We all have read about green houses. We have read about exorbitantly priced environment-friendly houses made of wood. But how many of us may have thought about building a home that is made of recycled and reused stuff. Well, here is such an hero Reniassance Ronin. For ease, I will call him Ronin.
Ronin lives in costal Mississippi that was worse hit when hurricane Katrina struck. Like several others, he lost his house and property too. He laments about government apathy in his posts, says New Orleans got more attention from both media and State than his home ground. He says after storm struck, finding a decent and affordable house has been difficult.He is currently living in a very small apartment with his wife and baby. Here is what he has got to say about his apartment:
I’ve lived in third world countries, in better accommodations than where my family lives, at present.
The landlord couldn’t care less about maintenance or repair. This includes things like A/C units (it‘s in the 90’s everyday, and no A/C), Heaters (it stayed below 40 for weeks on end, and my baby nearly froze), Refrigerators that fail – spoiling our food, Stoves that don’t cook, broken windows with missing glass, ill-fitting doors that allow rodents and insects in, and sewage that backs up into the apartment every three weeks or so, to rot thru the wall, and fill up the bathtub.
Ronin realises that he needs a safe place for his wife and 9-month-old son. He has resolved to make house out of recycled stuff, garbage as he puts it. He has applied for grants such as to remove old hangars from an airport, to be recycled into housing. He chronicles all his difficulties in building his green house on his blog. You can read the details here and here.
After reading Ronin’s blog, I searched for green houses. I found some resources and realised it is not easy to build that green house. I wish Ronin luck and if there is something we bloggers can do, will be happy to do it.
After I wrote about Ronin, I decided to write about my long pending post about rainwater harvesting. Did you know that we have law for rainwater harvesting in India? It is mandatory for every household to have a rooftop rainwater harvesting system wherever the groundwater level is below 8 metres. This law came about in 2001 and was to be implemented by 2002. Needless to say, in our country where groundwater level is below 8 almost everywhere, it has been hardly implemented. Mostly, because it is little-known and it seems difficult.
Well, rain water harvesting is not a new thing. India has practiced it even before Harappan civilization came in. In Rajasthan and other places, it has been a common practice. Now when we see so much of water flushing down the drains in metros, it should be a priority to conserve it by rain water harvesting. According to Central Groundwater Department report in 2005, there are already three lakh tubewells in Delhi that draw out nearly 180 million gallons per day (mgd). This was only 12% of the total supply, amount of water required is increasing with influx in city population. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Center of Science and Environment (CSE) (aka Sunita Narain) have been working to make rain water harvesting easy. They provide guidance and DJB bears 50% of the cost or 50k, whichever is less. In 2006, DJB had also announced Best rain water harvester award.
Though Chennai has more tubewells than Delhi, it has been more successful in rain water harvesting. All hostels in IIT Chennai use rain water harvesting. Mumbaikars just can’t bothered according to this report, not even builders are interested in implementing the law in Pune. Despite that rain water harvesting is picking up slowly. Here are some helpful resources (contacts and cost details) to set it up at your home:
Call Delhi Jal Board’s Rain Water Harvesting Assistance cell at 23675434 or 23678380 (extn 246 and 240). You can get detailed information from CSE’s Rain Water Harvesting Cell at 29955124 and 29955125. See more details here.
Rain Water Harvesting at Chennai
Image courtsey DJB site.
P.S: Ashish, were you happy now? Thanks for the tip off.