THE WASTE ISSUE- a workbook on solid waste management

Authors: Sangeeta Venkatesh, Padma Shastry, Nivedita Rathaur

Design: Anjali Shastry

The Editor’s Quill

Hello, young friends!

Solid waste has been an eyesore in our cities for some years now. There are mountains of garbage everywhere we look. With increasing population, all the waste we produce in our daily lives is taking over our streets and landfills. Do we really want to live our entire lives in the midst of garbage piles? Do we want our families to suffer from diseases caused by vermin which the garbage attracts? Do we want to breathe the smelly malodorous air caused by rotting garbage? Do you want your oceans and other water bodies contaminated with waste? Haven’t we had enough?

This workbook has been created in order to acquaint you with the extent of the problem and possible solutions to alleviate the issue. It is filled with stories, activities, information, puzzles and more. You will learn how our modern lifestyle is contributing to the problem of ever-increasing garbage. You will also learn what you can do as an individual or in a group to control the problem.  

So pick up this workbook, learn all about solid waste, and become a cleanliness warrior! Recruit your own army of cleanliness warriors and change the city. You have the power!  Write to us at for awareness workshops or copies of the book.

P.S: PDFs are also available after payment.


Sumrux: Krupa Seetharaman is trying to get people to love preloved !

In an earlier post, I had given an introduction to the ills of Fast Fashion and why Sustainable Fashion is the way to go. In this video, Shailaja Rangarajan, Founder of Rimagined, also tells us in detail the magnitude of Textile Waste and the burden it is causing to the Earth. The statistics are staggering and the waste is created not just by the consumers but by fabric makers, garments makers, and brands that put a label on them – especially in the realm of ‘fast fashion’. The problems of blended fabric that give rise to microfibre pollution are not talked about much, but pose a great threat just like microplastics. Shailaja emphasized that the use of singular natural fabric has a greater chance of degrading at the ‘end of life’ and also the use of natural dyes over chemical dyes.

India’s tryst with preloved is not new, as we inherit some beautiful, heirloom and vintage sarees and jewellery from our mothers and grand mothers. These are investments that have gone down generations. However, in modern times, many heavy sarees (or regular wear), just lie in the cupboards and then they are discarded when they fray. Would it not be a better idea to get it out of the cupboard and let someone else have a use for it? Maybe rent it out, or sell it a discounted price?

This is where Sumrux comes in. It is a one stop shop for selling, buying, swapping and renting. This initiative was started by Krupa Seetharaman, a software engineer. Krupa was previously with Microsoft, which she quit in 2011 to engage with citizen and civic movements in the city of Bangalore such as the CMCA and HSR citizen forum. The name Sumrux comes from the the Sanskrit/ Kannada word Samrakshine, which means to ‘protect the environment’. Krupa started this enterprise in 2020 and had started with putting up books, and textbooks. It then slowly expanded to hosting electronic and whitegoods that were in working condition. Of course can apparel be left behind?

Sumrux is currently holding an event that is giving Bangalore citizens to get out their preloved sarees and put it into circulation. The event is on until February 25th, 2023, where you can touch and feel the garments. Even after the event, you can go to their website and interact. Krupa goes through each garment for any damages or stains and makes sure that the consumer is not short-changed. The goal is also to remove the ‘second hand’ stigma!

The details are on All you have to do is register! And you can #sumruxit too! This event is in collaboration with and you can check out their website too.

Bangalore is singularly lucky in having other enterprises that help prevent waste and help conscious consumerism, and Sumrux adds to this list. Do let me know in the comments about enterprises such as these in your city!

Krupa Seetharaman (2nd from right)

While at the location, do check out composters, menstrual cups, cloth pads and other eco-friendly products.

Sustainable Living with Sangeeta on YouTube – Women’s Web Channel

Sustainable Menstruation

In this video I speak about what it takes to produce sanitary pads and how we can reduce landfills by switching to sustainable menstrual products. I am also in conversation Seema Khandale, Social Activist, Founder – Ashay Social Group, Designer of RUTU menstrual cup –

Seema talks about the advantages of a menstrual cup, how to buy a menstrual cup, how to wear them, how not to wear them and gives us a lot of tips in using the menstrual cup. Seema also talks about cloth pads. What are the pros and cons of using cloth pads, how to buy cloth pads and more. Do click on the link above to learn more about sustainable menstruation and how it can change the lives of adolescent girls and women.

Waste to Wonder- the concluding episode – MCUBE

Today July 3rd is Plastic Bag Free Day, and a great day that I get to share the concluding episode of Waste to Wonder – a wonderful conversation that I (Sangeeta Venkatesh) had with Ms. Akta Sehgal Malhotra, Ms Ila Pachauri and Ms. Binu Dhir, where it’s not just about plastics but many other chemicals that we can do without! Do click on the link below- listen to the conversation and please also leave a comment on what you thought!!

“Waste To Wonder”- A Panel Discussion hosted by MCUBE

Waste to Wonder – World Environment Day 2021 – YouTube

Here is the link to the full session of “Waste to Wonder” on YouTube. It was really well conducted, and moderated Akta Sehgal Malhotra and Ila Dwivedi . We had Mrs. Shanti Paswan, Gounder NGO, Jan Sandesh too. Kudos. Really appreciate the audience too. I hope we succeeded in creating some awareness. Look forward to more interactions.

