Can’t we escape plastic pollution

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Since few decades production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. Despite Government various policies, legislations and efforts to reduce its consumption the problem is still at its crest. Tourists spots and various hill stations are facing uphill task of plastic loads as visitors & tourists are recklessly dumping the plastic bottles. Many hill stations already has started various schemes to reduce plastic waste tide plaguing the nature’s beauty.

In this article I am highlighting few promising solutions one of which is from my own experience if implemented could be helpful.

Few months ago I have visited Andaman & Nicobar one of the seven union territories of India, a group of islands famous for its scenic beauty and its richness with diversity of plant and animals life. One of Jolly buoy island at Wandoor famous for under water corals and immaculate clear beaches. Tourists were not allowed to carry plastic water bottles with them, They provide their own bottles for deposits, you can fill that and carry with yourself, On returning visitors are refunded their deposits. Bags are also checked for any kind of plastic packets such as food and so on to avoid the accumulation of trash or nuisance. In my opinion the same could be done everywhere.

Earlier this year one much needed intervention was emulated in Mahabaleshwar a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra is a hill station and weekends tourist destination too. The Maharashtra government had installed water ATMs with a litre of water just at nominal rate of Rs. 2 so that people can fill up their bottles with the purified water to stop people from buying multiple bottles.

At individual level we can support by seeking out alternatives for the plastic items that we rely on and creating awareness by spreading the word about the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

‘It’s too late’ to, ‘there’s still hope’, if we change our thoughts

we might see some change in the world.”

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Towards Sustainable Sanitation in slum areas: A field study in Allahabad

 

The report based on situation of sanitation and water supply in Allahabad slum areas is not satisfactory and concludes that open defecation alone is responsible for many diseases.

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Fig : Source, Gaughat Allahabad

According to a data around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation. One third of the 2.5 billion people without improved sanitation lives in India. Lack of one of these basic conditions has direct consequences on the physical and psychological well- being of the people. Inspite of many decades of development planning and assistance much of the rural and urban populations in most developing countries have low sanitation coverage. This report is based on my survey on sanitation and hygiene in various slum areas of Allahabad city. Sanitation has a greater effect on women than men. For young girls the lack of basic water and sanitation services translates into lost opportunities for education and associated opportunities for empowerment.

Due to improper integration of sanitation programme and inability of management systems and city institutions to provide better facilities has led to occurrence of various diseases and high mortality rates.

Data from the selected 20 slums were collected through field surveys and analysed through SPSS software to study the sanitation, and hygiene service scenarios of those slums.

The outcomes of the work are summarized as below:

  • It has been observed that with the rapid urbanization and population growth trends, the general little knowledge on their basic requirements, the limited capacity of the local authorities to supply improved services (water supply, sanitation) are the contributory factors for the deteriorating conditions of slum dwellers.

  • When all the slums studied during the survey, acceptable quality of water was Kasari-Masari (20%) & Beniganj (35%) and availability of toilets was Gaughat (6%), Pasana (20%) & Rasulpur, (20%).Only 36% of slum dwellers have household toilet facilities rest 62% defecate in open places.image                              Figure: Availability of toilet facility

  • 62.7% of supply of water supply was from piped water & rest from tankers and hand-pumps. In addition, 36% of the population does not use protected water source. Around 41% rural households have to walk around 30 minutes or less in one round trip to the water point for fetching water.image

Figure: Quality of water

  • Diarrhoea accounts for (19%) as the main occurring disease with flu (15.3%), malaria (11.7%), typhoid (8%), skin disease (4.7%). Children’s under 5 are more prone to these diseases. The study revealed that level of knowledge about waterborne diseases was relatively high (66%), but knowledge on transmission routes was inadequate. The attitude and practice on hygiene was also found to be high (92.67%).

  • It is found that majority of the population, 73 percent washed away their children’s stool in water facility or left in to open fields.

  • Major challenges and gaps are associated with water, sanitation and hygiene practices among the community in the study area.

    According to the study conducted during survey have listed few recommendations to improve the living status of slum, are as follows:

  • This is high time to inform, educate and guide the urban poor about the environmental significance of the basic utilities in living a standard life.

  • Government can play a vital role to assist the basic service developing schemes by taking various effective steps, like enhancing laws and providing subsides, population growth control etc.

  • Different national and international NGOs should come forward with efficient developing projects for the betterment of living condition of slum dwellers in Allahabad city as well as the whole nation.

