Eco- friendly activities for kids to follow during summer vacations

Seedling little plant in child hands

Summer vacations are generally the happiest period for children’s. It is very interesting and entertaining season for them as they get rest and relax from daily school schedule .They enjoy it a lot due to long vacations and love joining summer classes with different activities like swimming, drawing, dancing, music etc. that interests them. Children’s are carefree so it is up to the parents to equip them with requisite skills and make them responsible for important things right from the childhood.

It is the need of the hour that everyone should know how they can protect the environment with small contribution. So, I thought to put a list a beautiful ways kids can have summer fun, learn something new, and make a difference at the same time. By teaching kids at a young age to be environmental friendly, you are building a life long habits that could make a difference in the future. Teach them how they can keep the environment and surroundings clean by working smart.

Use of Dustbins: Kids get lazy at times and throw papers, food etc. anywhere they wish to. Do not appreciate such habits, teach them to use the dustbins or garbage bins. Tell them that not littering is one of the most good habits.

Its better to keep the two dustbins one for food or general waste and other for waste that can be recycled.

You can also ask your kids being creative by drawing coloured labels for the bins.Take every effort to inculcate this habit in your child.

Gardening: Help your kids to plant a tree or grow some vegetables in a community garden or in your backyard. Day by day they can watch it grow into a beautiful plant or may find to like vegetables when grown themselves. May be you can plan vacations that focus on great outdoors like a day at state or national park and can get plenty of opportunities to discuss plants and animals you see and why its important to protect their habitat. I am sure this is going to be fun for parents too.

Conserve Energy: Teach kids to turn off TV when no one is watching, turn off lights when not in use and resist lingering in front of the refrigerator with door open.

Do not litter during trips: Always carry bags to dispose of the things that you want to throw. This way kids will learn the good habit and also teach other some valuable lessons. Take lot of pictures and ask your kid to make a collage or photo frames using waste materials (papers, straws, old CDs etc.). Trips, are the best thing about summer vacations. So why not let them learn few smarter things with fun.

Reuse shopping bags: Whenever you take kids for shopping, always carry the reusable shopping bags and tell them the importance of using it like how it will reduce the garbage, save the money and reduce plastic pollution.

Encourage cycling and walking: Teach your younger ones about the importance of cycling and walking as a mode of transportation to go to school, park or for short distances.

Pass it on: Ask kids to gather old toys, books , clothes and other things that they no longer use and ride along them to local charities for the drop off so they can see how donations help others and it will also develop the giving and sharing habit.

These tips are just ways to engage your child in eco friendly activities and get them to start thinking how their individual efforts affect the world they live in and how little changes can and will make a difference.

Remember, your child will mimic your actions and follow choices you make. So, the best way to teach them is to be a good role model yourself.

Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children- Walter Elias Disney

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India tops world in bad air quality: Everything you need to know

India Air Pollution

According to the data released by WHO (world health organisation) in Geneva, 14 Indian cities are among the world’s 20 most polluted in terms of PM 2.5 concentration.

Here is some points to this big story:

  1. 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high level of pollutants.

  2. 7 million people die every year from exposure to polluted air.

  3. 14 Indian cities are in the list of 20 most polluted cities of the world includes New Delhi, Gurgaon, Kanpur, Gwalior, Gaya, Varanasi, Patna, Agra, Faridabad, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

  4. Ambient air pollution caused around 4.2 million deaths in 2016.

  5. Household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.

  6. In New Delhi, levels of the most dangerous particles in the air are sometime 10 times higher than the safe limit.

What is PM 2.5? Particulate matter are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in earth’s atmosphere. Its subtypes include SPM (suspended particulate matter), coarse particles with a diameter between 2.5 µm and 10 µm and PM (Particulate matter), fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 µm or less.

Health implications? Due to their smaller size possess ability to penetrate deep into lungs and blood streams unfiltered causing permanent DNA mutations, heart attacks, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. It can also lead to premature death from heart and lung diseases.

How to reduce exposure to PM 2.5? here i am listing few steps which can reduce exposure.

  1. When outdoor PM 2.5 are elevated, going indoors may reduce exposure.

  2. Avoid activities such as Burning candles indoors or open burning outdoors that produces fine particles.

  3. Avoid strenuous activity in areas where PM level is high.

  4. Use air purifier equipped with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter) which can remove fine particles from air. (If its affordable).

I must say government are making efforts to fight air pollution for example India’s Pradhan Mantri Yojna an initiative to safeguard the health of women and children has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.

Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) specifically meant for Delhi and Delhi NCR to reduce vehicular emissions and control dust from constructions. But to combat pollution such plan should be implemented across the country.

