TA Writer of the Week: Kavya Chandra, the constant gardener who trots and blogs

Kavya Chandra puts pen to practice (and vice versa) while researching and writing on kitchen gardening and travelling when she isn’t exploring the nooks of the traffucked city on foot or tending to the plants on her terrace.


Practice what you preach, is what they have been saying from the days of yore. Sustainability champion, Kavya Chandra puts pen to practice (and vice versa) while researching and writing on kitchen gardening and travelling when she isn’t exploring the nooks of the traffucked city on foot or tending to the plants on her terrace. Here, she tells all…on how she writes, lives and breathes sustainability.

“Being someone who can work more for love and interest of the work than anything else has made me dabble in the field a bit.”

What you tell about yourself to people?

I have studied and worked in communication majorly – working with non profits for the last 4-5 years, the past one year has been in studying sustainability and exploring newer areas under the subject. Being someone who can work more for love and interest of the work than anything else has made me dabble in the field a bit.

I can say confidently that my passion is in the area of sustainability and making a difference in a positive and impactful manner is most important especially in our society where change is constantly taking place. I try and create new interests for myself in different ways and get this with traveling and meeting people.

I am a complete foodie; my favourite food is biryani and coastal cuisine and visiting Bangalore’s brewpubs. Bangalore is so diverse and versatile; there are always new things happening whether its educational, entertainment or just an outing. I enjoy watching plays, performances and that plays an immense cultural role in Bangalore, too.

What you don’t?

Addressing gender bias and educating society about the importance of women is most important. This despite being mentioned on my blog needs a more serious focus.

Where did your fascination with sustainability begin?

This began in 2010 when I was scuba diving in the Andamans and the moment I was underwater, I was completely blown away by the beauty and life of the ocean. I remember at that moment the song, ‘What a wonderful world’ popping into my head! I started thinking about the balance of life and nature and our role and that is when I started learning about sustainability and the environment.

Sustainability na milegi dobara?

Apart from profiling kitchen gardeners in the city, you also spend time growing your own food. Tell us about how that started and how has it fared for you?

This started just a few months back when I was doing a research paper on kitchen gardening. I interviewed urban gardeners across Bangalore on how growing food is sustainable for them as a cost save, environment and building bridges amongst communities. This made me understand that this has helped people in all these ways and gardening is a great stress buster. This way I started my own terrace garden which is quite small and harvest lots of greens besides being in touch with experts in the city to know more. There is a practical understanding from my end, something that I can relate to them with and look forward to taking care of my vegetables regularly.

How else do you define sustainability in your own life?

Sustainability for me is cutting down carbon emissions and being as eco-friendly as possible. Besides my own small garden on the terrace I walk as much as I can. Bangalore’s traffic is awful and I ended up learning more about the city, stretch my legs and discover that new cafe or restaurant around the corner; I have also started eating organic products and compost at home to do my own bit at the waste management angle. I feel that if everyone did their bit in any small manner it goes a long way and that shows a sustainable outlook.

How are readers responding to the practices and ideas of sustainability?

People have enjoyed reading my work and they encourage me a great deal by telling me my work was informative, new and I should keep writing and keep them updated about gardening. This has allowed me to reach out to many forums like OTG on facebook and various experts in this field. My blog is all about sustainability, travel as well and life in general.

Kavya’s own little garden of Eden in her Bangalore apartment

The best thing you ever read in The Alternative?

Truthfully, there are way too many articles that I like on alternative so it is difficult to point out! I especially like the articles covered on women empowerment and recycling things at home on how to reduce waste. What is nice is that if someone wants to make a start somewhere at being sustainable, TA answers their question or queries whether it is food, recycling, composting, gardening, reducing electricity bills etc. I also love the whole new take on cooking healthy and organic products with recipes. See? Too many topics!

6. How do you think can The Alternative spread the message on sustainable living to a wider audience of the uninitiated and naysayers?

I feel that participation of schools and colleges should be on a greater level, these guys are going to be working individuals one day so sustainability initiated at a young age has huge impacts once they are older and tends to influence their decisions and choices as an adult. Today, I see many people turning towards a sustainable lifestyle when they start having kids or when their children want to be sustainable. This should be a long running habit where it starts from the very beginning. I also feel that neighbourhood communities like ‘We Care for Mallshwaram’ must increase and be popularized to all Bangalore neighborhoods for greater awareness.

[Editor’s Note] The Alternative has a pool of writers and contributors who are remarkable in the wide range of topics they cover, their in-depth analysis, and the extent of their work on topics they care about. Every week, we will feature one such writer who has enriched our platform with interesting and diverse stories and views in our TA writer of the week section.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Makepeace is a freelance writer and a make believe selfie model. She formerly served as a Community Editor at The Alternative and now works with an international non profit in Bangalore. The only kind of marathons she loves are the ones on the idiot box. Follow her at @makeysitlhou more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Makepeace is a freelance writer and a make believe selfie model. She formerly served as a Community Editor at The Alternative and now works with an international non profit in Bangalore. The only kind of marathons she loves are the ones on the idiot box. Follow her at @makeysitlhou more

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