GO GREEN WITH YOUR CLOSET.

Every morning, looking at our giant closet the first thing that comes to our mind is “I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR, I NEED TO SHOP”.

Then magically we take our new Zara dress, slip into our Jimmy Choo and we are off to shop.

But what we don’t realize is that subconsciously we are contributing for carbon footprints which lead to global warming. According to a recent survey, to convert raw materials into finished products, textiles use at least 8000 toxic chemicals. This human impact has devastated life on our planet, leaving a very large footprint – and that’s just the creation process. Based on the life span of any given product, the remaining half of the ecological footprint occurs after the garment is purchased.

Global awareness of our carbon footprint is steadily on the rise. The world population is developing a fundamental understanding of the need for ecologically sound practices. Choices for sustainable, eco clothes keep that momentum rolling.

So what changes can we do?

Going green with your closet is a simple way to protect our environment. By making small changes in our shopping techniques we can make big a difference.

Before buying a cloth make sure to check the material. Bamboo, silk, organic cotton, soy, hemp are one of the few natural, eco-friendly fabrics on the market. Before you shop, it’s best to know the ins and outs of each.

When we purchase merchandise from a brand, we are not just buying a piece of clothing or a statement necklace. We are also indirectly giving our seal of approval on its labor and environmental practices. We need to know more about the brands we tend to wear. Visit their websites and check the label before supporting them.

Wash with care. Buy green laundry detergent. It does the same job without the harsh, synthetic chemicals that harm the environment and pose health hazards. To save energy, wash on low heat and line dry.
If you need to dry clean your clothes, search for an eco-friendly, organic cleaner in your neighborhood that doesn’t use perchloroethylene (perc), a common chemical used by many traditional dry cleaners. It’s been listed as a hazardous air pollutant by the Clean Air Act and a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

These minor changes in our daily life might be noticeable to us but they would show their effect in long term.

A small contribution towards the growing problem of global warming, by International Centre of Culture and Education (ICCE) is Green(R)evolution. Join our initiative to protect the environment.

EAT ORGANIC FOR ENVIRONMENT.

When we are walking down the aisle of the departmental store or wandering around the farmer’s market, we are so focused on shopping vegetables and groceries that would add nutrients and proteins in our diet; we tend to overlook how the production of these goods is effecting the environment.  Food production includes certain growing or raising practices, packaging and shipping; all these steps involve the emission of carbon and other greenhouse gases. While we are focused on living a healthy diet, we lose the sight of the effects we are leaving on our environment.

Food can be grown and raised organically or by conventional methods that use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture is aimed at preserving the environment, biodiversity; supporting animal health and welfare and only using approved materials. Choosing organic food simply means buying food products that are grown without using any synthetic or artificial products. The best way to avoid these products is to buy local production of food. Eating locally reduces your carbon footprint by minimizing emissions from transport.

In the past decade, diets and eating trends have exploded in the mainstream. Everyone is trying something new or has some kind of sensitivity to a common food. Our lives have begun to revolve around the management of our eating habits as we become more obsessed and invested in our own, and our families’ diets. With our changing lifestyle, we are all focused on achieving our fitness goals. This, as result, has increased the consumption of proteins and thereby meat. Between 2010 and 2016, the meat consumption has increased 10 times.

So what if it is too much meat?

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group showed that the production of red meat produces 10 to 40 times the amount of greenhouse gasses as the production of vegetables and grains. Antibiotic and pesticide contamination, high use of fossil fuels, excessive water use, and mass deforestation are some of the horrific byproducts of meat production. The risks to clean and sustainable land, water, and air are increasing at an alarming rate.

We don’t need to go turn into vegetarians or vegans to save environment. Reduce your daily intake of meat and animal products like dairy, eggs, and fish to 1-2 servings. Explore other protein options from the plant kingdom. Buy meat from sustainable and bio-diverse producers and only in the portions needed for you and your family.

With increasing awareness about saving environment around globe, different communities have started taking initiatives to protect environment through innovative measures. One such initiative taken by International Centre of Culture and Education (ICCE) is Green(R)evolution , which spreads knowledge about protecting environment from global warming. Follow us to know more about protecting environment from our own hazardous habits.

 

Killing a Tree, just to save ourselves??

