Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category


Environment Performance report of the prestigious Yale University, is really alarming.Environment is a major concern to the world and mainly to India.

India is ranked at 125 out of 132 countries based on 22 indicators across 10 major policy categories including air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity, and forest management.

Switzerland leads the world in addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenge.Latvia, Norway, Luxembourg, and Costa Rica round out the top five positions in the 2012 EPI.

The United States is placed at 49th in the 2012 EPI, with issues on greenhouse gas emissions and renewable electricity generation.We had made very little progress with environmental challenges over the last ten years.

India shold take Korea as example.Korea was ranked 136th out of 146 countries in the 2002 Environmental Sustainability Index.The South Korean government and major stakeholders recognized that air quality needed major attention.

They took steps building Parks, introducing CNG and frequent air quality checks helped South korea attain 43rd Rank in 2012.

We need such rigor to improve environment eventually bringing down the epi rank.All local government bodies maintain a practice of burning plastic and other trash to maintain clean living area.

We cannot clean our surroundings at the cost of environment.The fear need to be prevailed that If I am burning plastic my child would be affected by cancer.

Government also need to come up with more stringent norms against plastic,pollution, bringing up CNG and parks.

Other subcontinent countries fared better than India.Jago India Jago !!!!!

United States – Rank 49
United Kingdom – Rank 9
Pakisthan – Rank 120
Sri Lanka – Rank 55
Germany – Rank 11
France – Rank 6
Japan – Rank 23
China – Rank 116
Brazil – Rank 30
Nepal – Rank 38


Aloe vera also called Aloe is a plant originally from Africa. The long, green leaves contain aloe gel and a sticky yellow residue called latex.Its fleshy spear like leaves have a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic benefits.

Most commonly know uses of Aloe vera are burn healing, wound healing, sunburn, radiation-induced skin reactions, genital herpes. It is also used for ulcers, diabetes, immune support, constipation.

Aloe vera also contains almost 75 known ingredients and more than 200 compounds that make it a potent medicinal herb. These include:

  • Enzymes that help in digestion and reduce inflammation
  • All vitamins except vitamin D
  • Minerals required for enzyme function
  • Long chain sugars to re-balance the digestive system
  • Saponins, which have anti-microbial effect
  • 20 of the 22 amino acids

Uses of Aloe Vera

  1. Detoxification:Aloe vera juice is a natural detoxifier, it is also filled with vitamins and minerals helping our body deal with the stresses of daily life.
  2. Digestive Disorders:It is useful in cases of heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. It soothes the esophagus (food pipe) and relives acid reflux.
  3. Oral Health:It is extremely helpful for mouth and gums. Pure juice helps in reversing receding gums.
  4. Skin Care:It was found to be extremely effective in clearing up psoriasis in laboratory tests. It also has several other skin benefits including:
    • Natural acne removal
    • Moisturizing of skin
    • Detoxification of skin
    • Removal of scars and marks
    • Reduction of inflammation
    • Repair and rejuvenation of skin
  5. Diabetes:Half a spoon of the juice given for 14 weeks was shown to reduce blood sugar levels by 45 percent.
  6. Helps Bowel Movement:Aloe latex contains anthraquinone glycosidesaloin A and B which are potent laxatives.
  7. Weight Management:Aloe vera juice has been used for many years as a weight loss aid.
  8. Immune Support:It is full of antioxidants which counter free radicals to boost the immune system.
  9. Burn Care:Aloe gel can heal and repair the skin after burns including sun burn.
  10. Dandruff: It helps in relieving itching and dandruff. Aloe vera gel ca be used as a pre-treatment before shampooing.

I have Aloe vera plant at home and recently started applying it on skin and hair.It can be grown in small pots.Grow and use rather than buying its products.

Nature @ our service – Do we care ?

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Environment
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Along roads when King Ashoka had dug wells and planted trees for the benefit of humans and animals he would have never imagined we would need an annual event to save our environment.

World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. It is really sad that conserving Environment has become annual event as oppose to our daily activity.

Theme for 2011: Forests: Nature At Your Service

Forests cover one-third of the earth’s land mass, performing vital functions and services around the world which make our planet livable.They play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide.From our school days, we have read that but we keep ignoring and destroying them.

Forests feed our rivers and are essential to supplying the water for nearly 50% of our largest cities.  They create and maintain soil fertility; they help to regulate the often devastating impact of storms, floods and fires.

Forests are often referred to as the ‘lungs of the earth’. This is particularly because deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which forests would absorb if carefully managed.

