In Conversation with Sadhan Radhakrishnan, Environmentalist
Some intend to make a change in the Mumbai home when he to the , Bengaluru in 2011. A lack of space in his rental apartment forced him to think of ways to keep his passion alive. He had a ‘Eureka’ when one fine day, staring at the discarded , Sadhan decided to use them as to plant seeds in them., while some simply follow their passion and become changemakers of society. One such personality is Sadhan Radhakrishnan, who started missing the green balconies of his
Having completed his graduation in Physics and aexperience of more than 16 years in , Sadhan had no training in gardening. It was a -on knowledge that he had gained from his parents and his passion that earned him his nickname ‘Greenie in the Bottle’. He started building a vertical garden using waste materials like plastic bottles, and waste thermocol as pots for his .
caught up with Sadhan Radhakrishnan and to him about his experience as a changemaker in the organic space.
OF: The green initiative of using waste plastic bottles to plant trees is quite innovative. However, did you have any concerns using plastic bottles for gardening?
When I started experimenting using waste plastic bottles as pots for plants, I had only planted a fewplants, obviously due to the concern of the ill-effects of plastic and small space for the plant. However, I once showed it to one of the environmentalists and he was happy with this innovative idea. This ruled out the prior concern, while for the latter, once the plant grows big enough I usually the plants to bigger pots, thermocol boxes or plant them directly into the ground.
OF: As a changemaker, what do you think has been the most impactful change you’ve made on’s mind?
SR: Once I scaled up my gardening, I started hanging the plants on roadside trees. It not only made theof Mahalakshmipuram in Karnataka, India greener but also attracted a lot of small such as cuckoos, mynas, tailor birds, parrots, woodpeckers and even tiny fellas like squirrels.
People in mystarted keeping the area , morning and evening walkers started appreciating the idea of beautifying the environment from the otherwise environmental , and the are a of delight to the passer-bys who are inquisitive to join and spread the initiative.
Sometimes I give my saplings to people for free with the only condition of them promising to take good care of it. Additionally, I donated around 14-15 saplings of mango to people who were working on the river initiative.and
I have also distributed free fruit seller who used to away all seeds after making their juice. I asked him to give me the seeds of those which include seeds of avocado, apple, muskmelon, chikoo. Thereby, I now have a mini nursery at my place wherein I give away free saplings to family, , passer-by or anyone who is interested. FYI – single sapling of may cost you around ₹ 300-400 in a nursery. However, if you grow your own, it’s free.to many. Why free? Because I recently up with a local
There have also been instances where some have stolen the saplings hung on the roadside trees. But, I am not offended, instead, I am happy that it would be beautifying someone else’s lane.people and spreading this initiative to many has been very inspirational for me.
OF: What advice do you have for people who want to join you in your initiative from across the globe? Can you share a quick DIY SOP for them?
SR: Gardening is a hobby for me and a great stress too. I use my spare time during weekends to my gardening and during weekdays, I spend about 10-15 minutes watering them (once every two days usually). So, it’s quite for anyone who wants to join in the green initiative along with their current occupation. All you need is some time.
For instance, plastic bottles are free. Even friends or neighbors will give it to you instead of throwing it in the dustbin. Plants are free because you can exchange or take plant cuttings from our neighborhood areas. Seeds are free. Try having a tie-up with your local juice seller, as mentioned above. The vegetable , coconut fiber, egg shells, and dry leaves and branches.is free. I use existing soil from my garden. And, even fertilizer is free because instead of chemicals you can use
One could grow ornamental crotons, geraniums, tomatoes, and different kinds of herbs like , mint, , etc. Although the yield is not much because of space constraint, it is good to pluck the leaves and apply the gel when you’re , or have the ready for serving., lilies, orchids,
You not only save and beautify the environment but you save yourself from foods too. It’s a win-win-win from all .grown
So, for anyone who is interested, here is a quick 5 step DIY- How to plant trees in plastic bottles?
- Get a plastic bottle
- Cut open the cap side of the bottle
- Put some holes at the base (for )
- Fill up the bottle with layers of peels, coconut , soil, and dry leaves
- Place the seed or plant saplings in the bottle and them regularly
That’s all! You are all set to create a mini-vertical garden.
Oh! And, you can getwith these methods, too. For instance, you cut the bottle horizontally and tie at both ends, fill up the soil and put up plants. One can also color the bottles to make it look more attractive.