Home Chennai Making your ‘R’s count

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    From creating upcycled home décor to kitchen gardens, you can learn a lot at the second edition of Green Bazaar

    Reuse, reduce, recycle. We may repeat the mantra, but not many of us do much about it. Helping us stick to our resolutions is the second edition of the Green Bazaar. Organised by Bangalore-based alternative.in, an online platform that addresses sustainability (and extends awareness offline through their bazaars), it will feature stalls selling upcycled home décor and coir-based garden products, workshops on how to compost, start a kitchen garden and heal with herbs, and even storytelling booths and nature walks.
    “We are nine bazaars old (eight in Bangalore and one in Chennai, this September). We came here knowing the city is already conscious of healthy living—so we wanted to do something that offers everything. For this edition, we have sustainable product makers from the city and Auroville, besides a few from Bangalore,” explains Aarti Mohan, head of activities at alternative.in.
    Rista boxGet your hands dirty
    Wellpaper, a women’s social enterprise from Auroville, is bringing handmade home decor products using recycled newspaper. “You can choose from baskets and bowls to jewellery, papier-mâché figurines and Christmas ornaments (`40 onwards),” says Yasmin Levi, the customer care manager, adding that the women also have a special treat in store for us: a workshop where they will teach the basic techniques of weaving, coiling and using papier-mâché to create pretty accessoires.
    Another interesting workshop is the one by Magic Bean, the city-based organisation that promotes urban organic gardens. “We plan to do it in two parts. The first will be a hands-on introduction to kitchen gardens—how to make your soil, grow in small spaces and pest management. We will also have a capsule on converting kitchen waste into rich compost,” says Priya Gopalen, one of the co-founders.
    10372257_526956824075977_2895134397548112747_nOf diversity and growth
    The success of the first edition and the feedback received played a great part in shaping this bazaar. Mohan reveals that they have ensured greater diversity—with everything from organic honey, detergent free soaps and local varieties of rice and millets, to handspun fabrics and a lot of children’s products. “Children are at the centre of our bazaars because they grow up to be more sensitive to their environment and parents also make the choices they do for them. In fact, last year several schools sent their students over and they had a blast,” she says. Keen on growing the reach of the bazaar, they are now looking at starting one in Hyderabad next, followed by an expansion to Kerala.
    This Sunday, at Spaces in Besant Nagar, from 9 am to 7 pm. Rs.50 for entry or Rs.100 for a day pass. Details: 09845498045

    Safe HArvestNature and self
    With the theme of preservation, the bazaar will have short talks and activities through the day to raise awareness about conservation activities in the city. Here’s our pick: Help the Olive Ridleys—learn how to save the turtles; Songs of the Wood—learn forgotten nature songs with the Sargam Choir; World Storytelling Institute—listen to stories all day long; and Kreative Kreeda—play traditional games like aadu puli aatam and chozhis.

    — Surya Praphulla Kumar

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