In an attempt to reduce environmental pollution using waste management, environmentalist Dr. Nazia Rasool Latifi has begun to create vertical gardens in Jammu using plastic bottles.
“Vertical garden not just reduces environmental pollution but also benefits the nature in many ways. The method helps to conserve water as the plants are vertically arranged to ensure minimum wastage of water,” Latifi told ANI.
She believes that the gardens reduce stress levels and add to the local beauty.
“I had attended a seminar following which I got this idea. I love nature and had the passion to do something so I started with this. I made the vertical garden at Government College for Women in Gandhi Nagar were I was teaching. I have also made a vertical garden at Police Public School, the University of Jammu following which many organisations are approaching me,” she said.
“Drip irrigation is used in the process so that less amount of water is used. Amid COVID-19, when stress is on a healthy environment, I feel that the vertical gardens are a good concept. I also demonstrate the concept to students so that they learn the concept and it can also become a source of income for them,” she added.
In order to make the concept more attractive, plastic bottles are painted with cartoon figures and other illustrations.
Other professors have appreciated the concept and said that this method of gardening would send the message of resource conservation, waste management, and encourage eco-friendly attitudes among the students.
Raj Kumar Rampal, a professor said that this concept should not only be restricted to outdoor, but it can also be used inside homes and offices as well for a fresh and healthy environment.
“We often stress on giving eco-friendly concepts to our students on how to go green. We also teach them judicious use of things and how to reuse waste to conserve resources and reduce pollution. We pour water on the top plant and it drips its way to the plant placed at the bottom, so water is conserved. It is also cost-efficient,” said Rampal.
“I appreciate her efforts and idea for making vertical gardens. It is a very important and interesting concept as the lands are decreasing and there is a need to increase greenery. This concept can also be used to grow medicinal plants and for other utility purposes. In view of COVID-19, when patients need more oxygen, if we bring this concept indoors, we can also get sufficient amounts of oxygen,” he added.
The students have also appreciated the concept and look forward to decorating their college walls with vertical gardens.
“As a Botany student, this concept is of much significance to me. Whoever passes by this vertical garden, take a minute to note it which reflects its aesthetic value. Apart from that, it is an eco-friendly concept as we also learn waste management from it. In addition, it also has a recreational benefit. We want to take this concept forward,” Aneesa Mattoo, a student said.
Another student, Rasool Ahmad, lauds the idea of vertical gardens calling it ‘innovative’. “This can also be used indoors. We can see that solid waste is so common, and this method ensures the reduction of plastic waste and reduces threats to the environment,” he said.