  • Technology has a central part in developing rural areas. Therefore, proper application of technology should be applied in the rural areas so that rural people don’t need to come to cities for employment and better life.

  • Act of electronic and print media (Radio, T.V, newspaper, Magazine) may also play a vital role in this regard by making advertisements on adverse effect of overgrowing population, benefits of drinking treated water, using latrines for excreta disposal and hand washing with soap.

    The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

CARBON FOOTPRINT- Time To Act

A ‘carbon footprint’ is a measure of the total set of GHG(Green House Gases) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organisation, product, activity or group of activities. The most important green house gas produced by anthropogenic activities is CO2 hence got the name “Carbon Fooprint”. Anthropogenic activities include impacts on biophysical environments, biodiversity, and other resources.

To show all emissions in a single number Carbon footprints are measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalent or CO2e. The “equivalent” means footprint is made up of a number of different greenhouse gases(CH4, Nox, SOX,CFCs etc.). Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year.

Now the question is Why work out a carbon footprint?

  • As a result of growing public awareness of global warming.

  • To identify which activities contribute the most to a footprint (in order to identify the important areas for reduction efforts).

  • For minimising or reducing the footprints (in order to achieve the target it is necessary to know what current emissions are).

    Here are a few suggestions regarding actions that could be taken to reduce emissions . Appropriateness of actions will depend on specific country and social circumstances. Readers will need to determine which actions are applicable to their own environments.

Being energy efficient doesn’t mean going without a warm and well-lit home or making big sacrifices. Many energy efficiency measures are low cost and even save money. Whether on a large-scale, or at the individual level, there are many opportunities to save energy. For ex.

a) Switch off the lights when you don’t need them.

b) Use energy-saving light bulbs.

c)Do not leave appliances on standby. (uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode)

d) Unplug the mobile charger when you are not using it. (It has been estimated that 95% of the energy is wasted when we leave the charger plugged)

e) Conserve household water (by using the purifier water in household chores like cleaning, gardening we can save litres of water per day per person)

f) Reuse your shopping bag

g)Choose products that come with little packaging.

h) Try one of the following ways: cycling, walking, car-pooling, public transport to get to work or school. (On average, for each litre of fuel burnt in a car engine, more than 2.5 kg of CO2 are produced)

i)Don’t speed- because speeding uses more petrol and emits more CO2. (Driving faster than 120 km per hour increases fuel consumption by 30% compared with driving at 80 km per hour.)

j)Avoid short car journeys

k)Switching to low carbon fuels such as solar energy, nuclear power avoiding coal and gas fired power to electricity.

It’s time to act; save the planet Earth

RO Purifiers-Water wastage: Time for Awareness

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The availability of potable water is a key resource which is in very short supply now a days. This summer season we have heard about the crisis of water supply in many rural and urban areas of India (including various countries of world). The reasons are manifold and i am not indulging myself for the different causes. Today my post is towards the use of “Water Filters” for purifying drinking water. These purifiers are being used since a long time for various industrial, commercial and most importantly household purposes to save the cost of canned water & tanker supplies.

RO filters provides clean, healthy, better tasting water by removing bacterial contaminants, excess of solid particles and chlorine reducing the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, rectal cancer, colon cancer etc. By using this technology even briny water or brackish water can be made for the drinking purpose. but this technique is also magnifying the problem of water shortage.

The quantity of water wasted through purifier is the same as the amount it produces. Sometimes with the most inefficient RO the ratio becomes 4:1, means for producing 1 litre of potable water 4 litre of water is wasted. The wasted water could have been used for non drinking applications.

In most of the household i have seen that the waste water pipe giving out waste water is left in the kitchen sink. Here are few suggestions which can be followed or implemented by every individual actually could contribute towards their service towards the environment and their country.

    1)Collect the waste water in buckets or cans and later can be used for mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms.

    2) We can use the waste water to fill the “to be washed vessels” in sink. That’s what i do at my place.

    3) We can use it for watering plants, gardening if the TDS-Total dissolved Solids is below 1000 (which we can ask RO maintenance guy to test).

    4) For cleaning our vehicles.

    5) For washing clothes.

On an average around 10 litre of water is wasted per person for making potable water for drinking, if every person started utilising the waste water as for the above given purposes we can save thousand litres of water per day. In my opinion its a very small effort which every single person can contribute.

We always don’t require big sacrifices to make the changes but a single effort by every individual can change the world.

If I change myself, I can change the world.