The roof garden on T.A. Vijayan’s house is his refuge. Pottering around plants and tending to them has been a lifelong passion. He’s especially fond of growing vegetables and that’s where his journey began.
A few years ago, Dr. Vijayan began to feel a keen responsibility towards the environment, and wanted to begin living an eco-friendly life. From this desire, EcoPots was born.
Working with his daughter, Aparna T.A, an engineer, and Anand Vishnu, a designer, he spent around three years trying to perfect a receptacle for composting that would not emit a bad odour.
The idea behind EcoPots is to provide each house with an organic waste management system, along with a kitchen garden.
'The two-chambered pot is divided by a removable and perforated partition. The compost is layered along with soil in the bigger chamber and the seeds or plant can be placed in the smaller chamber. A circular groove in the plant chamber ensures that a support structure can be fixed for climbing plants.
“We tried a lot of materials and different sizes before settling on this recycled UV safe plastic pot that can last for more than five years even if left in the sun. As each family generates close to five kg of organic waste from the kitchen every day, collecting waste for a week will provide enough material to start composting,” says Dr. Vijayan.
The roots of the plant get their nutrition from the decomposing waste as they grow through the perforations. In a few days, the soil in the compost chamber sinks, allowing another layer of soil and compost to be added.
Aparna says that it is one of the cheapest ways of growing healthy, chemical-free food. “Around 20 pots, taking up 40 square feet, are needed for a decent-sized home garden. While any plant can be grown, we encourage people to grow vegetables as the prices are escalating,” she says.
The pots are priced at Rs. 150 each. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9150452803.
Pdfs of presentations made at Clean Chennai @ Home workshops in Adyar (Sep 7) and Nungambakkam (Sep 8)
Composting by Navneeth Raghavan
Garbage segregation by Navneeth Raghavan
Managing garbage effectively by Srinivas Krishnaswamy & Preethi Sukumaran
Here is a quick guide to start composting and recycling: http://thne.ws/cc-fridgesheet
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