Walking through my street yesterday, I realized it was too open, something too wide enough to see the building’s beside the lane. It was a noticeable gap that startled me. Soon, I came into a realization that the Ashoka Trees that once stood large and tall reaching the height of the building and leaning out from the crowded cement jungle were been vanished. Not only the Ashoka trees but many other’s too. I have always noticed this each and every year before the monsoon. So today morning, I decided to ask the watchman of our building what made them do so. His answer was “Beta, It’s just to stop them from swinging down during the storm and hurting people”.

Okay, I understand the urge and the need about taking them down because Trees may cause a major mishap if it comes down during a windy day. But I felt a bit uncomfortable with the answer because it didn’t do the justification for the concept we teach our future generation of “How to plant more trees”.  And guess what! The cutting of trees also bought plenty of litter spread on the street unattained.

Is it a solution?? Don’t we have another option??

Yes!! we do have the option available.

Cut the branches instead, let it grow again. Let them bloom, with their joy.

“In the morning of rainy drops let the nature burgeon again with a delight of a new life.”

Ways to reduce Global Warming

By figuring out how to stop global warming and making changes in your lifestyle, you can lessen your carbon footprint and help the environment. The term global warming describes the typical rise in the planet’s temperature. Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases, like CO2 and methane, trap heat from the sun in the atmosphere. This trapped heat raises the temperature of the planet, endangering plants, animals, and people. Whilst it may appear impossible for one individual or household to directly influence global warming, your daily activities have an important impact on the health of the planet. By following the below suggestions, and educating your children and family members how to stop global warming, you can lessen your energy use and help save the planet.

The best starting point lowering your carbon footprint is right within your home. Run your dishwasher only when it’s completely full in order to save energy, water, and money. This will not only save energy, it’ll prolong the life of your clothes. Alter the filter in your home AC unit as advocated by the producer to preserve money and extend the life of your unit. Showers account for two thirds of home water heating prices. Install an energy efficient showerhead to preserve water and save energy. Weatherize your home to reduce cooling and heating costs and associated energy usage.

Put on extra clothing and take a heavy blanket to bed as an alternative to turning up the heat throughout the winter months. Measure the wall and ceiling insulation in your home to see whether developments are possible. Dry your clothing on the line instead of relying upon your garments dryer to conserve money and energy. Upgrade your water heater to an energy-efficient model or tank less model to preventing heating pointless water. Meat and dairy contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Change the air filter in your vehicle every month to lessen your car’s carbon emissions. Purchase energy certificates to help support the renewable energy market.

Choose minimally packaged goods to reduce waste, and complain to companies that use excessive packaging. Purchase and use a hybrid vehicle or fuel efficient vehicles to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. Carpool, ride a bike, or use public transport to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. Turn off your engine instead of allowing it idle to save fuel and cash and reduce pollution. Plant a tree to reduce CO2 within the environment and replace trees lost to deforestation. Purchase organic foods instead of those grown with the use of polluting chemicals.

If You Don’t Stop Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.

 

The factors behind global warming are several and results are far more profound. What we’ve actually witnessed in the last few decades is only the tip of the iceberg. The primary underlying reason for Global Warming is greenhouse gases like CO2. Every tree requires CO2 from the atmosphere during its growing procedure. When a tree dies or the wood rots then CO2 is again delivered into the atmosphere. In the last few decades’ tropics forest have borne the brunt of important felling of trees and burning of wood, that’s added more CO2 into the environment. Today deforestation has reached a point where it can’t be turned back.

imageIn 1987, a significant chunk of the Amazon rainforest was burnt and it was of the size of Britain. This discharged 500 million plenty of CO2 into the environment. The lesser the number of trees, the less CO2 may be consumed. The result of global warming may be devastating and if you look around you, subsequently you will see some of the signals. If no action is taken now, subsequently it’ll be too late as the greenhouse impact may gradually improve the average global temperature by 1.5 to 4.50C. This increase in temperature may influence the polar ice caps over the tropics belt. Winters can be hotter and the world may be warmer than what it was 100, 000 years back.

 

The effects of global warming are the environmental and social changes caused (directly or indirectly) by human emissions of greenhouse gases. There is a scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, and that human activities are the primary driver. Many impacts of climate change have already been observed, including glacier retreat, changes in the timing of seasonal events (e.g., earlier flowering of plants), and changes in agricultural productivity.

Saving The Environment- One Small Step At a Time

 

I woke up to the alarm, as usual this morning. My phone had been charging overnight. It was overcharged. Will unplug the charger, later. Another 10 minutes of sleep won’t derail my schedule. So I decide to give those minutes to myself. The circulation of the cool air conditioning set up by the slow speed fan was too comforting to get out of the bed.

