Last Saturday, even the weather gods were confused. Slight drizzles, the sharp sun and gloomy clouds took turns to show up every few minutes. However, Greenpeace India was clear in its message: by segregating and composting  our waste, we have the potential to help farmers stay away from agro-chemicals. This will ultimately come back to us as cleaner and safer food.

Waste to food

It was also the day Bangaloreans came together to revive our lost title: Garden City.

People participate in seed sowing

Many Bangaloreans joined us in sowing seeds of leafy veggies in small pots. They were hung on a vertical garden that was christened Garden City 2.0. The vertical garden is as tall as a three-storey building and dynamic as a  living organism, turning greener every day. Every plant is  nourished by the kitchen waste that we as a city generate on an everyday basis. The garden stands as a symbol of what we can achieve if we come together.

Mall folks excited about seed sowing

On the first day, despite the heavy downpour, nearly 150 Bangaloreans came over to plant seeds in our garden. Another 1,700 people pledged  online to segregate and compost.  

climbers climbing the vertical garden to place the pots

People at the mall were impressed  to see a vertical garden  that was almost equivalent in area to a 1BHK in Bangalore. One of the visitors, Chandra, a homemaker, even told our Greenpeace staff that she does  terrace gardening at her house, and that kitchen waste is not just simply waste, but  pretty valuable if you have that right kind of perceptions.

Beatboxers chilling

Something more than just gardening happened. Vincent Vineeth, one of India’s very  popular beatboxers and a familiar face in Bangalore, along with a troop of fellow beatboxers got the crowd in rapt attention.

So sick expression

The day came to a close. While retrospecting with Shivani, a fellow campaigner, she said, “Imagine if what is done inside in a mall is done across the state. Farmers will not need harmful, chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Not only will our soils remain healthy, even we will."

Bengaluru sees 5000 tonnes of unsegregated waste everyday

The key fact is that Bangalore, according to BBMP, produces around 5,000 tonnes of garbage everyday. Some 90% of this can be diverted from landfills if we choose to segregate, recycle and compost.

At the end of the day, everyone left with one message: It’s our city and it’s our responsibility.

The fun doesn't end here, this Saturday, the 2nd of September, join us for more gardening, music and networking.

Karthikeyan Hemalatha is a Communications Campaigner at Greenpeace India