Posts Tagged ‘Environment


Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.

Yesterday was the Earth Hour Day for 2010. Earth Hour 2010 took place from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time.

More on the official website


Recycling Codes

A primer into what recycling codes on bags, containers et al. mean



Number 1 Plastics
PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Found in: Soft drink, water and beer bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers; ovenable food trays.
Recycling: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs.
Recycled into: Polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, straps, (occasionally) new containers

PET plastic is the most common for single-use bottled beverages, because it is inexpensive, lightweight and easy to recycle. It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. Recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), though the material is in high demand by remanufacturers.



Number 2 Plastics
HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Found in: Milk jugs, juice bottles; bleach, detergent and household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles; some trash and shopping bags; motor oil bottles; butter and yogurt tubs; cereal box liners
Recycling: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only those containers with necks.
Recycled into: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing

HDPE is a versatile plastic with many uses, especially for packaging. It carries low risk of leaching and is readily recyclable into many goods.



Number 3 Plastics
V (Vinyl) or PVC
Found in: Window cleaner and detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, wire jacketing, medical equipment, siding, windows, piping
Recycling: Rarely recycled; accepted by some plastic lumber makers.
Recycled into: Decks, paneling, mudflaps, roadway gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats

PVC is tough and weathers well, so it is commonly used for piping, siding and similar applications. PVC contains chlorine, so its manufacture can release highly dangerous dioxins. If you must cook with PVC, don’t let the plastic touch food. Also never burn PVC, because it releases toxins.



Number 4 Plastics
LDPE (low density polyethylene)
Found in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning and shopping bags; tote bags; clothing; furniture; carpet
Recycling: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities will accept it. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to many stores for recycling.
Recycled into: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile

LDPE is a flexible plastic with many applications. Historically it has not been accepted through most American curbside recycling programs, but more and more communities are starting to accept it.



Number 5 Plastics
PP (polypropylene)
Found in: Some yogurt containers, syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, caps, straws, medicine bottles
Recycling: Number 5 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.
Recycled into: Signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays

Polypropylene has a high melting point, and so is often chosen for containers that must accept hot liquid. It is gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers.

Number 6 Plastics
PS (polystyrene)
Found in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases
Recycling: Number 6 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.
Recycled into: Insulation, light switch plates, egg cartons, vents, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers

Polystyrene can be made into rigid or foam products — in the latter case it is popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam. Evidence suggests polystyrene can leach potential toxins into foods. The material was long on environmentalists’ hit lists for dispersing widely across the landscape, and for being notoriously difficult to recycle. Most places still don’t accept it, though it is gradually gaining traction.

And Finally



Number 7 Plastics
Found in: Three- and five-gallon water bottles, ‘bullet-proof’ materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod and computer cases, signs and displays, certain food containers, nylon
Recycling: Number 7 plastics have traditionally not been recycled, though some curbside programs now take them.
Recycled into: Plastic lumber, custom-made products

A wide variety of plastic resins that don’t fit into the previous categories are lumped into number 7. A few are even made from plants (polyactide) and are compostable. Polycarbonate is number 7, and is the hard plastic that has parents worried these days, after studies have shown it can leach potential hormone disruptors

Read more:


Bio Top cars

Electric cars are exactly what we need for a greener future. With designers focusing on enabling cars to generate solar electricity, there are some designers who believe that without the addition of expensive renewable energy harnessing systems, cars have all that which can be used to generate green electricity.

bio-top_1_ufqfV_69The ‘Bio Top’ is a concept car designed by Luis Pinheiro de Lima and it utilizes “wireless electricity” technology and is self-powered. The front of this vehicle has 2 wheels, the back has one, and this one is a sphere which charges the electric car battery as it goes, then transmitting the energy from the battery to the car through that wireless electricity. Instead of the now-standard foot-pedal gas and break, the Bio Top features a hand-controlled speed and stop system, all done through the steering column.

Check this link for pictures.


Going Green at Work

Think this is important.