Forests cover 31% of total land area in the world.
Forests cover 20% of total land area in India
Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity.
Forests provide a home to more than 300 million people worldwide.
Forest products account for an estimated $ 330 billion of total global trade.
Forest contribute to the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people.
In developing countries more than 80% of total energy consumed by people and industry is derived from forests, such as fuel, wood and charcoal.

Important natural resources such as timber, fuel, rubber, paper and medicinal plants are forest products.

The five most forest-rich countries (the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China) accounted for more than half of the total forest area.

Nearly half of the country’s forest cover is found in the state of Madhya Pradesh (20.7%) and the seven states of the northeast (25.7%).India set a target to cover 33 percent of its land area with forests and tree cover by 2012.

Mangrove forests are one of the key forest resources.They protect the coasts from erosion and cyclonic destructions. They also support coastal and inland fisheries, control floods and are a source of fuel wood.

Despite all these innumerable ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the forests. Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate and every year 13 million hectares of forests (equal to the size of Portugal) are destroyed.

Many precious species face extinction and biodiversity is being eliminated. Continued and uncontrolled deforestation therefore not only has devastating consequences for the environment and the wildlife, but for economies around the world.

Mangroves are also disappearing, and about one-fifth have been lost since 1980. The greatest drivers for mangrove forest loss are direct conversion to aquaculture, agriculture and urban land uses.

Government and civil society should work in tandem to preserve forests.

Governments should protect the forest areas inhabited by endangered species and promote forest restoration where they have been depleted by enforcing strict laws and punishment.

Civil society can monitor and raise awareness about need to preserve plants and trees.

When people buy flats they look for parking space, gym, pavement for a morning jog, party hall, auditorium and so on.Hardly they look for the garden space.We need to do more than forwarding mails and SMSes.Our work does not stop by planting a sapling.We need to nurture them as well.We have reached  a situation where conserving environment need not be to Save earth but as an investment.

We are not far from the days where people would run looking for Oxygen parlours.We would be rich considering we own plants and trees.Oxygen would be valuable than gold.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2000e/i2000e00.htm

http://www.unep.org/wed/

http://www.fsi.org.in/sfr_2009.htm


World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a one day free from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The main aim is to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to one death every six seconds..

Key facts

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • The tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people per year
  • Without urgent action, the death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
  • More than 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Total consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.
  • An average of one person every six seconds dies due to smoking – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths
  • More than 600 000 nonsmokers die from exposure to tobacco smoke a year.
  • More than 80% of the one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century.
  • There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
  • Only 26 countries, representing 8.8% of the world’s population, have comprehensive national bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
  • Only 21 countries, representing 6.2% of the world’s population, have tobacco tax rates greater than 75% of the retail price.
  • 63% of all deaths are caused by NCDs, for which tobacco use is the greatest risk factor, after high blood pressure

In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to “green tobacco sickness”, which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.

Below is a list of few of the chemicals and their harmful effects. 

Acetone            Cyanide 
Aluminum           DDT/Dieldrin 
Ammonia            Ethenol 
Arsenic              Formaldehyde 
Benzene             Hydrogen cyanide 
Butane               Lead 
Cadmium             Methanol 
Carbon monoxide  Nicotine 
Carbon dioxide     Tar 
Chloroform          Vinyl Chloride 

Lets spread awareness through social media and convince all our smoking friends and relatives not to take the path of smoking suicide.

http://quitsmoking.about.com/

http://www.who.int/tobacco

http://whyquit.com/world_no_tobacco_day.html

Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs. 


Trees For Free and Tree Bank of India are the two voluntary organisations working to increase the green cover in Bangalore and Chennai.

Janet founded Trees For Free (TFF) and has done inimitable work to restore Bangalore’s reputation for fostering trees. We all need to understand that earth is the source of our livelihood.We need to repay the debt by caring for the earth.

G. Mullaivanam, a farmer from Sriperumbudur venerates the tree as a giver of life, he started planting trees in his early teens.He justifies treebank by saying, “Blood saves lives, so there are blood banks. Trees save lives, so there is also need for tree banks”.

The Tree Bank of India, offers free saplings to anyone who cares to ask, looks for tree lovers in districts who heads the Green Ribbon Club.In the tree-planting programme, the volunteers are assigned three differently-coloured stars: Green for planters, yellow for nurturers (of planted trees) and white for distributors (of saplings).

