A 92-year-old resident of Mumbai has taken remarkable steps to transform his housing society into a model of sustainability, effectively saving residents significant sums of money. Navin Chandra, who moved into the Sealine Housing Society in the year 2000, was shocked by the exorbitant expenses incurred by the residents for water delivery through large tanker trucks.
Not only were these water orders costly, but the quality was also far from satisfactory. Chandra found it perplexing that such an issue existed in Mumbai, a city known for its abundant monsoon rains.
Determined to rectify this situation, Chandra embarked on a mission to convince every member of the housing society to invest in a comprehensive rainwater harvesting facility, solar panels, a windmill, and a composting pit. Through this endeavor, he sought to transform their humble apartment block into a beacon of environmental consciousness.
Central to Chandra’s persuasive argument was the assurance that the residents would recoup their initial investments within a few years, thanks to substantial savings on water and electricity bills.
By 2012, their efforts bore fruit, as the community became financially self-sufficient, all thanks to the impressive rainwater harvesting system that accumulated nearly 200,000 liters of water during every monsoon season.
Chandra proudly shared, “We have completely eliminated the need to purchase tank water and can even cater to the water requirements of neighboring buildings.” However, his sustainability initiatives did not stop at addressing water-related concerns.
He recognized the significant financial burden of high electricity costs during the rainy season and promptly installed solar panels and a wind turbine, enabling the building to meet 50% of its electricity needs from renewable sources.
Furthermore, the housing society implemented an on-site composting system, utilizing food scraps as fertilizer for the building’s landscaping, including a vibrant rooftop garden. These endeavors collectively turned the apartment block into a flourishing hub of sustainable practices.
Amidst the current climate activism fervor, it is essential to remember that effecting change starts with transforming our immediate environments. Rather than solely focusing on changing the world at large, taking proactive steps within our own communities can yield remarkable results.
If there were more individuals like Navin Chandra spearheading sustainability efforts within homeowner’s associations, the world would undoubtedly exhibit a far more renewable landscape, reminiscent of the ambition seen at annual COP climate summits.