This is a national public health crisis and we need “ serious” efforts, plan, and stringent action all over the country.

There is urgent need to ensure clean environment and healthy living as millions of lives in peril.

if we want to stop this invisible killer there should be a big step at the government level declaring war on air pollution.

Pollution-If you don’t kill it, it will kill you.

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Solar Energy: Today’s Resource for a Greener Future

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Solar technology has gained prominence in the past few decades. the global crisis of fuels is pressing up and it has become imminent for us to look for alternative sources to meet the increasing energy demands. Due to overexploitation, natural or non renewable resources are drying up, the use of green tor solar technology seems to be the only knight in shining armour that can save us.

The green or solar technology industry is constantly evolving and expanding our reliance on clean energy.

According to study “solar electricity generation is one of the very few low carbon energy technologies with potential to grow to very large scale”.

Why solar technology is important: Our planet is suffocating with increasing pollution affecting millions of population in various ways viz. air pollution, water contamination, earth average temperature rise. The aim of such technology is to makeup the human damage done to environment . Solar tech is not limited to a selected number of technologies instead it includes all the tech that is an innovative initiative that may or may have not seen the light of the day. Broadly the importance of solar tech lies to prevent the complete exhaustion of non renewable sources and reducing the risk posed by environmental damage.

This is an rapidly evolving industry that people have shown interest in last few years.

With advancement in solar power technology its clear that solar energy is here to stay. Here are a few reasons to look at why solar power is expected to dominate:

Sun-powerful source: According to a data every year, amount of energy reaching the earth in the form of solar radiation is twice the amount of all the conventional resources, combined!

It seems to be very clear that solar power also has the potential to become the most powerful and distinguished form of renewable energy.

There have been technological advancements and some significant transformations in the solar industry and this has brought down the price of solar energy.

Decline of fossil fuels: it is obvious we can not forever use our natural resources that we use to generate energy. The formation of fossil fuel is a natural process which took millions years and their overuse causing its depletion. Beside the sustainability issue burning of fossil fuel such as coal releases huge amount of carbon dioxide .

The solution to the problem is harnessing energy from renewable sources like sun, wind, sea etc.

Store your energy: one main issue over the years is its ability to be stored properly. Once the solar energy is depleted you have to wait for the sun to re-emerge. Now with the solar batteries it is possible to use the power even when the sun goes down. Its a great way to get more out of solar system and help reduce energy bills further.

Cost comparison: Nevertheless the one time transaction in equipping a property with solar panel will put a temporary dent in your finances but will straighten out in overtime. It is worth looking at the cost comparison of solar energy sources and fossil fuels. According to IEA report the cost of producing electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind has dropped significantly over the past five years, narrowing the gap with power generated from fossil fuels and nuclear reactors.

However after installation, you can expect your electricity bill savings to grow with time. Some things are a whole lot bigger than money and health is one of them.

Rise of electric vehicles: IEA (international energy agency) report suggests that half of new car sold will be electric by 2040 increasing the demand for green energy. EVs also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog.

In a nut shell, solar technology is important for our future. Affordable, easy to install, qualities and advantages are more than obvious when introduced and implemented in the right time and right way. Moreover, its benefits are undeniable.  In the future solar power  assure to have a positive and  profuse impact on the society.  its been only a matter of time that solar energy becomes a game changer.

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Sometimes the best things in life are free

Current Environmental Issues that Our Planet is Facing

Population explosion (1)

There is no denying fact that our environment is constantly changing so does the need to become aware of the problems surrounding it such as change in warming and cooling periods, weather pattern changes, massive influx of natural disasters and much more. As we are indiscriminately using our natural resources and fail to manage our waste, environmental condition is heading towards much worst. The events of heat waves, glaciers melting, floods have been extreme during past few years.

Our environmental condition is deteriorated to such an extent that its effect can be seen on our daily life and yet we are not concerned to save ourselves from its effects. Due to pollution, different types of natural calamities, extinction of many species create imbalance to food chain.

It is also true that only human beings are responsible for polluting environment.

Here I have listed some megatrends which present major global threats for planet earth-problems that must be solved if the world is to remain a supportive habitat for humans and other species.

Population explosion: The first and foremost emerging problem in the world is population explosion. Increased population growth results in overexploitation of our natural resources indiscriminately posing negative effect on environment and its vital elements such as air, water, fuel, food etc. Intensive agriculture to meet the requirement of food are also damaging  environment through use of chemical fertilizer, insecticide and pesticide.

Global Warming and Climate change: Huge carbon dioxide production due to increased human activities resulted in climatic changes like Global warming. Global warming leads to rising of earth surface temperature causing melting of polar ice caps, rise of sea level and unnatural patterns of natural calamities like flood, drought , change in seasons and occurrence of new diseases.

