GV Dasarathi has truly taken the idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to a whole new level when we speak of his home in Bangalore. Called ‘Kachra Mane’, which literally translates from Kannada into “Trash Home,” his house is literally made from trash that he has collected. He strongly believes in ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink’ as his motto, plus his motive proves that conviction can build houses at half the cost of a traditional one. The house has been designed by the architectural firm Maya Prexis, with interiors by Vismaya Interiors.
Parts of the house, such as the windows, staircase, kitchen cupboards, book shelves are made from discarded pinewood packing cases that was polished using linseed oil, as found on Das’s blog. Bathroom fittings, kitchen sinks and even glass windows have been taken from demolished buildings. The fittings for two toilets cost a total of INR 7000, whereas the cost for completely new ones would have been approximately INR 50,000.
While saving on money, the house also saved Dasarathi plenty of time. The entire construction was completed in a span of 7 months - a feat almost unheard of in India. One of the more impressive features is a 20,000 litre tank for rainwater harvesting. Dasarathi tested the chemical impurity and bacteria in the water and found that while chemical impurities were less than the city supplied water, bacteria was more. He simply filtered the water using a UV filter and the water was perfectly fine to use. In a story he wrote for the The Alternative, he describes the building of a dry toilet as “40% of any home’s water consumption goes towards flushing toilets, so we want to eliminate this waste of water.” The house also has a 200 litre capacity solar heater that has an inbuilt coil for cloudy days - Bangalore sees a whole season of these!
This house is an inspiration to all those looking to adopt ways of an alternative, conscientious life while still living in booming metropolises - it is possible! Dasarathi’s advice to anyone looking to do as he has done is, “When building a new house, do not prioritize expensive floor tiles, kitchen systems, bathroom fittings, etc. and when it comes to water conservation systems, say you have run out of money” as written for The Alternative. For all those in Bangalore looking for help, his blog has mentioned names and contact information of people who can source the material for you, as well as an explanation of the methods incorporated in the house. This example shows us that dedication to creating a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere helps such people to enjoy the sensible utterance of the calm that we all seem to seek.