HOLE(Y) Bin series: Part 6

Magic with Peels! (DIY)

Would it not be nice if all the chemicals used at home for cleaning are replaced by a multipurpose organic product?

Image Courtesy: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

It would be wise to have a cleaning product that not only cleans the floors and surfaces, but also can be for dishwashing, laundry, unclogging drains, disinfectant, air- water- soil purifier, insect repellent, plant fertilizer, natural pesticide, body care, etc. that is non-toxic and free from harsh chemicals, totally natural, prepared by processing organic kitchen waste that one generates daily. And, this is possible!

Image Courtesy: Pasja, Pixerbay

This extremely versatile magical product, commonly known as Garbage-Enzyme or Eco-Enzyme or Waste-Enzyme or Bio-Enzyme, which is easy to make, at home, from the peels of vegetables and fruits that are usually thrown away as waste. It is fermented with jaggery and water, in reused airtight plastic containers, for a period of approximately three months. However, the same process can be completed in a month also by just sprinkling a few granules of dry yeast into the mixture without bringing any significant difference in its quality. This idea was first introduced by Dr. Rosukon Poompanvong from Thailand, and has now become quite popular with people who want to adopt sustainable lifestyle.

The solution gets a golden-brown colour from the jaggery used, with a vinegar like smell after the fermentation process completes. Using only citrus fruit peel gives a strong fruity smell, with a bit of a sour lemony aroma. However, by using a mixed variety of freshly cut raw peels of fruits and vegetables provides ideal medium for multi cultured, good microbes cultivate and prepare a sweet acidic enzyme.

This cost-effective wonder enzyme is an Eco-Responsible way to not only make our indoor surroundings toxic free for ourselves and our pets, but in return, we do a huge service to our environment by not pouring harsh toxic chemicals down the drain, every day. This is a positive step to act, by not burdening the landfills, by piling it up with our daily household organic kitchen waste. It is a known fact that the wet waste dumped and mixed with other DRY waste in the landfills decomposes anaerobically, generating the global warming methane gas, which is one of the root causes of Climate Change, as it is 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, when measured over a 20-year period.

The procedure to make this bio-enzyme is simpler than making pickles.

Airtight reused plastic containers are ideal for this process over glass or metal containers, as they permit expansion caused by gas evolved throughout the fermentation process and plastic is non-reactive to the acidic enzyme. Leaving some air space for fermented gas to collect on top, the containers are filled with water, jaggery (no white sugar) and fresh raw peels in the ratio of 10:1:3. For example, in 1L water, add 100g of jaggery and 300g of peel then shake and close the lid. For the first thirty days, the gas produced due to fermentation must be released minimum once, every day, without fail. Subsequently, the gas will reduce, and one needs to open the lid to stir it every one or two weeks for the next sixty days. Initially, the peels will float on top, but as fermentation proceeds to end they settle down at the bottom of the container, another indication of process completion.

The planet is reeling under unchecked pollution of harmful chemicals. A conscious decision to use natural cleansing agents is a big step towards sustainable living, and that is the need of the hour. Imagine if everyone shifts to such a lifestyle, then there is a hope to rejuvenate our planet and get back its lost glory! Ditch the toxic chemicals, and join hands to do Magic with the Peels!

Let us be that change!

By Nita Ganguly, National Coordinator — Waste Management, Climate Reality India, Educator and Author

PS: Check out the video,“Magic with Peels.” It is an ACTORY” (activity + story) for kids and a simple way to understand the process.

Stay tuned to the next article in this series, which will be on how to prepare HOLE(Y) BINs at home.

Climate Reality - India & South Asia

The Climate Reality Project India & South Asia, actively engages igniting the spark & spreading the message of #climatechange amongst educators & civil society.