Shopping Review: Grameena Angadi, Bangalore- Your one stop shop for organic & sustainable shopping ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

If you go by the several articles published on food last year, many homes seemed to have awakened to the benefits of home-cooked food.  Moreover, a large section of society was inspired to get back to whole foods. There is a new found awareness when people started to look at and read food labels. A positive fallout of the pandemic was that nutrition and principles of a healthy diet was brought to centre stage. Business magazines and papers report that organic food sales that included plant produce, poultry and livestock went up dramatically around the world .

Personally, it has always been a priority for me to know where my food came from. And it is very convenient if you can find authentic produce under one roof. A few years back, on my mother’s recommendation I visited the Grameena Angadi in Jayanagar, Bangalore, which is the sales and showroom of the cooperative Grameena Karakushala Udyama located in Kanakpura (Bangalore Rural).  The cooperative also has branches in Rajajinagar and Banashankhari localities too.

According to the founder and manager of Gramina Karakushala Udyama, P Rajashekhar, nearly two hundred farmers are dependent on this shop. They all come under the trust formed by artisans and agriculturists. The shop in Jayanagar has two sections in the basement and a flight of steps takes you to another. One section in the basement has organic food grains such as a variety of millets (foxtail, barnyard, kodo, ragi etc), dals/ lentils, all types of organic rice from, black, red to unpolished rice, various types of flours including those that can be used for a low- carbohydrate diet. There is a plethora of cooking oils to choose from, from cold pressed to virgin oils processed from coconut, groundnut, sesame seed etc. I love the high-quality cow and buffalo ghee that they have in stock too. You have the choice of buying free-range eggs and goat milk too! If you come on a Tuesday or a Friday you have the choicest organic vegetables and fruits. Literally from farm to table. I love to buy the cold-pressed oils that come in steel container. Next time I buy another, I simply have to return the steel container and I am not charged for it again. This way, I have the option to cut down my plastic consumption.

The adjacent section has a plethora of ayurvedic proprietary mixes, chemical free cosmetics, cleaning agents, soaps, pooja oils, aggarbattis and items a host of traditional ready to eat snacks like murukku, chaklikoda bale, chips and ready sambar powder, chutney powder, papads and pickles. It’s a tough choice you are faced with. I always feel excited to see the earthen-ware and cast- iron utensils. This section also has things that you can gift others as well yourself like handcrafted bags, terracotta and metal jewellery, and home-décor.

The third section is as interesting as the other two and houses handloom (kaimagga) and some power-loom sarees and textiles. You can find handloom sarees from Karnataka such as the Udupi saree, textiles from Gadag, Raichur, Bijapur, the Patteda Anchu, Ilkals, Khana material along with textiles from adjacent states like Ikats, Kalamkari and linen and jute.  

There is something for gardening enthusiasts too, like compost, organic fertilisers, products made from vetiver and seeds. All in all, a treat for conscious customers who want look to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The customer service is also excellent. We certainly need more such farmers’ outlets for getting ethical, organic and nutritive foods. Do check out the shop when you are in Bangalore.


8th, 11th Main Road, 39th A Cross, Opposite-Shalini Grounds, near Raghavendra Temple, 4th T Block East, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560041

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I.N.P.I.R.E – ‘Beyond Motherhood Awards’- Winner ‘Make a Difference’- Sangeeta Venkatesh

At an online function in the last week of December ’20, at the INSPIRE BEYOND MOTHERHOOD AWARDS 2020, it was so exciting and humbling to be awarded in the category ‘Making a Difference’! This award was given taken into account the efforts in communication for the last 20 years i.e (awareness workshops, blogging, writing including publishing ‘The Waste Issue’- that I have done for the past year on ‘sustainable, waste-free living’ ) and also took into account past work done on ecological sanitation in the tsunami hit village in Tamil Nadu.

The function had the beautiful Nisha Rawal as Guest of Honour, and the jury comprised of Neha Kare Kanabar and Nirupama , Co Founder of Fit Life Style ( The Moderator was RJ Meenal. The event was also partnered by and so many other partners that you can see on certificate! It was amazing to be in the company of so many talented and accomplished women. Thank you Inspire Beyond Motherhood.

Episode 4: Workshop on Making Bioenzyme at home ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

This is a short video on making of Bioenzymes from citrus peels at home. To know more about it please go to the link below and read the article. Please do subscribe to the blog and channel so that you are notified about more updates on sustainable living.

Episode 3- How should you dispose it? How can you reduce it?

This video speaks about how you should dispose dry-waste so that most of it can go into the recycling stream. Also what #swaps can you make in your daily life. Say no to #landfills. Check out this video. To know more about the issue of Waste, get your own copy of ‘The Waste Issue’. Write to

Episode 2: ‘The Waste Issue’ – YouTube Channel

Segregation of waste is simply separating the waste into the appropriate categories so that we can manage our waste effectively. It is the first step in sustainable waste management that prevents waste from going into landfills. When different types of waste are thrown together, the mixed waste is left with no value and its final destination is a landfill, where trash gets dumped outside the city. Can we avoid it? Check out this video. To know more about the issue of Waste, get your own copy of ‘The Waste Issue’. Write to