“We have not inherited the earth from our

ancestors,

we have only borrowed it from our children”

The bank trains such teams in the essentials of ‘tree service’, including collecting seedlings, growing plants in them, transferring and protecting them with tree guards. They have gone to Nepal, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan to create such teams.If we get them tickets they come and do the service for free.

When someone expresses a desire to green up an area, TFF volunteers make a visit and inspect it for a few things like  availability of water and a commitment to  care for the planted trees. When convinced they go ahead and plant the saplings.

They are basically organizations are expanding through the disseminating power of Internet.They have websites and have social prescence via facebook.

Corportes and celebrities also help them, apart from hundreds of other less-known people who also contribute in meaningful ways.

We need diversion to forget our grief.What if the diversion also happens to be a social cause.Janet and Mullaivanam took the cause for saving trees after losing their partners.Really applaudable effort.

http://treesforfree.org/

http://treebankofindia.webs.com/


                               On the last Saturday of March every year the lights around the globe will go off as people from across the world take part in the ‘Earth Hour’ showing their commitment towards the cause of protecting the earth’s environment.

It is very simple, if we don’t preserve earth, earth won’t preserve us.

This year’s campaign will be held on March 26 at 8.30 PM in the local time zones across the world. We can also join in by switching off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances.We also need to share the message with friends theo Facebook,Twitter and YouTube and committing to adopt a lifestyle that shows concern for our planet.

This year’s slogan is ‘Go beyond the hour’.This means always be conscious to Save earth not only one time.We need to inculcate the energy saving behaviour in our future generation.

The last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event.

Earth Hour - Logo

What I can do?

Turn off lights after use.

Avoid using plastic.

Install energy saving light bulbs and devices.

Turning off all electrical appliances at the power points when unused for long periods.

Install rainwater harvesting tanks.

Provide and encourage staff and students to use recycling facilities.

Involve students and staff in everyday activities. Elect Earth Hour Monitors for the school, whose job it is to ensure lights are out and appliances are switched off at the end of each day.

The aim is to avoid wastage.It does not mean we need to switch off Refrigerator or any life saving appliance at hospital.The intent is  to only switch-off non-essential lighting.

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthhour_global

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/earthhour

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/earthhour

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/earthhour

Website: http://www.earthhour.org/Homepage.aspx


International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

This year World Water Day is held at Cape Town, South AFrica.World Water Day, 2011  theme is ‘Water and Urbanisation’, reflecting the importance of water in ever-growing urban populations around the world.

Themes of Water day in the past….

2010: Clean Water for a Healthy World

2009: Transboundary Waters

2008: Sanitation

Every second, the urban population grows by 2 people.But infrastructure including water services are not being developed at the same rate.

Challenges:

  • Impact of rapid urban population growth and the growth of informal settlements is
    the most pressing and urgent challenge in the water sector.
  • Impact of industrialization, water pollution, lack of sanitation and environmental
    degradation (on land, in fresh water and marine environments) needs greater recognition
    and attention.
  • Proper governance in reforming water management and tackling corruption.
  • Allocating funds  for management of urban water supply,
    sanitation/sewerage, wastewater treatment and storm water infrastructure.
  •  Lack of safe water and sanitation in cities leads to cholera, malaria
    and diarrhoea.
World Water Day 2011

World Water Day 2011

    

Keyfacts:

  • In Africa and Asia the urban population will double between 2000 and 2030.
  • 827.6 million people live in informal settlements, often lacking adequate
    drinking water and sanitation facilities.
  • 250-500 m³ of drinking water leaks from the supply systems in many
    mega cities each year.
  • One in four city residents worldwide – 794 million in total – live without
    access to improved sanitation facilities.

Preventing Water Pollution

Never dump garbage near communal taps, wells and other water bodies.
Do not tinker with public water pipes.
Immerse holy idols in authorised places.
Get all to practise laws regarding Water pollution.

The big opportunity is increased recycling and reuse of water and wastes, an integrated urban management. Adopting more efficient water treatment technologies and capturing water and wastes within the city will also minimize environmental and downstream pollution.

Spread Awareness thro Social N/w:

Facebook:- www.facebook.com/pages/UN-Water-World-Water-Day/370578007108

Twitter:- http://twitter.com/UNW_WWD

Flickr:- www.flickr.com/groups/worldwaterday2011/

YouTube:-www.youtube.com/user/UNWaterWorldWaterDay

Other Sites:-

http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Water_Day

http://www.icrc.org/eng/what-we-do/water-habitat/

http://www.wateraid.org/

http://www.knowh2o.org/