It was 30 minutes now. I decide to wake up, finally- the visualization of my late entry at the office (and its possible consequences) was enough for me to rush to the washroom. I put the geyser on and start to brush my teeth. The water freely flows through the faucet all through my brushing process. Next, I step in to the shower and its warmth is just too comforting to use it for a mere wash. I spend extra five minutes warming myself up. I walk back into the room and feel like I am about to start shivering. Oh wait! I had forgotten to switch the AC and the fan off! I do now. The lights- I need them to dress up and I had paid for every single one of them- so it makes more sense to switch them all on. This trouser, has worn out enough to make it trash worthy. So, I select another dress. But wait, my hair isn’t dry yet and I must use the hair dryer to get it dry as soon as possible. 15 minutes later, I am all dressed up for the office. I walk into the kitchen, make myself some tea and put the breakfast in the microwave to warm it up. I then walk into the drawing room, open the door, collect the newspaper and put it on the coffee table. TV is the perfect accompaniment to a steaming hot cup of tea, I think. So, I switch the TV on. The microwave had been beeping all this while. I ignore its beeps. I finally decide to have my breakfast minutes later and set it to warm again. I leave home for office- it is walking distance away with many public transport options available. But I have a bike, so why should I not use it?

Reached office. We had a meeting with a climate counsellor that day. She was trying to explain to us that the climate change threat was real. But she wasn’t really talking anything we didn’t already know (and ignore?). Her ideas on how each one of us could contribute to the environment in our personal capacity was quite interesting. But I had been thinking, isn’t the science behind creating a cleaner environment far too complicated? I mean how can an individual help the Earth cope with climate change? Still, I decide to enrol, to begin with. My life continued as it was until their course material arrived and I actually read it.

A month later.

I had segregated the wet and dry waste and kept it out of the house for municipal collection in the night. Woke up to the alarm this morning. My phone wasn’t charging overnight. The AC was turned off when the temperature of the room was just right to sleep. The fan wasn’t needed either. I walk into the washroom, turn the geyser on and brush my teeth- with the faucet not flowing freely this time. I quickly take a shower- just enough of it for a clean wash. I walk back into my room- It is sufficiently sunlit- I don’t really have to switch extra lights on. My hair- why would I blow dry it when I have enough time to let it dry on its own? Saves it from damage and also saves energy. Donating old clothes is not only philanthropic, but also helps save the environment- did you know that? Go find it out! I am ready for my office and still have enough time to read the newspaper and have breakfast. I unplug the microwave after my food warms up (in one attempt!). The drawing room lights were switched off in the night itself. Drew the curtains off to have enough light. Oh wait! Did I forget to switch the geyser off? Must run to do that. Read the newspaper while having breakfast. It was time to leave for the office. But before I left, a daily check must be performed- Are all the unused appliances plugged off? Yes, they are. The LPG regulator- turned down. Lights, fans- they are all switched off. Time to leave, my friends must have arrived at the bus stop. It is fun to take a public transport to the office and tell people about my new environment friendly lifestyle. It has inspired many. I follow the same energy saving tips at the office.

Now that’s one small step by a woman/man right? If each one of us decided to adapt these small changes, it would be a million steps- and that surely won’t be small then! Think! Believe it or not- With these small steps of mine, I am actually helping build a cleaner, sustainable future for planet Earth (and at the same time, saving 20-30% on my electricity, water and fuel bills!). Are you?

How would you like it if you were suffocating?

Wait..why this question?

We’re here to discuss climate change, not get targeted.

Yes. But as Elon Musk aptly puts it, “We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.” 

Yes you guessed it right, the topic for the day is CARBON DIOXIDE.

Why is it such a big deal? It’s just another gas and the plants absorb it anyways.

How is it causing havoc in the first place?

This is how it goes: The sun emits heat energy in the form of Ultraviolet rays and visible light. While the earth makes its own effort in keeping the atmosphere cool by emitting part of it as infra red rays, gases like carbon dioxide manage to trap some of the heat and make the atmosphere warm.

So it’s simple, the greater the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the warmer the surface of the earth, because the plants can’t absorb all of it!

CO2 (emitted highest when compared to other heat absorbing greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide) is added to the atmosphere in large quantities by human activities like burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, deforestation, and cement production for rapid urbanization.

It is a vicious cycle that will only come back to bite us if not controlled.

