By Ramya — Founder I Formulator I Writer I Natural Farmer


I joined a bunch of citizen volunteers – nature lovers and bird watchers, for the Annual Mid-Winter Waterfowl Census, planned by the Bird Watchers’ Field Club of Bengaluru.

The 2020 census was ordered by the Karnataka High Court to assess the prevailing condition of the city’s lakes as wetland ecosystems and waterfowl habitats.

We surveyed one lake after the other over a few weekends. One of the lakes was dry, another choked with froth from an excess of industrial effluent discharge. Most had trash floating amidst the emergent vegetation. Despite the abominations that we humans had turned these wetlands into, plenty of aquatic and shore birds eked out a living in every single one of them, and migratory species still viewed them as worthy breeding and nesting sites.

Even the sewage it wades in, fails to mar the beauty of this grey-headed swamphen at Seetharamapalya Kere in Bengaluru

Glossy bronze-winged jacanas and grey-headed swamphens waded in sewage and garbage. Wood sandpipers perched on plastic debris. Eurasian coots, garganeys, grebes and sand plovers raised their young in putrid, foul-smelling wetlands defiled by waste discharge from upmarket gated communities and apartment complexes.

I came away hopeless and helpless, ashamed of how we were failing biodiversity in our urban sprawls, and elsewhere.

Through the years, before the lake census and after, my fondness for the natural world and despair at the havoc being wreaked over natural habitats, has kept me rooted to sustainable practices I watched growing up in my grandparents’ house.

Over time, this habit has taken on many hues — getting discarded one-sided sheets at my place of work spiral bound for use office-wide, reusing and reinventing things before finally letting them go, picking litter during treks up breath-taking mountains, opting for pre-loved garments and cloth nappies over disposable diapers for my then infant boys, embracing the menstrual cup, crafting gifting envelopes from dated wedding invites, consuming mindfully, setting up and managing rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and composting initiatives in the small community I call home, reviving a degraded, chemical sprayed patch of land, falling deeper in love with trees, birds, rivers and mountains, and the expression of it all via the written word.*

For the BBC – The Indian megacity digging a million wells

These, along with my Environmental Engineering training, and foray into regenerative agriculture, birthed a yearning to create something tangible to aid thoughtful choices in daily lives.

Choices that are safe for people, pets and the planet, and get the job done without sullying our waters, soil and natural habitats.

Chemistry lessons from decades ago, came handy as I researched and laboured at the dinner table for months on end, experimenting and crafting non-toxic, natural and biodegradable cleaning formulations and water-saving cleaning concentrates. And the nonconformist streak doubtlessly cast aside conventional branding dictats, in favour of minimalistic, zero-waste product packaging – reused gin bottles and medicine bottles.

That’s how Green Goobé came to be.

If you’re game for more reading, here’s a lowdown on my other preoccupations.


In 2018, I returned to the farming ways of my ancestors from the mountains Western Ghats of Karnataka. Together with my family, I meandered towards regenerative agriculture, restoring a degraded patch of chemical-laden farmland into a biodiverse food forest for humans and wild beings. This land we call Navilu Kaadu, has now morphed into a thriving, sparingly tampered with wild grassland. Birds, snakes, lizards, mongooses, hares, insects and their ilk lead busy lives on the canopies and in the underbrush.

I write a monthly Sunday column in Deccan Herald, where I chronicle my family’s farming misadventures and my wide-eyed wonder of the natural world. The column goes by the name Rooting For Nature. More of my writings are linked at the end of the page.

  • under watchful eyes
  • Tale of plucky minimalist


In an earlier lifetime I qualified as an Environmental Engineer. Opportunities were few and far between at the time in the field and I was never keen on leaving the land of my birth. I instead studied for an MBA and strayed into software marketing with global corporations such as Ingersoll-Rand, i-flex Solutions (later Oracle), Juniper Networks and MathWorks Inc. I eventually shifted gears to independent consulting, helping corporations with branding and content strategy.

You know the rest.

Tread light!



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