Sustainability by Vineeth.M

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The high pollution in the city, excess usage of electricity and depletion of natural resources are contributing significantly to global warming and this is directly affecting the mother earth.

Everywhere in the city people are building their houses out of cement. But people don’t know cement is unsustainable as it takes a lot of resources to produce it. And concrete is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emission. And buildings built out of concrete heats up very soon.

There are some people who want to live peacefully with nature. They don’t want to live in an artificial city life. Instead, they created their own little sustainable home.

There is one couple who inspires a lot of people. Reva and Ranjan Malik are residents of Bangalore. Their life is different from others in the city. They are proof that a sustainable lifestyle is possible even in a city like Bangalore.

They live in this little house made out of mud. Meet Reva and Ranjan malik who built this micro paradise. Reva and Ranjan run a consultancy firm that mainly concentrate on social culture systems, like culture of the place, human behaviour, how society works and also the nature system. 

What made them live like this is, she says, due to current situations like global warming, air, water pollution, depletion of natural resources made them live like this. They thought like some things had to be changed that had to be made at the family level so they changed their lifestyle. Their inspiration is from people who live very simple lives using very minimal things and also, they like traditional houses rather than conventional buildings.

As they work a lot in rural areas they lived in this kind of place before with their friends during their work. And they also say that traditional structure and architecture need to come back. In their childhood they used to visit different places. Every city had different characteristics. They used to see different architecture everywhere but now we see only one structure: mono culture everywhere. They were missing this.

Before moving to Bangalore, they lived in Delhi and enjoyed the convenience that came with the lifestyle. As life changed, they decided to move to a minimally viable home. 

So, the couple bought 3000 sq ft land on the outskirts of Bangalore, until 2018 it was used for organic farming.

The couple chose rammed earth technology to build their house, soil from the same land is used in construction. The soil is mixed with different materials like gravel, sand, ash, lime and clay, a small amount of cement is also added to this mixture, this 4% to 5% of cement acts as a stabiliser. It can increase the strength and durability of the structure; the mixture is rammed inside a frame till it is compressed and it is sun dried and this process is continued until the intended height is achieved the entire process took them 8 months to complete the construction.

Mud walls in a house have amazing qualities and have very good thermal properties. It keeps the house warm in winter and keeps the house cool in summer. Whereas concrete structures literally close up the house and they require fans and air conditioners in the house. But mud houses don’t require any of this.

The couple have used discarded packaging wood for the staircase and other furniture. The 770 sq. Ft single roof rammed earth home sits on a mud trench foundation. They have used terracotta tiles for flooring and Mangalore tiles for sealing. Both things keep the house cool down in the summer. It is a single space divided into a kitchen, living room and a mezzanine which has a study room and a bed room.

This House doesn’t contain any electricity and electric gadgets.

As they work at home, they only charge their laptop and phone using solar.

They don’t use water taps in their house and they also avoid use of ground water as much as possible, instead they use rain water for their daily chores. When there is no rainwater, they use an atmospheric water generator for drinking. They also recycle the dirty water using a grey water system. And they don’t generate garbage.

They cut down fossil fuel, like they don’t use gas cylinders for cooking and they don’t use petrol, instead they use wood and solar cooker for their cooking and they also have an electric car. Because of very small unit of solar system they have, they couldn’t charge an electric car as it requires very large unit to charge, they took a connection only for the car.

Couples also follow a lifestyle based on circadian rhythm. The lifestyle is based on light which defines the sleep cycle. They wake up before the sun rises and so there is no electricity in the house, they finish their work and dinner before sunset.

She says that young people should make this change early in their life and people should know the value of protecting the environment and they should also know this is the right way of living. She also says that if we are exploiting fossil fuel then what we are leaving for future generations. And in their childhood, they use to breath fresh air but now because of pollution our children are getting very toxic air to breathe.

She says that people who built their houses are also building schools and commercial buildings in the outskirts of Bangalore. If this method is implemented in commercial space, it will be better because we can     reduce usage of electricity used in air conditioners and also, we can avoid CFCs produced by air conditioners. This gas affects the human Immune System, and on human health. CFCs contribute to the loss of the protective ozone layer, which blocks ultraviolet rays from the sun which is very harmful to earth and humans. By using these earth constructions, we can avoid all these problems.

Sustainability maintains the wellbeing of the environment and it also supports the well-being of mankind. Practising sustainability is not an easy task if you practise it you will have a better life.

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