A Liberal Point of View to Life

Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Fight to Save Yamuna


The advent of Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 instils fear in me. Yes, fear more than the pride. For more than a year now, I have been reading about Delhi Government’s mega plans for Commonwealth village. Of course, government’s decision for Commonwealth village is commercially driven. This article will tell you how much Commonwealth Games Village would be worth.  The construction of Commonwealth Games village started in August this year amidst protests from various quarters.

In a capital city, where we always face a power and water crisis, building new luxurious villages is nothing out of norm. The thing that Government got wrong this time is that it plans to build its Commonwealth Games village on Yamuna floodplains. If Yamuna floodplains are stifled with permament structures, Delhi will be prone to floods in the monsoon. Because Yamuna will not be able to manage excess water without the spacious floodplains. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) report clearly states this fact. Yamuna has always been flood-prone. Just this year in September, low-lying areas of Yamuna have been evacuated.



CFLs, Waste and Environment

RJ has vowed to use CFLs, I too have been chief advocate of CFLs myself. I have also posted a Common Craft video that tells us CFL, though expensive, prove useful in longer run. But in my own house, I am having trouble to implement CFLs. Reason? CFLs do not last long. In 6 months, 3 CFLs have perished. My grandfather is now steadfast to avoid CFLs as he is convinced they are bad quality. Of course, I tried to reason with him, explained my reasons. But he refuses to invest in CFL that he thinks is waste. Yet I invested in more CFLs. Our argument did not finish here.

But I had two new questions in mind. One, I wonder are we not getting good quality CFLs in market? Do your CFLs last long?

Second, why does not government take a step to phase our incandescent bulbs and focus energies on CFLs. That way none of us would use incandescent bulbs. Most countries are phasing these out, and some countries have already banned. Greenpeace, in India, did start a campaign against bulb manufacturers. Though CFLs are mandatory in India in all institutions including hospitals.

Anyway, I had forgotten the argument at home. My grandpa reminded me of our argument when he told me CFL also required careful waste disposal (thank our newspapers!). CFLs have toxic mercury, apparently a Swedish firm has been authorised to collect and recycle CFLs in India. If we are not careful with disposal of our CFLs, it may be part of landfill site or may contaminate public water system.

Dinsan also sent me a link about people living with zero waste. Other time I complained about lack of gradens in my city, Shefaly sent me this interesting article about vertical farming.

May we make zero waste, dispose what we must carefully, plant as much as possible. 🙂

The Turtles and the Tatas


Olive Ridley turtles is usually found in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is one of the smallest species of sea turtle and are listed in the Endangered Species Act of the USA.

In the Indian Ocean, a major nesting ground for the species can be found in the Indian state of Orissa. Beaches in Devi, Gahirmatha and Rushikulya are known nesting sites for the L. olivacea Indian Ocean population. In 2007, around 130,000 turtles nested on the beaches of Gahirmatha. Unfortulately, the beaches of Orissa provide one of the last nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley turtles in the world.

Olive Ridley turtles rely on an inexplicable, in-built navigation system that guides them, when it’s time for them to reproduce, back to the precise coast on which they were born. Hence, protecting the nesting ground becomes imminent to the survival of these endangered species.


Hail Our Ragpickers, Save Them!

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are 3 Rs for energy conservation and environment. After emphasizing so much on reducing, reusing, and recycling in my last few posts at Visceral Observations, I decided to take a stock of recycling scenario in India. I am shocked!

US and UK have active recycling centers, where consumers come and dump their waste. Electronic waste like LCDs and even tetrapacks are being recycled in other countries! But India has no awareness like that.

Girl Ragpicker

In India, recycling is taken care of by people, whom we more than often, relegate to lowest hierarchy of humanity. Yes, all our recycling is done mostly by ragpickers and kabaris! Most ragpickers are young, little above the age to be called kids. Thousands of them pick through garbages in your city. As they sift through garbage unprotected, they absorb toxins from the garbage. They are hunched for hours, which gives them several back and cervical problems at early age.

Delhi alone generates over 7000 MT waste daily. There are a range of materials that are picked up by these ragpickers: plastics, paper, glass, and metals. Studies estimate that these informal labour forces saves the three Municipalities a minimum of Rs. 6 lakhs daily.


Say NO to crackers!

Say NO to crackers!

This diwali lets celebrate a smoke-free diwali. Lets say NO to crackers.

Pic source: http://tribuneindia.com

Ref: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20041111/pun.jpg

We have 8 years to save the planet!

In a shocking revelation, Al Gore’s docu-presentation called An inconvenient truth stated that “We have only 8 years to save the planet Earth”. Such are the disastrous effects of Global Warming.

Now, coming to the most important part of this post. What is it that we can do? The documentary states:

My favorite points, the ones with more relevance in India have been highlighted in red.

  • Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl).
    CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, we’d reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds! You can purchase CFLs online from the Energy Federation.

Click here to read how changing each incandescent bulb to cfl bulb will make difference in India. It reduces power consumption by 60% in Delhi alone.

  • Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer.
    Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.
  • Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
    Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.