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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

While saving on money, the house also saved me plenty of time. The entire construction was completed in a span of seven months - a feat almost unheard of in India...

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Green Business

GV Dasarathi has got his house 'Kachra Mane built entirely out of trash

Q: You  have built a house completely from trash?

My home in Bangalore called ‘Kachra Mane’, which literally translates from Kannada into a Trash Home, is made from trash that I had collected. I strongly believe in ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink’ and had a conviction that I can get this house built at half the cost of a traditional one. I have constructed a two-stories house on a small plot of 1700 sqft. The house has been designed by the architectural firm Maya Prexis, with interiors by Vismaya Interiors. Parts of the house, such as the windows, staircase, kitchen cupboards, book shelves are made from discarded pinewood packing cases that were polished using linseed oil. Bathroom fittings, kitchen sinks and even glass windows have been taken from demolished buildings. The fittings for two toilets cost a total of Rs 7000, whereas the cost for completely new ones would have been approximately Rs 50,000. The walls are mainly made of wood and glass that keep out rain and usher in light were from dismantled houses. The kitchen has a natural draught instead of an exhaust fan. The electrical appliances – refrigerator, washing machine, microwave, oven — all are from seconds sales. Even the bathroom fittings like commode, hooks, wash basins are all from demolished houses or collected from Gujris. The home obviously needs no air conditioners as it is well ventilated.

Q: What benefits did you get?

While saving on money, the house also saved me plenty of time. The entire construction was completed in a span of seven months - a feat almost unheard of in India. One of the more impressive features is a 20,000-litre tank for rainwater harvesting. I tested the chemical impurity and bacteria in the water and found that while chemical impurities were less than the city supplied water, bacteria was more. I simply filtered the water using a UV filter and the water was perfectly fine to use. By building a dry toilet, we saved 40% of water as at least that much goes into any home’s water consumption The house also has a 200-litre capacity solar heater that has an inbuilt coil for cloudy days. All the water from the bath area, machines, sinks is all reused for the garden. The 20,000-litre tank collects enough water thus reducing the corporation water and solar heaters fixed. The wet segregated waste goes into a compost pit and dry waste to the rag pickers.

Q: How do you think your innovation will motivate others?

This house is an inspiration to all those looking to adopt ways of an alternative, conscientious life while still living in booming metropolises - it is possible! My advice to anyone looking to do as he has done is that when building a new house, do not prioritize expensive floor tiles, kitchen systems, bathroom fittings etc. and when it comes to water conservation systems, say you have run out of money. Remember anything that is thrown away goes nowhere – it has to land somewhere else on this only Earth of ours. One doesn’t need a space to build an eco-friendly home – All one needs is a conscience and the will. When one starts observing at everything used on a daily basis – one is bound to find ways and means to follow my theory.

Q: How long will this house last?

I have been living in it for a decade now and it is made to last for 25 years so that the newer generation gets to build as per their choice and taste.

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