Waste Disposal: Production of an excessive amount of waste (Including nuclear waste) and garbage and its disposal into oceans, open places has tremendous health hazards. At present situation is so dangerous that not only the land area but also the sea land area is highly polluted posing harmful effects to human beings and sea living species. Mismanagement of industrial waste is the main reason for area and water pollution.

Deforestation: Destruction of forest results in increase concentration of carbon dioxide in our environment that create several types of natural disaster every year. At present frequency of disaster are increasing per year causing irrecoverable economical loss and destruction of thousands of human lives.

Not only do natural forests act as biodiversity reserves, they are also carbon sinks keeping carbon out of the atmosphere and oceans.

Urbanisation and Industrialisation: Due to increase population and need of workplace huge amount of residential area and industries are growing everywhere. The ever growing demand of land displaces natural environment consisting of flora and fauna instead of being replaced. Now a days excessive industrial set up is the main cause for air and water pollution.  A proper management of industrial growth can provide us a better output for our economy and environment.

Genetic Engineering:  Genetic modification of organism and food using biotechnology is called genetic engineering. Genetic modification of food results in increased toxins and diseases as engineered genes become dominant and resistant to antibiotics.

Invention of new viruses are now a common phenomenon. As we all have heard about Ebola virus and Jika viruses, at first are created in nature and then predominate in human body and took several lives.

Loss of biodiversity and species extinction: Human activity is leading to the extinction of species and habitats. The loss and destruction of habitat are major factors contributing to a wave of extinction of species. For example recently the death of last male northern white rhino was all over news and social media.

These species inherently deserve to exist, they also provide product and services essential to human survival.

Few mindful people are focused how we can save our planet in 2050 or how we are going to escape it and colonize another world before earth becomes inhabitable. Maybe they are getting too far and have to focus on something else. If we work hard on new technologies and change our daily lives routine and movements that have power to save the world before its too late.

There are still so many things that we can do to put a dent in what we have already done. By raising awareness through social media, advertisement, verbal communication in local community with family members, friends about the environmental issues, you can contribute to a more environmental friendly and vigilant place for you to live.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed: Mahatma Gandhi

Condition of farmers in India- Condemnable

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More than an estimated 30,000 farmers protest march from Nashik to Mumbai, travelled an arduous 180 km in the summer heat over six days. The major demands of AIKS (All India Kisan Sabha) are complete loan waiver, profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agricultural commodities, allocation of forest land under cultivation and compensation for crop destruction.

The government has not done anything to relive them from financial burden as promised so they are left with no option but to express their torment through the protest march.

“ Incredible India” that is how we proudly brand our nation internationally. Indeed, it is truly incredible in lot of ways with people of different religion, beliefs, values, professions living together.

The majority of our country’s population depends on Agriculture. Its first culture, making India unique in its own way.

The life of a farmer is very tough though they feed entire humanity, their life conditions are far from satisfactory. They work very hard day and night in all seasons to fulfil our basic need of Food and clothing (Food, shelter and clothing are three basic needs of human being).

The purpose of writing this article is to highlight some major issues faced by them.

  • Lack of fair pricing mechanism: there are a lot of fluctuations in the pricing and this is the basic shortfall in the system. if a fair price was ensured to crops then no farmer will suffer. for instance if there is abnormal increase in production(tomatoes, onions etc.) homogenously at all places  then the selling price of the corps goes down and the excess crop gets wasted.

       Implementation of pricing mechanism will also solve the loan waiver problem.

  • Unscientific cultivation methods: another reason for bad crops is that farmers are still using traditional methods without factoring in climate change. for example sugarcane a water guzzling crop is grown in areas where scarcity of water and rainfall is present. So the government needs to suggest crop strategy for kharif and rabi cultivation.
  • Dependence upon nature: for agriculture adequate monsoon is required if rain fall is adequate, agricultural output would be good, otherwise drought situation would lead to negative effect and result will be acute shortage of food.
  • Literacy: since they are uneducated so often cheated by money lenders which force them to suicide and also they are unware of their legitimate rights such as Minimum Support Price.
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation: due to illiteracy they have little awareness about the benefits of good hygiene. Also there is Improper sewage disposal system in villages.
  • Inadequate medical facilities: there is lack of trained doctors, nurses and medical facilities in rural areas.
  • Absence of integrated farming system
  • Bad politics and bad economics
  • Lack of proper irrigation plans

  • Expensive fertilisers

  • Easy availability of pesticide for poisoning

Some wonder if the farmer issue is as grave as is being pointed out. In my point of view yes it is.

