Encouraging Greenery In Urban Areas, Ekta Is Taking Over YouTube With Her Gardening Skills
- IWB Post
- September 25, 2019
Living among man-made structures made up of asphalt, brick, and concrete can be hard on our environment. Our souls crave for a green space in the middle of this metropolitan environment. Introduction to greenery is making a profound influence on the urbanized human being.
YouTuber Ekta Chaudhary has taken the baton in her hands as she is determined to create a green space in urban areas. Through her channel, Garden Up, Ekta gives insight into the kind of indoor plants and seeds one can choose from while giving useful trivia about gardening.
IWB indulged in a conversation with Ekta to understand her venture aiming at encouraging people about sustainability, the concept of DIY and for making videos that help make our surroundings greener in the simplest ways. Excerpts:
In your YouTube channel, Garden Up, you have attempted to add a touch of minimalism, aesthetic visuals, and creative ideas. How have you set up a balcony garden at your space?
I stay in Mumbai, so, I don’t have a lot of space, that’s why I prefer indoor planting. Also, the outdoor planting mostly consists of vegetables, herbs and some ornamental plants. To provide some shade to my plants from sunlight, I put some big plants ahead of them. Also, when I used to live in my hostel at Bangalore, I attempted at growing edibles, flowering plants or succulent in the 30 sq. ft. balcony garden.
How did Garden Up start? How did you start shooting your garden videos?
When I started this, I had just finished my fieldwork in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. When I came back to Bangalore, I missed the greenery. So, along with my work, I thought of doing something which I like. People used to talk about various issues regarding plantation and environment but they focused on the how and not why. As an ecologist, I thought of inspiring people to have green in their house. Most of the videos are about how to grow plants in urban living because space is the problem. So, Garden Up is somewhere between explaining why and introducing green space.
The video goes through stages of implementing an idea, creating content, using types of equipment for shooting, and providing a narrative to it. So I try to shoot indoor as it’s easier to move things and also for aesthetically pleasing visuals.
For ideas and content, I try to think of ideas which interest urban audience to have green space. I try to help them with roadblocks occurring while gardening. Through my videos, I tell them about the air purifying indoor plants, or herb garden which not only adds greenery to space but also beautifies it.
For shooting, I began with a basic camera, two big bulbs and used books as a tripod. Also, got hurt by the lights at times (laughs). Now, I use Canon 80d with all necessary types of equipment such as a professional tripod, a gimbal and three-point lighting set up to shoot my videos. Also, when I got selected for NextUp in October 2018, an event for YouTubers, I was provided with lots of facilities. They train YouTubers with types of equipment and it has provided a bigger insight into using software and shooting.
Ekta Chaudhary on Instagram: “Between posing with a plant, hiding my face from the sun.. . . . . . . . #indianhomes #homedecor #instagramhome #instagramhomesteaders…”
887 Likes, 26 Comments – Ekta Chaudhary (@gardenup.in) on Instagram: “Between posing with a plant, hiding my face from the sun.. . . . . . . . #indianhomes #homedecor…”
How can we include the use of organic materials in gardening?
I always use the organic way as it is super easy to do. In most of the urban and rural areas there is no separation of waste, I believe, this issue requires urgent attention. I have also started using the Hindi language in videos, as it provides a wider reach.
Also, the usage of plastic materials and pots has increased rapidly. Surprisingly, even nurseries use plastic pots. People use plastics because it’s easier to use otherwise terracotta pots are great. One can easily keep a check on the temperature as soil and roots get too hot in summer.
How can one create their own green space in urban areas?
In urban areas, we majorly face the issue of lack of space. So, I try and talk about vertical gardening. For example, for cucumber or gourd, you need vertical gardening as they require vertical space to grow. Also, I also talk about hanging plants. It not only looks good but saves lots of space. So, vertical space is used as you can’t grow two dimensions in one place. Through the videos, I try and tell creative ways to use the space.
Along with space, can different seasons also be considered as a roadblock in growing plants in certain areas?
The climate of India comprises a wide range of weather conditions. I would suggest that the green clothes are very useful in summers. One can get it very easily and readily. It can be used to shade the plants. Places like Delhi, Gujarat get very dry around this time of year. So proper water should be provided as roots and soil get very hot. One should keep a close check on watering.
Rain can have a dramatic effect on plants. While a regular rain pattern is vital to healthy plants, too much or too little rainfall can be harmful. Plants should be kept a little away so that it doesn’t get ruined from winds and heavy rainfall.
How can each of us respond to the continuous cutting of trees for constructing buildings?
First thing is awareness, as we are very ignorant of nature. You know, when trees are cut down for a Highway to be laid out, a meeting is to be conducted. Between government agencies that are supposed to make it and the stakeholders, the people who stay there and own it. It’s a part of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and in the meeting, they discuss the proposed project and decide whether to grant planning permission for it.
Right from Chipko movement to the current issues happening around us, such zeal and engagement carve out a way to save nature. So I think being aware is the main thing but only if we understand our responsibility towards nature. I believe activism is necessary.
Recently, many issues were raised by the farmers and they marched up to Mumbai and fought for their rights. With baby steps, we need to bring changes in our daily practices, like buying from the local market. Also, many NGOs are taking steps by conducting plantation drives and connecting with the farmers. We should put our heads together and do our part.
ABOUT 🌼 | Here is a list of top five easy to grow indoor plants that can make your living space beautiful. Most of the indoor plants like peace lily, boston fern, foxtail fern, rubber plant, crotons and pothos are super easy to grow indoors.
Along these lines, how can we respond to air pollution around us?
At an individual level, I believe that the consumption of anything that aggregates any form of pollution should be avoided. These are a few basic things which we learned back in 10th standard. People need to take responsibility. Delhi’s situation is worsening day by day and it may affect other cities as well, it has to stop.
Through your channel, Garden Up, what can be expected more?
YouTube has great potential. It takes time to build. The core of the channel has been green living sustainability. So around the idea of having green space, sustainability is something which I want to build the channel around. Also, I want to bring other elements of gardening, decor, minimalism, cutting down waste products, etc.