While the popular adage goes that too many cooks may well spoil the broth, in this case, too many hands did help raise a froth, and set us on the path to changing our outlook about household cleaning in the Nilgiris that could well save our water resources, not to mention, ourselves.
A half-day workshop organised and hosted by the Kotagiri Citizens Collective on organic cleaning options to make and use at home. The event saw a big turn-out with many passionate localites from all over – Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri get together at the Donington Bakehouse. The session was conducted by NNHS co-ordinator Sharada who has been passionate about keeping harmful chemical based products out of homes in exchange for simple home made solutions and existing alternatives in the market.
Age was no bar as the event saw young children and adults alike dig their fingers into squishing soapnuts as we prepared a simple all purpose solution with the magical nut. The participants were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make bio-enzymes with common household materials and how effective it was as a multi purpose cleaning base solution. Sharada also shared stories of personal experiences on how to use them, not to mention strong words of caution for the impacts of chemicals in detergents and other cleaners on water bodies and the human body.
The session was a lively interactive one that addressed numerous queries, doubts and skepticism on the efficacy of alternatives. The participants were introduced to other existing eco-friendly products already available in the Indian market than can ease out the transition from chemical cleaners. The fact that the wash water from these homemade or store bought alternatives can be safely released out to water streams or gardens and soil was a huge deal clincher for all. Remarks from participants such as, “it was an incredible session”, “good initiative and needed on a sustained basis”, “a wonderful morning spent learning many things”, made it clear everyone was convinced about the need for a transition and a keen resolve to try and make the change to better alternatives for a better ecosystem around and within us. In the words of Gandhi, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, resonated with all for the common cause of keeping the Nilgiris clean and healthy.