I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

First batch of compost!!

13th May 2016
It’s been just month since I’d kept my first batch of waste for decomposing, and it’s already ready!! I spent about 15 minutes sifting the compost through the sieve – this was super fun! I was so so happy to see that rich brown colour and wonderful earthy smell! I’ve now got some fine powdery compost to use for my pudina, dhania, chillies and kadipatta plants (biggest success being pudina which has multiplied three folds and been used for many glasses of mojito ;)).

This process has taken much less time than I expected and it’s been so rewarding! <3 My remix powder is almost over though, it’s serves 2.5 batches of wet waste. I’m wondering if I should use the compost as remix powder or buy some. It’s also difficult to make sure my roommates and my maid chop their waste to smaller bits to help it decompose faster.

About my plastic waste, it’s cut down to maybe 20% of what I used to consume; but all of us together generated a dustbin full of bottles in 2 months which I gave to the raddiwala for 6 bucks (600g). I now empty our dry waste once a month ONLY! I’ve found local vendors in my area who sell fresh loose chips, peanuts and snacks. I’m buying household cleaning items in massive bulk (5kg tide etc) and the largest bottles of shampoo since there’s no alternative to this. Arvind suggested we quit buying facewash – we can start using besan (gram flour) with milk for facewash. I’m not very happy with the inconvenience, but I’m willing to try it out. Of course I’m also gonna substitute milk with water. Will let you know if it’s good.

The biggest problem is the waste I’ve seen in restaurants! We went to McD and I noticed the huge amounts of waste they generate by serving in Styrofoam cups with plastic lids, burgers in boxes and the small ketchup sachets! Some of those aren’t even used by customers and simply discarded.

When I spoke to the manager he they stopped using dispensers so that customers don’t overuse, and cause them losses. I explained how they were generating tonnes of waste, causing wastage of product as well as a loss of money since each sachet costs Re. 1 while dispensers can be filled in bulk. He said it’s higher authorities who can take a call on this. So I’ve emailed them but haven’t got a response.

I’m actively contacting restaurants which have their own space and can afford to serve in glasses and mugs; OR take responsibility of their waste, segregate and recycle. Really hoping to see some change here.

The task at hand so far feels overwhelmingly large and people don’t seem to take waste as a personal responsibility or a serious issue for us and our environment. I’m stubborn, and I’m not giving up; neither should you guys. It’s such a small easy step to take, and the inconvenience is only in the beginning transition; after which it becomes a habit.

My mom said, “You unnecessarily get into these things. Sometimes it’s not in your control and you can’t make the world’s problems your problems.”
But I think it was Steve Jobs who quoted “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Augmented Reality - Should/can technology replace actual human interaction?

1st May 2016

So weird! I don't even know how to feel about this. I am often in a conflict whether I should accept this crazy acceleration in technology or not. It's exciting and scary at the same time.

It's a bit creepy - the only difference between the '2D technology' and '3D realistic world' is that you see it differently, but it's STILL virtual for godsake. It's not real, and I don't think technology can ever replace or come close to real human interaction. Especially touch.

So I find what Alex said quite contradictory. He dreams of a future when techology blends with the human world like prehistoric times, and talks about how holographic technology is what'll help us get there; but actually, it's the same thing but better, and prettier. He wants us to stop staring at screens; by strapping screens to our head and staring a them all the time. It's not getting us closer to the way we used to communicate and have a sense of community.

Weirdly, I think the lady with the questions in the end felt the same, because of which she had to tell the hologram in the end to 'Go away'. It would seem a bit rude to us who are seeing the hologram as an actual person in that space, but to her (who can't actually see the person or feel his presence), he is, just a hologram.

I hope we use these tools to understand things out of our reach, but not use it the way we're currently using our screens and 2D devices. We should draw boundaries and strive to keep having real human interactions instead of living in virtual reality.