Environment-conscious residents of Noida reuse Diwali waste for making compost

What is Diwali if there are no fresh fragrant flowers to adorn your home sweet home ? As much as the flowers add to the aesthetics of a house during the festival of lights, they end up in the trash as soon as the decorations are taken down
A man deposits leftover flowers from Diwali celebration in Noida on Friday. (Sunil Ghosh/HT photo)
A man deposits leftover flowers from Diwali celebration in Noida on Friday. (Sunil Ghosh/HT photo)
Published on Nov 06, 2021 11:10 PM IST
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What is Diwali if there are no fresh fragrant flowers to adorn your home sweet home ? As much as the flowers add to the aesthetics of a house during the festival of lights, they end up in the trash as soon as the decorations are taken down. Some environment-conscious residents of Gautam Buddh Nagar are now making the most out of this flower waste and turning it into rich organic compost.

At Prateek Wisteria apartments in Noida’s Sector 77, the Apartment Owners’ Association is collecting flower waste from residents to turn it into compost.

“We have requested all residents in our society not to throw away the flowers used in Diwali decorations and instead use them to make compost. We taught residents the process of making compost out of the flowers,” said Amit Gupta, president of Prateek Wisteria AOA.

“As an alternative, we have also provided a collection box at each tower where residents can put all their old flower decorations and the housing complex gardener will use it to make compost for the society’s garden. Usually, people throw away the flowers in trash or at the roadside in a polythene, which adds to the garbage problem,” said Gupta.

Residents of Sector 62’s HCL towers are also using their flower waste to make compost in their apartment complex, thanks to Anamika Chaturvedi who took the initiative.

“I first started doing this (making compost) myself in 2019. This year, we spread word among other residents of our society, who will be reusing the flowers to make compost. In fact, to make the most of these flowers, I am also trying to make bioenzyme (organic solutions usually produced by fermentation of fruits, vegetables, sugar, and water that are a natural way of managing home cleaning needs) out of them this year. If it works, I will be holding a workshop to inform and educate other residents,” said Chaturvedi, who runs an eco-friendly resident’s group called Bhumitra.

A similar initiative is being carried out by Arun Vihar residents’ group ‘SAAPH’ (Sustainable Alternatives and Awareness against Plastics and Household waste) led by seven women residents.

“We first started reusing Diwali flower waste for making compost in 2019 and spread the word among other residents as well. We have already been using green waste of our homes to make compost for many years now, we will just add the flowers used for decoration purposes during Diwali in our usual compost,” said Radhika Gulati, a resident of Arun Vihar and a member of SAAPH.

She added this year, instead of clay diyas, she used diyas made of cowdung which will also be used to make compost.

In Sector 55, Shail Mathur did not buy fresh flowers to make rangoli at her home for Diwali. Instead, she picked up all the waste flowers from the local temple in the sector a day before Diwali in order to reuse them.

“Every day, tonnes of flowers are offered at the local temple in our sector. This Diwali, instead of buying fresh flowers or colours for rangoli, I decided to reuse the flower waste from the temple. Usually, this flower waste is dumped as trash,” said Mathur, who created a residents group TREE (Taking Responsibility for Earth and Environment.) Now that Diwali is over, these rangoli flowers will be used for making compost, she added.

In Sector 37, Sumit Khanna has spread word among his family and friends to give all their flower waste to him as he will be using it to make ‘dhoop’ or incense sticks.

“We have created a collection point for all our friends and family who will be giving us their flower waste. This will be sent by us to self-help groups in Jaipur which will make ‘dhoop’ out of the flowers,” said Khanna. who runs an eco-friendly venture called Indibam.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021