Be a waste warrior: Learn it from Sameera!

Here’s what you can do to keep wet waste from landfills
Composting waste
Composting waste

Sameera Reddy, who once set Bollywood on fire and left her mark, is now setting an example for people in Goa to do a bit for their environment. And how is she doing that? Reddy, who has made Goa her home, composts her own wet waste like a responsible citizen.

The actress, who is a happiness creator, shares, “Once I moved to Goa, I realised that garbage collection was not happening near my house. As a city girl still learning the Goa life, which I love, I figured composting would be best for the environment."

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The idea was put into action and Reddy ensued she became practical. "I bought the composting box, the microbes and the cocopeat. It's easy, but you have to keep checking. You can’t be icked out by it. I personally sift through the waste and don't get icked out by it at all."

Now, there is no turning back. Reddy says, "I am grateful that I learnt to compost and doing a small bit for Goa. I have begun to love taking care of the smallest things, which I didn't do in the city. Composting is a new entry that I am definitely happy about!”

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With travellers all round the year, Goa no longer has a demarcated tourist season. This demographic change along with the locals results in a lot of trash being regularly produced in the state.

The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) of the Goa government says that that number is a whopping 400 tonnes per day. According to their estimation, this is equivalent to 400 classrooms full of garbage every day. Isn't that alarming?

But what is even worse is that except in Panjim, most of the waste collected goes to landfills which are sources of harmful greenhouse gases and leachates.

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To create awareness, encourage solutions at the citizen level and point out the urgency, the GWMC has created posters titled “No time to waste | Be a waste warrior”. They also state that 85% of this 400 tonne per day is actually recyclable and, therefore, the solution is to segregate your waste.

While dry waste can be given to waste management services, wet waste cannot as it begins to stink. In any case, why should anyone else have to deal with something you produce, right? So what can you do with this wet waste? You can start composting at an individual level.

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Composting is a natural process where microorganisms break down organic matter such as food and garden waste into nutrient-rich soil amendment called compost. This is an eco-friendly and cost-effective way of managing biodegradable waste.

It helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and greenhouse gas emissions, a significant contributor to global warming. It also reduces the need for packaged manure or fertilisers containing harmful chemicals.

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Compost is excellent for gardening, landscaping and agriculture. It has well-earned its epithet of black gold, thanks to the density of nutrients found in it.

Composting is so simple that it's just a matter of getting used to it. It will take you less than a few minutes to add your waste for the day. You start with collecting your wet waste like food and garden waste, and other biodegradable matter in a compost bin or a pit.

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Next, add some dry leaves, twigs, shredded paper or compost maker to the wet waste. This helps to create air pockets which are essential for the composting process. Remember to turn the compost every week to ensure that the oxygen reaches all parts of the compost.

Finally, after a few weeks to a few months, depending on the composting method and conditions, the compost will be ready to use. Use the compost as a soil amendment in gardening, landscaping and agriculture.

It provides essential nutrients to plants and helps to improve the soil structure. It also helps to retain moisture in the soil, which reduces the need for watering.

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