In a tropical country like ours, it is a pity that we have spaces entirely lit by artificial light in the day. Daylight is healthy for our body. It is a natural disinfectant, besides being the greenest form of illumination. Indian building by-laws stipulate that no part of a room should be more than 25ft from a window; it can get rather dark 15ft away from a window. Check if you can make the window taller to allow in more light. Or move your desk nearer to the window. HIMANSHU BURTE
Green your roof
Green roofs are cool roofs. Most roofs drain rainwater wastefully into a stormwater system. Turn your roof into a garden to save water and energy (it insulates the house). Don’t think lawn. Think guavas, bananas, papayas in plastic containers. Many have done it on terraces not originally designed for it (consult an architect or engineer about the extra load). Architect Chitra Vishwanath turned her terrace in Bangalore into a paddy field...for the birds it attracts! HIMANSHU BURTE
Save the earth, save your health
Going green can keep you in the pink of health and curtail your medical and electricity bills (and maybe make the gym redundant). Not using the elevator has obvious health benefits. Living and working in naturally ventilated spaces also means fewer bugs and chemicals floating around, unlike in improperly designed or maintained air-conditioned spaces. We bet you will find more such paths to personal and planetary health in broad daylight. HIMANSHU BURTE
What to feed your compost
It’s hot and dry, the perfect weather for compost.
What to put in: fruit and vegetable peels; tea bags and coffee grounds; crushed eggshells; garden clippings; animal dander, human hair; old fabric; bedding material and manure from herbivores; waste paper . What not to add: meat/fish; cooked food; waste from non-herbivore pets; diapers; coloured/coated paper; clippings of persistent weeds, diseased plants; coal ash; synthetics, glass or metal. STAFF WRITER
It’s important to look beyond the concerns of today as we walk the earth. If your efforts to reduce our carbon footprint also help shade us and ours from the scorching summer sun, our planet’s future will be brighter. Last month, in a Reuters poll of scientists, nine of 11 experts said the evidence that mankind was to blame for climate change had grown stronger in the past two years. So do your bit to curtail consumption at home, and tend your garden. Those trees may shade your sunset years...
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