Tips for ‘green’ living in an urban environment

As people become more health conscious, we look at what developers, as well as home owners are doing, to create surroundings that bring them closer to nature

Whether it is apartment societies in the city or sprawling villas in the suburbs, home buyers today are increasingly looking for properties that provide natural surroundings. Consequently, real estate companies are also striving to meet this demand, by providing green playgrounds for children, parks and ample cross-ventilation inside the home. Home owners in cities, who are constrained for space are also seeking innovative ways to add natural elements to their homes, from installing floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room to including greenery in their apartments.   

 

Create a natural surrounding at home

“Nature plays an important role in our lives. It is our mistake that we do not realise its importance, as we live in a concrete jungle,” points out Kulpreet Kaur, co-founder, Shoppirate.in. “In my house, I have tried to create a green environment for my family. My house has three sides open. In my main balcony, we have created a small garden, where I have artificial grass and lots of flowers and small bonsai plants like neem, mango, etc. There is a wooden trunk, which we use for seating. I also have a small garden, in the balcony adjacent to the kitchen, where we grow vegetables like ladyfinger, green chillies, curry leaves, lemon grass and aloe Vera in pots,” adds Kaur.

When it comes to investing in real estate, people often consider suburban locations, as they offer more space and greenery. Hence, suburbs have developed at a rapid pace. Vineet Gopal, director of Reunion Island Tourism Board, points out that cities are often polluted and getting pure oxygen is very difficult.

Gopal, who has created a green habitat around his home, with a garden having more than 85 plants and four big trees, says “We have decorative plants, flower plants and a small space for growing vegetables. We use natural fertilisers for our garden. The exterior walls of our house also look like a garden, as we have a rooftop garden where we have vine plants like philodendron, betel leaf, jasmine and others. We also have various indoor plants. Our house has three sides open and hence, it receives lots of sunshine and cross-ventilation. Whatever little efforts we have taken, has brought us closer to nature. Our small little paradise in the crowded city, gives us peace and positive energy.”

See also: Are green homes a viable option for home buyers?

 

Creative ways to add a ‘green’ quotient to one’s lifestyle

Home owners are also getting creative, when it comes to adding some greenery at home. Abhishek Kukreja, vice-president, Cedar Villas in Mashobra, feels that old stuff, like paint boxes, old drawers, stools or even baskets, can be put to use in many ways. “When it comes to green settings in the balcony and the windows, I love the rustic look. It gives a homely, cosy and yet, quirky feel. For windows, I would suggest incorporating air purifying plants like weeping fig, azalea, or English ivy. These plants are immensely beautiful and would look nice in a rustic décor,” Kukreja suggests.

As people become increasingly health conscious, there are many other small but significant ways, to incorporate ‘green’ living. Kaur, for example, prefers to gift plants and natural products to her friends on festive occasions like Diwali, instead of expensive man-made gifts.

“For my child, I buy organic, eco-friendly clothing. It is a myth that in apartments, we cannot contribute towards the environment. Even in smaller spaces, we can connect with nature, if there is a desire to do so,” concludes Kaur.

 

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