The harvest is the time when you reap what you sow. As a verb, to harvest something means that you pick or gather something.
Sustainable living brings both definitions together and beautifully so… To harvest essentially is to collect and gather whatever resources one can and then reuse them (sow) so as to continue to reap the benefits of that something in its original state or a different state altogether. The idea is simple – the output becomes input for something else and vice versa– cradle to cradle. By doing so we not only keep waste from going to into the environment, we also make efficient use of resources at hand and avoiding further consumption of newer resources.
Here are 5 things you can harvest from home and continue to reduce your impact on the environment:
Seeds: We stock up on fruits and vegetables at home all the time! How about saving the seeds of fruits and vegetables you like and sowing them in your own garden (big or small, terrace or balcony) or just distributing it or exchanging them with friends, family or famers you may know. The easiest—scatter them on the roadsides, fields you see while driving through highways… you may find a fully-grown tree a few years down the line.
Waste: Harvest leftover fruit, vegetables, eggshells, bones etc., to make your own compost at home. (see link for our earlier blog on composting). Make your own home cleaners using kitchen waste! (here’s a video on how to)
- Stock all your empty plastic bottles, packets other kings of packaging and give away to the kabadiwala for something in return… By doing so you are ensuing the waste will find its end destination most likely in a recycling center instead of the landfill. Another way is to find alternate ways to DIY and upcycle this waste.
Water: One of the most talked about and ‘saved’ resource on the planet… do your bit to harvest and reuse the wastewater in several ways
- If you are an RO (reverse osmosis) home, use the discarded water for toilet flushing or mopping.
- Reuse kitchen wastewater for your garden or watering plants. However, make sure to use natural cleaners as harmful and strong chemicals-based products can harm the plants
- Think of creative ways to reuse whatever you can…
Human waste: There are ample designs for a natural zero-waste toilet. If you are brave enough, go ahead and harvest your own poop to create amazing manure for your garden or farm.
Textile: We may not sow or grow textile, but when it comes to re-purposing, the possibilities are endless. Use old bedsheets, clothes, T-shirts etc., to create planters, rugs, bags, holders… the list is endless. It is the ultimate DIY partner. What’s more, don’t be shy to pass them on and share the remakes with friends and family. It is about sharing the benefits of living sustainably too!
What other things can you think of harvesting and using as input for other ventures? Please do share them here…
Love and Grace,