Sustainable Living: Easy Home Garden

We’ve moved from the beautiful sprawling houses in the 90s with enough land for a small garden to tiny matchbox apartments (well, maybe not matchbox like). And while we battle with the macro-level question of food security, the prospect of growing your own organic food scares most of us.

The top questions include:

  • Space Restrictions
  • Where to begin?
  • Time and Effort
  • Maintenance

Let’s try and answer each of these, in this simple effort to make growing your own kitchen garden much easier.

Plants that have a high per Square Feet Yield

Experiment with plants like creepers like bottle gourd, green chilies, tomatoes, aubergines and green leafy vegetables. These are not only healthy, but also contribute beautiful flowers and colors to your small garden.

Where to begin

Begin with NOT investing in pots and other equipment. Use jerrycans and 5 liter oil cans, cut off the tops and poke in tiny holes on the bottom side. Invest in good soil and organic fertilizers. Use your kitchen spoons and scissors as tools  till you have more experience and a well-established garden.

Herbs that don’t require seeds 

Try growing Basil, Mint and Thyme. Simply plant the store bought leaves in well drained soil and watch it come to life as it grows its roots, usually within two weeks time. Alternately, you could follow some of the following methods:

Fast growing vegetables and herbs

Some of the easiest and most rewarding herbs are coriander and fenugreek. Most indian homes already have the seeds and all you’ve to do is sprinkle them on the soil, cover them with a thin layer of soil and watch them grow.

Keeping garlic in water yields beautifully crunchy garlic leaves within days. Add them to a salad or chop as garnish.


Water the plants early morning or late afternoon. If you spot pests, give some of the pesticides made from cow-dung or neem. Fertilize the soil fortnightly. Easy huh?


And if freshly and organically grown crunchy vegetables and herbs hand picked daily from your own tiny garden isn’t incentive enough, check out some of these beautiful ideas to add some green to your home:


Share your own home gardening experiences


Biogas as an Alternate Fuel

waste to biogas



The possibility of using renewable energy as a long term solution for transportation.

The possibility of recycling municipal waste and obtaining energy.

The possibility of converting Methane into a useful gas product.

Biogas typically refers to a gas produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. It is a renewable energy source, like solar and wind energy. Furthermore, biogas can be produced from regionally available raw materials such as recycled waste and is environmentally friendly.It is produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic bacteria or fermentation of biodegradable materials such as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops.

Biogas is practically produced as landfill gas (LFG) or digested gas. A biogas plant is the name often given to an anaerobic digester that treats farm wastes or energy crops. These plants can be fed with energy crops such as maize silage or biodegradable wastes including sewage sludge and food waste.During the process, an air-tight tank transforms biomass waste into methane producing renewable energy.

Eunomia (2010) analysed a range of different uses for biogas and found that using  biogas to power vehicles had the lowest carbon footprint. When the carbon impacts  of treating one tonne of organic material were analysed, the following carbon savings  could be made:

• Using biogas as a vehicle fuel has a carbon saving of 97kgCO2 equivalent.

• Using biogas for on-site has a carbon saving of 86kgCO2 equivalent.

• Pumping biogas straight to the grid has a carbon saving of 85kgCO2 equivalent.

• Using biogas to produce electricity has a carbon saving of 62kgCO2 equivalent.

Several models are already in place using biogas and working efficiently and profitably. Sweden being a leader in this area of research and development.

The presentation aims at understanding the possibility of using biogas a a replacement for fuel in Public Transport.

Further links for reading include: