Chennai-based environmentalist talks about sustainable living

Chennai: Ushering in change is not easy, especially when it is something that most people tend to ignore. But activist Arun Krishnamurthy has managed to garner quite a buzz with his NGO- Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI). News Today meets up with the former Google employee, who is also a recipient of the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise.

Q : How long have you been living in this neighbourhood?
A : I have been here since 2011. The Theosophical Society, The Adyar Estuary, Buckingham Canal, The Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple, the general look and feel of Gandhi Nagar and most definitely, the Karl Schmidt Memorial, are unique features here that fascinate me.

Q : As an environmentalist, how do you see this place?
A : Adyar has a finely crafted ecology. The water contamination, air and noise pollution imposed by us, on this otherwise tranquil space, is a shame.

Q : Can you comment about the water-bodies in the locality?
A : The Adyar river, The Buckingham Canal, open beaches and the Kalakshetra ponds are the immediate ones that come to mind. Being close to the coast with sandy zones, rainwater penetrates the ground below well. However, by concretising and re-routing the rainwater, we are denying ourselves its benefits.

Q :What are a few things residents can do, for their part, to preserve the environment?
A : As many residents in this part of the town are already implementing, if we stop dumping our chemical and non-degradable trash, that itself would make a huge difference.

Q : We heard that your house follows eco-friendly methods. Please tell us about it.
A : We do not use a refrigerator, which helps us eat healthy and reduce waste. We are conscious of every item bought and look for safe planet-friendly disposal methods. We have recycled furniture and have made sincere efforts to phase out chemicals off our life (detergent, soaps, etc).

Q : Can you tell us about your current projects?
A : Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) in 2018, worked on the scientific eco-restoration of over 23 water-bodies across the country.
This year, we have an ambitious task in hand of working on 68 of them, out of which, we have completed four and are currently working on nine. We aim at finishing all projects by November 2019.

E-mail him at [email protected]

Naomi N