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Monday, April 27, 2015

Small Changes Go a Long Way !!

Saving the Earth sounds like a big deal when you have weighty phrases like greenhouse effect, global warming, ozone hole and melting polar caps thrown in. But if you do an in-depth analysis of the causes that contribute to these phenomenon, one realizes that the root cause lies in the way we lead our everyday lives. Awareness is the key to getting anything to work. And we need to be aware that since our planet has limited resources, they have to be effectively managed to sustain quality life on the planet.

Image courtesy: koreaittimes.com

I have put down a few pointers which I believe will go a long way in saving our planet. Read on -

  • Minimize use of products that contains detergents (soaps, shampoos, etc) - Detergents are poisonous to aquatic life, even the biodegradable ones. They lead to algae blooms which deplete oxygen levels in water bodies and often lead to the death of fish and other marine life. Switching over to a natural substitute like soap nuts is a available option. But sadly not enough research has gone into the use of soap nuts (also known as Reetha, comes from a tree known as Sapindus) and developing a commercially viable product that can replace detergent use on a large scale.

  • Switch to a vegetarian diet - Unlike olden times when people depended on free range produce for meat or dairy products, the growing population has led to factory farming. A large number of animals are raised using industrial methods and the disposal of the farm waste ( faeces, pesticides, waste water, waste feed, antibiotics from the animal feed, etc ) is fast turning into a major nightmare. When some of this noxious waste makes way into the water bodies, it leads to

  • Reduce dependency on usage of personal vehicles - Hop onto a bus/local train or hitch a metro ride. Not only it is lighter on the pocket, you would also be doing a favor to the carbon dioxide choked lungs of your city. Still don't want to trade the exclusivity that a car offers ? Get together with a few of your colleagues/neighbors and form a car pool instead. 

  • Responsible planning of buildings goes a long way in countering the greenhouse effect -Living spaces and office spaces making use of too much glass not only contribute to the greenhouse effect but also put pressure on resources like electricity. Imagine how many rural homes could be lighted up if we did not consume obscene amounts of electricity to keep those glitzy glass houses cool and fancifully lighted up.

  • Give those polythene bags a miss at the supermarkets - Opt for jute instead. Stock a few of those and carry it on your shopping expeditions. They are in vogue, degradable and no trees are harmed in their making.

  • Order groceries online - The delivery trucks leave less carbon footprints in a single spree than the combined effect of the multiple cars or sedans that might have done the job individually. Still better, get together with your neighbours and order groceries/fruits/veggies on the same day from any online/offline store.

  • Grow your own kitchen garden - Make use of thick polythene bags, empty tins and even the plastic take away containers for planting small herbs. Reuse the peels to create compost for the plants. Water from washing the fruits, veggies, lentils and rice can go into nurturing these plants. Plus it saves a trip to the nearest vegetable shop whenever one runs out of some coriander or green chilis or any other herbs. 

This entry is written for Green Yatra . Check out this video created in collaboration with Studio NH 47, a band from Namma Bengaluru :

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