WASTE MANAGEMENT – A DILEMMA TODAY

“Mother Nature provides for every man’s need but not for every man’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Woman and her importance in procreation…

Women and the environment are inseparable since time immemorial. Participation of women in creating a healthy milieu and protecting the same is undoubtedly the key to success for sustainable life on earth. Women are the protectors of environmental well-being for the very basis of this starts from home. Each woman contributes significantly to protect her environment and it has been her bounden duty too. Keeping in line with these precepts, women should be imparted systematic and scientific training pertaining to day-to-day life situations and issues. Thus, educating women on specific environment-related issues is a shot in the arm for speedy progress.

The reason behind…

The present-day market with its extensive subsidies with regard to the agricultural sector has forced the farmers to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This make-belief concept more yields in a short time have had an adverse impact on land, water, and health.

Overpopulation leading to higher production of garbage and wastes; and simultaneously the continued practice of using fertilizers and pesticides to augment the “excessive” need for food has lead to an unprecedented catastrophe for the agricultural community and the nation at large. Therefore it is imperative to address this issue in its own gamut and unfold a viable solution that could solve the problem over a period of time.

The vermicomposting technique seems to be the most practical alternative to avoid this adverse impact at the micro-levels. It also ensures effective management of solid waste at the domestic level thereby promoting a healthy environment.

What is vermicomposting?

Vermes is a Latin word for worms and vermicomposting is essentially composting with worms.  In nature, all organic matter eventually decomposes over a period of time. Vermicomposting speeds up this process of decomposition and results in a richer end product called “worm castings.”

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Why vermicomposting?

The consumption of organic wastes by earthworms is an ecologically safe method to naturally convert many of our organic wastes into an extremely beneficial product for the environment.  Earthworms are important secondary decomposers in nature if the natural populations of earthworms are not disturbed. The process is faster and also odor-free because earthworms release coelomic fluid in the waste, which has anti-bacterial properties. Moreover, vermicomposting has the added advantage of producing compost all through the year.

When worms expel their excreta (the “compost”), there is a bit of mucus surrounding each granule. This hardens when it is exposed to air. When granular castings are mixed into garden soil or houseplant soils there is a slow “timed release” of nutrients, to feed the plants. However, the hardened particles of mucus do not break down readily and act as breakers in soils, providing aeration and drainage, creating an organic soil conditioner as well as a super, natural fertilizer.

It is highly imperative to educate women on the environment, helping them to identify possible opportunities to enhance their living conditions within the context of their environment. This will help them to acquire some skills to augment their income, to take care of their personal and family’s health, and assist in the achievement of common community goals through mobilizing active participation. It will ensure that each house has a small vermicompost pit, sufficient for taking care of converting the household waste into wealth.

“Man has learned the art of flying in the sky like a bird, swimming in the water like a fish, but he has to learn the art of living on land like a man” – Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

Gandhimathi Deva Packiam
CPREEC

Source: Eco News, Vol. 9, No. 1 (April – June), 2003.

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