  1. Conserve Your Computer’s Energy. For many people with desk jobs the computer is absolutely necessary to get things done. It is estimated that people waste over $1 billion in electricity every year just in computer use! To help conserve energy for your computer you can:
    • Invest in an energy-saving computer, monitor and printer
    • Switch to energy-saving settings
    • Turn off your computer whenever you’re not using it
    • Set it to sleep mode when you are away for short periods of time
  2. Reduce Your Paper Waste.. Do you really have to print out every email and handout? You can reduce paper waste by deciding to go paperless wherever possible. You can try to:
    • Keep copies of important emails, files, and more on your computer
    • Don’t get any extra catalogs or magazines mailed to your office
    • Get your check directly deposited
    • Send company updates through email instead of on paper
    • Review any documents online instead of printing them out
  3. Prioritize Your Paper Use. If you do use paper on a daily basis then you can make eco-friendly paper choices. Here are some things you can do:
    • Buy recycled and chlorine-free paper
    • Try paper made from organic products like bamboo, cotton or hemp
    • Print on both sides of the paper
    • Shred old paper to use as packing material
    • Save and reuse old boxes
    • Use old sheets of paper for scrap paper or note-taking
  4. Recycle. There are many things in your office that you can recycle. If you don’t have a recycling station at work, start one on your own! You can get a few bins and post recycling guidelines above them. Some of them may include recycling:
    • Paper products like copy paper, envelopes, magazines, etc.
    • Cardboard boxes from shipped supplies
    • Soda cans and plastic bottles
    • Aluminum foil
    • Plastic bags
    • Ink cartridges
  5. Reduce Your Printer Use. The printer is one of the most used office items. Every day it cranks out tons of important faxes, emails and other documents. Here are some ways you make your printer use greener:
    • Try not to print in color
    • Use a printer that does double-sided copying
    • Print in draft mode
    • Use old paper with extra space to print small documents
    • Recycle ink and toner cartridges
  6. Maintain Healthy Air Flow. It’s already bad enough that you have to worry about air pollution every time you walk outside, but it’s also a big priority when you work inside. Here are some ways that you can maintain a healthy air flow in your office:
    • Use non-toxic cleaning products
    • Open your windows to increase air flow
    • Don’t smoke in or near the office
    • Never bring any type of aerosol can to work
    • Use an air purifier to get rid of contaminants
  7. Travel With Care. The first part of your work day starts with you getting to work, and for many people that means driving. Cars emit tons of carbon dioxide gases into the air, contributing to global warming. Here are some things you can do for a green ride:
    • Join a ride share group
    • Take the train, bus or subway
    • Ride a bike or walk if you live close enough
    • Invest in a green car like a hybrid
    • Reduce your travel by working from home whenever possible
  8. Green Your Desk…Literally. Get a plant and place it on or near your desk. Or, even better, buy plants for all of your neighbors. They will not only see this as a friendly gesture, but they’ll also have cleaner air to breathe! Plants absorb indoor air pollution and increase the flow of oxygen, so get a green accessory to compliment your desk!
  9. Eat Healthier.Everyone looks forward to their lunch break. If you manage to save money by not going out to eat every day then you probably pack your lunch. You can follow these lunch tips to have healthier eating habits:
    • Pack your lunch in a reusable lunch bag or box
    • If you bring your lunch in a paper or plastic bag, recycle it
    • Use containers and silverware that can be washed and used again
    • Switch to organic food and drinks
    • Drink from the fountain instead of brining water bottles
    • Recycle your soda cans, bottles and aluminum foil
    • Use a washable napkin instead of paper towels
    • Walk to a lunch eatery if you forgot to pack it
  10. Spread the Word. The best way to stay involved in the green scene at work is to get others involved. Share your practices and wisdom with your boss and coworkers. You can do this by:
    • Encouraging the office to join or start a recycling program
    • Purchasing company carbon credits
    • Buying eco-friendly office products
    • Setting up a carpool calendar
    • Getting everyone to pack their lunch and eat together

Ill-effects of Idol immersion

When I was trying to figure out why we immerse Lord Ganesha in water, I got more number of sites suggesting the ill-effects of not immersing in an eco-friendly manner. I thought I would share the same with the reader.

According to R. V. Sharma of National Institute of Oceanography

Thousands of idols are immersed in the Arabian Sea every year during Ganeshotsav. Most of these idols are made up of Plaster of Paris (PoP). A major drawback of PoP is that it does not dissolve easily. As a result, idols disintegrate into rocky lumps and when these hit the seabed, they cause a churning effect. As a result, all the pollutants that are long settled on the sea-floor, mix with the water above. This entire process has a disastrous effect on the marine life among which the fishes are worst impacted. When humans eat fish with toxic substances, it leads to various ailments related to the digestive system. Besides PoP, the paint applied on the idols is very eco-unfriendly. During the immersion, pollution is also caused by plastic bags containing flowers and other puja material that are dumped into the sea. The only way out of this vicious cycle of pollution is to make idols of clay. I know this might sound a little impractical considering the fact that some of the idols are many feet high. But at least the smaller idols can be made with eco-friendly substances. Idol makers can use eco-friendly paint on the Ganesh, which would go a long way in mitigating marine pollution.

So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
July 2018
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