“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margret Mead
Shristika Bajracharya from Nepal has been working towards keeping the earth green and not gray. Together with her family and other community members, they have been growing different plants in their kitchen gardens. She recounts how they have been using plantation and greenery to safeguard the environment in her community:
“My family and I believe that the key to a greener planet and environment is in our hands,” says Shristika.
Plants are responsible for a pleasant atmosphere. It has always been a pleasure to live in a place surrounded by green plants. Planting vegetables and flowers on the terrace of a home is primarily done for aesthetic reasons but they also have other diverse environmental advantages to the air we breathe and essentially, our health.
These are the varieties that they have tried.
- Money Plant: This is a common household plant which people in my community believe attracts wealth and prosperity. In addition, the money plant purifies the air and spreads positive vibes thus lessening stress and anxiety.
- Rhododendron: This is our Nepalese national flower and by planting it, I feel fulfilled that I have a beautiful flower growing in my terrace.
- Akabare chili: This plant has a wide range of health benefits in Nepalese society. For example this chili is widely recognized as a gastric medicine, helps to improve digestion, solves the migraine problems and reduces the amount of sugar in the blood and helps to prevent diabetes. Moreover, it helps to diagnose gastric and ulcer disease and it also help in many other disease problems.
- Tomato: This vegetable is widely used for its organic taste and is quite rich in vitamin C.
- Pumpkin: This delicious vegetable is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. We chose to plant pumpkin as they are known to contain low calorie and also promotes a healthy heart and skin.
- Capsicum: These vegetables contain a high amount of Vitamin C and thus offer a very crucial way of boosting our immune system.
- Bitter gourd: This plant has several important nutrients and it is known for its ability to help in reducing blood sugar. It is also believed to have cancer-fighting properties as well as decreasing cholesterol levels.
- Mint leaves: This wonderful smelling plant is believed to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Mints leaves helps to relieve indigestion and are rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamins like C, D, E and A which improve the body's immune system.
- Wheat crops: My family and I planted these crops with the intention of getting fresh crops from which we can make rice and beaten rice. This has reduced our budget as we no longer need to purchase these products.
- Coleus (Coleus Blumei): This plant is mostly used as a decorative piece due to its appealing unique, nature and arrays of color combinations. It is also aromatic and its roots are believed to have some medicinal use. It is said to have benefits for the treatment of rashes, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, epilepsy, and angina.”
Through their “Family-wide Greening Plantations Project” Shristika has also been teaching her family and communities to ‘Reuse, Reduce and Recycle’. They use yogurt boxes, water pots and water plastic bottles. “This effort brought our family and neighbors together. It taught us to be guardians of and responsible for our environment,” she said.
At GPW, we are proud of our Sunshine Family Volunteer Shristika for spearheading this wonderful project in her community in Nepal.