Most of the farmers are simple, hardworking and honest they always remain at the mercy of god. These farmers are like seeds who rot themselves to give fruits and flowers to others.

how sad our feeders die for want of food and justice.

Our government has started many schemes for the benefit of farmers . Let’s hope that these benefits will actually reach them.

when a farmer supplies and fulfils our need, it becomes our duty to make sure his needs are equally met.

jai jawan jai kisan

Watch What You Eat

Few days ago while reading newspaper, came across an article stating -vegetables export from India banned by many countries due to presence of higher concentration of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Concern arises when Saudi Arab banned the export of green chilli from India due to its higher pesticides content.

Report submitted to the government officials informed that pesticide loaded fruits, vegetables and other food items are all over Delhi and NCR region and also to other parts of our country. Finding shows the presence of dangerous chemicals (banned pesticides) in quantities thousands of time more than the permissible limit.

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Facts you should know: A healthy diet begins with fruits and vegetables but some of our favourites may contain startling amount of harmful pesticides. there are 1000 different pesticides  used to grow crops. They include combination of insecticide, pesticide and herbicide. Our plates are overloaded with them ex. heptachlor, Aldrin, chlordane ( banned pesticides) in quantities more than the permissible limits.

Cause? The promise of higher yield in a shorter period of time is the selling point of these chemicals. Effects? There are many health issues linked to pesticide exposure such as cancer, infertility, reproductive and developmental effects, brain damage, birth defects, skin irritation. Many insecticides are neurotoxin exposure to them is linked with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In developing children, pesticide contributes to neurological problems which impair learning, memory and attention.

So,  now we just need to be more careful in how we approach them.

how to reduce the effect?

  • Rub your produce under running water before eating, it will reduce some of the pesticides but not all of them.

  • Peel what you can.

  • Dry with cloth or paper towels.

  • Discard outer layer of leafy vegetables before washing.

  • Buy organic whenever you can- (could be costly and hard to find)

  • Buy from small vendors rather than supermarkets.

  • Smaller the vegetable in size more organic it is.

  • Be vigilant of getting carried away by glossy packaging.

  • Spotless produce may not be healthy as they appear.

  • Kitchen gardening is another option to explore.

Steps to eradicate the problem from roots:

  • Educating the farmers for the optimum use of chemical fertilisers.

  • Promoting organic farming techniques

  • Natural methods of cultivation such as crop rotation.

  • Use of compost as fertiliser.

  • Regulating authorities should banned the selling of harmful pesticides and take action on the people who violate the laws.

I have tried to threw a lot of information in this article any comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world- Nelson Mandela

Eco-friendly Options When You Decide to Go Green

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In last few years term eco-friendly and go green have become buzz words on every commercial, product ads, listing of houses and vacation homes. The simplest way to define being eco-friendly is having a lifestyle focused on not creating harm to the environment and prevent as much harm occurring to it through our interactions and help conserving resources like water and energy.

It’s important to become environment friendly because not only shifting to sustainable lifestyle is good for planet but also beneficial for human health, budget and life quality. For this reason, we should take step to greenify our surrounding and daily life as soon as possible.

Here are tips below to tweak your lifestyle environment friendly if you are short on ideas:

1. Say no to plastic: plastic bottles and bags are everywhere, every year there are more and more filling up our oceans and landfills. To cut household plastic waste try to opt for paper bags, cotton bags, reusable and recyclable bottles, furniture’s, containers etc.

2. Conserve water: fix leaking pipes, close the running tap while you brush your teeth, use RO waste water for mopping, cleaning bathrooms.

3. Conserve Energy: Few simple ways like turning off lights when not in use, using maximum day light, purchasing energy efficient gadgets. Try renewable energy twist for example install a small solar power plant on your roof for additional power supply (electricity may still be the mainstream), switch to solar water heater, its benefit will not be only for environment but for finances also.

4. Change Travel habits: try car pool, use public transport instead of private vehicles, if your office is near ride a bicycle instead of car, get your car serviced whenever necessary.

5. Say no to Littering: one of the ways to keep our surrounding and environment clean is to stop littering. Instead put trash and garbage in dustbins.

6. Plant trees: don’t cut them unless it’s necessary and plant small trees around your home, educate others about its positive aspects.

7. Go paperless: 35% of landfill sites consists of paper waste. Going paperless is an option that will cause an average person little hardship. So, be digital it will not only protect what remains of our forest but is a cheaper option overall.

8. 3R’ of waste hierarchy: (reduce reuse and recycle) can reduce the amount of waste generated and improve the waste management process.

Other potential solutions are cordially invited

I gave you Life now it’s your turn to reciprocate- Earth