, coffee grounds, waste food, human hair & pet fur, soft garden debris, lawn clippings, Paper, sawdust, straw, leaves, cardboard boxes, cardboard, napkins, tree clippings, woody material such as cabbage stalks. My experience has shown that both kitchen and garden material will compost much quicker when chipped, chopped or crushed into smaller pieces. Napkins, paper, and cardboard are best ripped into small pieces and soaked in water prior to composting.

 

What to Reduce In Your Compost

Meat, fish, fats, milk products, used cooking oil are best avoided in extremely large quantities as it may then create odour and fly problems. These items could still be put in your compost in small amounts, while taking necessary precautions, but as an alternative, meat & fish could be given to your pets or a nearby Animal shelter.

 

Coconut Shells, Wood, Big Bones are all compostable but take much longer to break down to compost. If you compost these items, be prepared to see them breakdown into smaller bits only after 3-6months of composting.

 

Avoid plant foliage that has residue of chemical sprays, especially hormone type weed killers & toxic material in general as this would contaminate your compost & kill the micro-organisms. Use organic sprays instead of chemicals and you would not have to bother about any contamination.

 

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is a technique of composting that uses earthworms to get more refined compost. However, vermicomposting requires one to first compost the waste and then introduce the earthworms, and therefore knowledge of plain composting is necessary before one begins to produce vermicompost.

 

While vermicomposting does produce better quality compost, it requires special ‘waste eating’ worms such as Eudrilus eugenia (African Night Crawler) and Isenia fetida (Red Wrigglers) as our Goan earthworms seem to be much more susegado, producing vermicompost slower. One also requires specially designed containers that keep the worms safe from sunlight and predators such as ants or rodents. My advice to first timers would be that simple aerobic composting is much easier to learn before they try out vermicomposting as their waste has to be pre-composted anyway. In General, the Vermicomposting technique of composting requires more attention.

Important points to keep in mind for successful composting:

 

    • You first need to decide what kind of composter, it can be a big plastic bucket with lot of holes for aeration or a rectangular / triangular bigger containers or a concrete chamber with several holes again and excess water outlet
    • First we need to prepare a base for it with some ready compost, brown fibrous material (like coconut shells), wood shaving, dry leaves and to kick start the process, fresh cow dung
    • Please put all your green / wet / kitchen / bio degradable waste in the bin, strictly NOT using any plastic liner or bag. After emptying, bin can be washed with tap water using the soft coconut fibre. Also ensure there is no plastic or non bio degradable items in the waste
    • Paper is fine, as long as they are broken into small pieces and not as a lump or ball, but try to avoid putting newspaper due to chemical in form of printing, etc. Don’t put packaging paper which has thin plastic layer
    • Humidity level plays very important role, it should just be moist with no liquid seeping out or collecting at the base
    • Cooked food can also be put along with the waste, so can be meat waste (chicken, fish, prawn, etc), even tea leaves. But largely avoid milk product, lot of oil or milk based stuff
    • If ever you have any foul smell coming, this may be due to waste not getting mixed properly with browns / lump is formed where there is no aeration / there is excess moisture not allowing aeration. Then you need to mix more of dry brown waste and churn it
    • One can use a bottle of EM (Effective Microbe) solution, if available, It should be diluted in water and just sprayed over, helps accelerate the process. But its not a must to use it
    • Do keep stored separately: the brown leaves (dry or even wet / moist); wood shavings (saw dust), etc and mix them each time with the new waste coming into the chamber. Even mud from garden can be used in small quantity to sprinkle over. You can source the dry rice hay or used up mycelium laced lump after mushroom has been grown. Amount of brown should be 2-3 times the green waste and it helps give balanced nutrition to the compost (brown for carbon and greens for nitrogen)
    • Preferably mix the saw dust / brown leaves, already in your green bin, while waste is in the kitchen…so the process begins there itself
    • Avoid placing (unless cut into small pieces),big peels (like jackfruit), hard inner shell of coconut, branches of tree. Outer coconut shell with thick coir is best placed at the base of composting chamber, which will absorb excess moisture
    • In a couple of days, you will notice, the waste has turned hot (from inside, when you will dig into it a bit), that is very natural and indicates its working fine
    • There will be maggots and several other creatures working silently inside, they are all needed and are not visible, unless the mass becomes too wet
    • At least twice a week, proper churning of entire lot will be good. While doing so, you will experience some smell. However, after churning, again place a layer of brown over it and then it will be fine

Recycling: How we manage our Waste

 

We at India Invites have always practiced 5 R’s of environment: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle!

