Suseum, an initiative of Energy Alternatives India (EAI), Chennai, is a ‘sustainability museum’ that showcases, and encourages people to adopt sustainability practices and principles in their daily life.
“The vision behind Suseum is to enable each and every visitor to start taking practical steps towards sustainability. To this end, we have a mix of things over here – videos, activities, demos of products…”, says its founder, Narsi Santhanam.
Intrigued, I went to see for myself what they have created.
Two enthusiastic youngsters, Raja & Uma, guided me through their office which has been converted into a Sustainability Museum. Who would not like to work in such an environment? My heartfelt jealousy towards their employees 😛
This is an electric cycle that can be used to commute over short distances, and runs on battery that can be charged by the mains or solar panels. It seems their founder sometimes comes to office using this bicycle. Behind it you see some packages – they are organic grains (rice, wheat, pulses, etc.) that have been grown without chemicals/fertilizers, and hence are more healthy. There were many organic products in display – incl. an organic (herbal) mosquito repellent that can be fixed in our All Out/Good Night machines!
There was another room where they had many educational posters on clean energy technologies, energy efficiency and green buildings.
In this room they demonstrate good waste management practices (source segregation, safe disposal, etc.) and technologies like waste water treatment & rain water harvesting – these help save water in overcrowded Indian residences, instead of sending it all to the sea or letting it evaporate.
It seems, most of our hazardous waste (medical, electronic) can be recycled (on a centralized basis), but recycling is expensive. At least, it can be done! The decorative item you see in the above photo has been made using waste. Cute, isn’t it?
They have a small shop where they sell useful items (like purse, book, decorative items, etc.) made of recycled waste materials, organic compost (for garden), biodegradable plastic garbage bags, etc. People can buy something from here to show their support for sustainability. O.K, I didn’t buy anything – but I am writing this blog post towards my contribution to sustainable-living anyway 🙂
Another room showcased renewable energy exhibits. The usual solar, wind, biomass, etc. were there, but two things caught my attention – Solar cooker, that uses the energy of the sun to cook food, and Jatropha oil that is used to make bio-diesel/bio-fuel. In future, it maybe possible to grow our own petrol/diesel! It’s cool, except for pollution and possible diversion of cultivable land (now used to grow food).
There was a display of craft items made by kids, using newspaper and other waste materials. Nearby, there is a balcony that has been converted into a vertical garden! In this 5th floor apartment balcony they are growing many varieties of plants including coriander, beetroot, ladies finger, etc. If you look at the above picture carefully, you’ll notice that the excess water in one container will flow into another, thereby minimizing wasted water. All the plants were grown in discarded materials like cans, plastic bottles, etc.
This sustainability museum is open to public from 9 AM – 5 PM on weekdays. For location and further details, refer to their site.