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My First Zero Waste Event

Zero waste Event

This post is about how I managed to achieve a zero waste event. As I see it, a zero waste event should not have anything going to the land fill, municipal dustbin or even end up in our cupboards as a dead investment. If you aspire to have a zero waste event, read on.  

We (husband and I) had our annual office puja on the first day of Navaratri. Since both of us are busy with our work all year round and don’t have any significant office events, we decided to have a slightly larger party and invite our family and friends.

We had about 50 people, including our staff, building support staff, friends and family.

Here is what I did.

1. I decided to do away with disposable plates , glasses and spoons. All that waste never gets recycled, even if someone claimed it does, there is no sure shot way of making sure it does.

2. Banana leaves for serving food was my first option. But, it needs to guests to sit down and I dont have that kinda space. Also, I don’t have a set up to compost that big pile. I would have to have the municipal guys pick it and it will end up in a landfill. Bad idea!!

3. So I decided to rent the dinner ware from a tent houses. We paid as little as 3 bucks as rent per plate and a tiny insignificant amount for spoons. They did not have glasses to rent out, and I had to make other arrangements.

4. At first I thought I will invest in a few dozens of glasses, but i wouldn’t be using them for the rest of the year. We are an office so everyone has a bottle for themselves, so we collected, cleaned and filled all bottles, rented a couple of jugs and took all the glasses that were at home. Surprisingly no one seemed to mind drinking from a bottle directly.

5. The caterer brought the food in a large size carriers. We arranged them like a buffet and served people exactly what they wanted and how much they wanted. No “Typical Indian” khathirdaari  (read force feeding).

6. One beautiful family member volunteered to distribute the leftover food to laborers at construction sites. She even rushed back home and brought all restaurant takeout boxes she found in sight. All the leftovers were taken care of, no wastage there.

7. We collected all the food waste from all plates into a bag. We washed all the plates in a bucket of soapy water and sent them back to the tent house.

8. We had about 1 to 1.5 kgs of wet waste from the leftovers in the plates which came back home with me and went into my compost bin.

Yooohoooo…. Zero Waste event it was!!!

Something that I am super proud of, and something that gave a huge boost of confidence.

 

DIY – Paper Organizer

Shruti ordered some very cost-effective plastic boxes from amazon to store all the tiny craft supplies she had. They came in very sturdy boxes, that we instantly know we could put it to some good use.

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We measured the boxes and realized they were perfect for anything that is A4 size, so we set out to make magazine rack out of them.

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What we used

  1. Amazon Boxes
  2. Paper knife or hacksaw blade
  3. 2 ply tissue paper
  4. White acrylic paint
  5. Modge Podge ( or fevicol and water)
  6. Colored cellophane tape

About 2 inches from the from the top and bottom, we drew a line on either side of the box. then joined the sides with a straight line. A paper knife cuts ok, but use a hacksaw blade if you want to be quick.

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Note: Tape the box openings with cellophane to avoid being confused 🙂

Once we cut them up, this is what we got.

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We taped the edges so they dont open up. Now it was time to make them look pretty. We applied a layer of modge podge (or 1:1 fevicol and water mixed together) on the box. I separated the 2 ply paper, crushed it length wise, opened it out about 80% and pasted it on the box and applied another layer of modge podge on it.

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We did the same all around the exterior, except the bottom. We let it dry for about an hour and then Giri painted a coat of white acrylic on top.Again we let it dry for an hour and then stuck colored cellophane tape to the cut open sides in the front to finish them up.

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I think I was a little too exhausted by the time we got these done, coz they dint turn out as neat as i wanted them to be. But they serve the purpose nonetheless. Each of these can hold more than a 100 sheets and everything within the reach, which is pretty awesome I think.

The Meeting Room Makeover

Vintage typewriter from the sunday market bangalore

Learn how to design the most efficient and productive office meeting space without spending too much money. A simple Meeting Room makeover story. 

I believe work spaces should always be bright and airy, unless you are bartender, then its ok to work in a dimly lit place. A place where you spend most of your waking hours needs to be pleasant and welcoming irrespective of whether you like the work you do or not :p Research has proved that increasing the amount of light in a badly lit office, increased the productivity of the employees. Whenever I consult for offices, I always advise them to stick with white or shades of white in the production area and use dark colors in the cafeteria or recreational rooms.

So here’s our

The Meeting Room Makeover Story

So here is an office meeting room that I recently helped redo. The walls were a shade of yellow and peach in some places, so we turned them all into white. The white also highlights the gorgeous teak wood windows.

Learn how to design the most efficient and productive office meeting space without spending too much money. A simple Meeting Room makeover story.

The best thing about this project was that we used everything that we already had, and what needed to be bought came from the Bamboo Bazaar (The popular used furniture market in Bangalore). A restaurant table with metal pedestal and a wooden top became the meeting room table. All it needed was some cleaning up. The chairs were something I already had, again old teak wood chairs from a antique shop upholstered in red art leather.

A painted white storage unit at the corner with a vintage typewriter.

The corner unit was at the entrance of the office and sort of felt abandoned. It had an ugly peachy orangy laminate on it with a teak wood beading. I got it repainted into white and polished the beading for a mid-century look.

I added an old typewriter that I found at the Sunday Market, a vintage phone I picked up from a thrift store in Canada and a couple of fun posters on the wall from comic con Bangalore.

A vintage typewriter alongside a old dial ring phone.

The pendant light fixture is part of a super fun DIY project that you can see here. It cost a fraction of what ready lights cost and is unique.

Fun posters. Take that break, contemplate. Seeing things from all angles.

All in all, this was a fun project and it was very satisfying to see it all come together in the end.