 

Refuse: One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to stop collecting things not needed or freebies! Refuse it right away

 

Reduce: We must reduce our consumption as people tend to buy extra hoping that this would come in handy! Also as a responsible consumer, we should make noise against excessive / unnecessary packaging and boycott such products.

 

Reuse: We try to reuse same old stuff as long as it can not be used at all

 

Repair: Try to repair the thing not working well, rather than buying it altogether new (even if sometimes buying fresh item falls cheaper), as that also offers job to the workers and creates less waste on earth

 

Recycle: As a last option, if something really can not be reused, we should have the stuff recycled by storing them in segregated manner. It consumes lot of energy to recycle and a few things can not be recycled anymore after a few times. Of course recycling business can fetch a lot of money too!

 

We all have responsibility towards our eco-system and surrounding, as our very survival depends on that.

Useful Links (mostly Goa centric) on Waste Management & Composting Solutions

 

Sahas Zero Waste, Bangalore, Run by Wilma Rodrigues

V Recycle, Goa, by Emma & Clinton Vaz

Bavish, Goa, by Baylon Gomes

Daily Dump, Goa by Goa Foundation

Group Ten Plus, Goa, by Ashley Denaley (E-Waste)

Brown Leaf, Pune, by Aditi Deodhar (Saving leaves for composting)

Google Map of Various Waste Related Services all over Goa

Useful Links to Download PDF files on Recycling (Written by Clinton Vaz)

 

Time to Quantify Your Waste (Size 1.7 MB)

Get on the Recycling Cycle (Size 5 MB)

Here we mention what Small Things we do to be more Sustainable

 

Indoor Activities:

 

  1. We remove and collect all stapler pins that we receive from various envelopes / mails
  2. The envelopes which we receive from our service providers, etc we reuse them for rough pad and to carry documents. Rest goes for recycling as paper can be recycled easily and it saves from cutting more trees
  3. We even print the air / train tickets on the back side of used paper. Nowadays, trying that our guests can use e-tickets through mobile, rather than even printing
  4. Any batteries, cartridges, CFL bulbs, etc (hazardous waste) are kept separate and sent to right people
  5. For payments, we have been using online method for almost over 12 years
  6. We make very less use of stapler pins and plastic tapes to seal the envelopes, rather least amount of simple glue
  7. We don’t use AC in our office, windows are kept open for fresh air & ventilation
  8. We don’t use any lights during the day as day light is sufficient (except in rainy and darker days) and all this saves us a lot on power
  9. We are using simple broadband connection, as don’t really need very high power data transmission
  10. We hardly needed to buy any new PC in last years, as per requirement, we just upgrade any part
  11. Also use a solar clock and torch
  12. We segregate all the wet, dry, bio-degradable and non-degradable waste
  13. We don’t burn any kind of garbage, wet or dry, instead we recycle. All bio degradable waste is composted
  14. Compost out of wet garbage is used in our terrace & balcony garden for plants, excess is given away to friends and other needy people
  15. Fresh flowers from garden we used to make different flower pattern for office table
  16. All travel documents are handed over in cloth folders to guests
  17. Documents are tied with old used rakhis or simple cotton threads, no plastic
  18. As a token we provide cloth bags to our guests and write a note to them not to use plastic bags from shopkeepers
  19. We don’t believe in printing any email, as record, instead we save them all in soft form and do backups often. Only thing we print is documents to be handed over to guests and some miscellaneous stuff as per need
  20. We never needed to buy anything online so far!

 

Outdoor Activities:

 

  1. We encourage and educate people in society, not to burn the garbage; reuse, segregate and recycle their dry waste and compost bio degradable waste
  2. We have jointly conducted many workshops in colonies and schools and helped set up composting units at their premised. We have even trained individuals help set up their own compost unit
  3. Any where if we found garbage being burnt, we douse it immediately and explain to the wrong doer why it is not right to do so
  4. We have participated in / supported dry waste collection drives
  5. We have been participating in beach & waterfall cleaning, check out this PDF file (2.2 MB) Verna Spring Clean-up – 15 Jun’14
  6. Have supported and participated in tree plantation on roadside and on barren ground
  7. On every trek we go, we always bring several bags full of non degradable trash strewn around and then we segregate every bit of it. Whatever can be recycled, is sent for the purpose
  8. We try and buy mostly from local vegetables vendors or fruit sellers so that these things need not  travel from far, besides they get motivated and supported in small way
  9. This monsoon (2020) we have participated in various farming works (rice growing) to learn how hard the lives of farmer is and to hope it offers some moral support
  10. We collect dry leaves on roadside (which otherwise may be burnt), and bring to add to our compost to make it carbon rich