Can you imagine life without electricity? That's exactly what environmentalist Soumya Prasad has done for three years. Need proof? the 40-year-old has not paid a single penny in electricity or water bills in the past three years.
This does not mean that Dehradun resident Soumya Prasad lives the life of an ascetic or a sage. She lives a social life, drives a car and enjoys all comforts of modern living, all while leaving the littlest carbon footprint possible.
How, you ask?
For years, Prasad has been inculcating eco-friendly practices into her daily life. She did so by shifting to an eco-friendly house that uses solar power and rainwater harvesting to run and meet all her and her family's needs. And the results have not only helped her save thousands in water and electricity bills but also help the environment.
From city to the hills
A former teacher of ecology at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prasad had been studying the impact of garbage on humans, animals as well as the ecology, Prasad told The Better India. In 2015, she and her husband moved to Dehradun to build their dream house - a house that produces zero waste.
Instead of buying a new house made of timber, the couple decided to build a house out of bamboo. Nothing was wasted during the course of the construction and all debris was used to lay foundations of other houses. The duo also managed to install a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels so that the house could generate its own electricity and water supply from nature.
Prasad also ditched her old, fossil fuel-driven car for an electric vehicle. In 2015, she bought a Mahindra e20, an electricity-run car that allowed her to further cut carbon emissions. Prasad said that though the car cost her Rs 6 lakh initially, she recovered the entire amount as saving in the next five years since its purchase, thanks to what she saved on petrol or diesel.
Today, Prasad and her husband lead an eco-friendly, zero waste and sustainable lifestyle. They grow their own vegetables in their garden and use their food waste as compost to enrich it.
At a time when microplastics are being found in the placentas of unborn children, Prasad's sustainable lifestyle and eco-friendly practices might just be the way to go to ensure that the Earth we leave behind for future generations is just as fresh, fertile and sustainable as the once inherited from our ancestors.