The figure below gives a depiction of the cyclic changes the whole process can cause:

Capture

 

It is important that every single individual plays a role in controlling this, because gases do not stay in one place after emission.

Humanity has suffocated the earth enough, it’s high time we try and let it breathe now.

 Image courtesy: 3.epa 

What is your excuse?

Desmond Tutu said, “25 years ago, people could be excused for not knowing or doing much about climate change.”

What’s your excuse today?

Do you believe that the climate is changing because of us? Or would it be something you would debate about putting the volcanoes and natural emissions of carbon dioxide at fault?

Well, you would be right to say that they do emit a lot of these gases. But surprisingly, they only manage to emit 1 percent of what we humans do. Reports say that seven of the eight warmest years in the history of mankind have been recorded since 2001.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase.

What is Global Warming all about? Why is it all over the place?

Global warming, in simple terms, is the rise in the average surface temperature of the earth to due increased emission of greenhouse gases, especially Carbon dioxide.

So, the next question that arises is, “Trees absorb the carbon dioxide that we emit, so how bad can this be?”

Well, very.

Sure, all plants usually need carbon dioxide to synthesize sunlight into energy to grow, but they cannot absorb quantities as high as what we emit.

Image Source : Webgranth
Image Source : Webgranth

How does the CO2 impact us then?

It causes melting of the glaciers on the poles and all around the globe- half the world’s population is at the risk of getting submerged. This further can lead to more frequent droughts, displacements of refugees and food crisis all across the world. While there are also uncontrollable factors that contribute to climate change, studies have revealed that controllable human causes like fossil fuel burning and exploitation of natural resources bag the largest share in it.

Now for the most important part: How do we get this in check?

There are baby steps we can begin with. Some of them would be:

  1. Reduce/Avoid usage of fossil fuels: Tune your cars regularly, carpool or use public transport, and opt for renewable fuel forms.
  2. Use energy efficient electric appliances and CFL bulbs.
  3. Reduce, Re-use and Recycle: Lesser the waste to burn, lesser the emission.
  4. Conserve water, so the underground water levels are in balance.
  5. PLANT A TREE. Nothing helps more than having more trees to absorb the carbon dioxide. Every plant has the capacity to absorb about 48 pounds of CO2 a year!
  6. Volunteer and enroll in the ICCE Green (R)evolution and learn how you can join hands to make the world a better place to live in!

 

Psst.. If you still think that the economy matters more than this, try holding your breath while you count all your money and see how long you would last! 😉

Green Revolution – It’s time to repay the debt

a17-Green Revolution - It’s time to repay the debtThe routine we human beings follow as what to eat, where to shop, how to reach a destination etc, may feel normal but collectively they have a huge effect on Global Warming. Long back, Green Revolution was an action taken to increase food production. The term ‘Green Revolution’ is a general one that is applied to successful agricultural experiments in many developing countries. There were three basic elements in the method of the Green Revolution- Continuing expansion of farming areas, double cropping in the same farmland, using seeds with improved genetics.

A more modern context

In this growing globally warm planet now again a Green Revolution is necessary. Not only to increase the yield of crops and farm areas, but also to stop the planet from becoming impossible to retain life. Boosting energy efficiently, greening transportation, reviving renewable, phasing out fossil fuel electricity, developing new low carbon technologies etc might be some. Upgrading the electronics as refrigerators, conditioners etc, getting electricity monitor, changing the light bulbs, washing clothes in cold water may be few steps that can be followed individually also.

Spreading a word about this new green revolution can bring a positive change in long term and help us to replay our Mother Earth. Let’s gather more info about the same, at International Centre for Culture & Education.

Climate Change! It’s Time to Act

“Climate change is real, it is happening right now. Let us not take this planet for granted. I will not take tonight for granted.” This is the speech of the man who won the Oscar this year, Leonardo DiCaprio, for his role in The Revenant. Yes, climate change is taking place right here on this planet, right now at this very moment.

We need to act, and act fast before this change becomes irreversible. We all know that the ozone layer has got a hole, whose size has been increasing since the 1970s. We have also observed around 1 degree increase in the global temperature. This might seem insignificant to us but the glaciers are melting. This will cause a huge rise in water levels if this keeps happening. Here are a few steps that we, as common people can take.

  • Reduce the usage ACs and refrigerators. They give out CFCs, which cause ozone to disintegrate.
  • Carbon monoxide is another chemical that we should avoid. This is caused due to incomplete combustion of fuels.