But Why? Don’t I have something better to do.

In this rat race of chasing our desires we are ignoring something that matters the most i.e. nature.  In a bid to make our life more comfortable, to achieve higher social status and to become a good citizen our morals and conscience have taken a backseat. We have forgotten the difference between development and encroachment. We,the responsible evolved specie in our callousness ,are not only disturbing the ecology but are also preparing a grave for our kids (or future generation) , our siblings and the “one”.

110107-sudan-referendum-20.nbcnews-ux-1024-900Our irresponsible consumption and ignorance is not only impacting the trivial (considered) plants and animals but also our own species. The resources which were meant to be enjoyed by all humanity are at the disposal of few with others long for these. That is why, a father in Somalia is unable to arrange even a single meal for his 2 year old daughter while a kid in United States is refusing to eat healthy broccoli, her mom has prepared.

 

Our “modus operandi” is laid on the destruction of our very planet. In an attempt to “remind” you and most importantly myself that each of us (irrespective of we are human-rich or poor, plants and animals) has a life, a right to live and one’s “desire” should not effect others or in other words “our own”, I have initiated this blog.

The thoughts need a vent.

Featured post

Are Sippy Cups safe for children?

I remember when my baby nephew was born and I asked my sister that if I could hold him. I still remember her appalling reaction, as if I have asked a kidney from her. That look of raised undone unibrow. Scary…!! Then came the list of instructions like “sit down”, ”put one hand under his head”, ”careful with the fontanalle”, ”move it closer to your chest”, “don’t give any jerk to the baby” etc etc. (You know how annoying sisters can get be). But I also sensed something else, a love for the baby. Her eyes were saying things which I can’t decipher in words. And for the first time I acquiesced and didn’t scratch her face (c’mon I was 10 at that time). My sister became a mother that day.

I don’t think that anyone can love us more than our mother, a perfect amalgamation of care, guardian, love, sacrifice and satan.  So, the next day I was buying a sippy cup for that little attention seeking weirdo aka my nephew , I was psyched to see that almost all the commonly available milk bottles or sippy cups are plastic made.

Being a chemical engineer, I can tell you that some chemicals are added to provide durability, strength, clarity to the material . Now under the application of

  • Heat
  • UV rays
  • Acidic medium
  • Prolonged exposure.
  • Brushing or vigorous washing

,these plastic leaches these chemicals into the food or liquid they are in contact with. One such chemical is BPA or Bisphenol, which is known to be an endocrine disruptor or in short messes up our whole hormonal system leading to

  • deformities of the male and female genitals;
  • premature puberty in females;
  • Decrease in sperm quality; and increase in breast and prostate cancers,
  • infertility, miscarriages,
  • obesity,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • allergies and neurological problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD.

BPA ban and World:

BPA was banned by the Food and Drug administration (FDA), USA ,from use in baby bottles and cups in 2012. So industries came up with a novel plastic i.e. BPA free plastic formulation. Some recent studies suggest that even the BPA-Free plastics may pose a health risk to babies.

bpa-bottles_wide-6a781928ef08dc2c16faf55950513809e2d3377a-s900-c85Considering the mental and physical impacts on infants, most countries have either phased out BPA or very stringently regulate its use. Canada was the first to ban the use of BPA in baby feeding bottles. The European Union has followed suit, while countries such as the US, France, Japan, China, Malaysia and Turkey have either imposed a ban or opted for a voluntary phase-out

Note:

According to Times of India, Nov 5, 2014:

A study was conducted by Toxic Link in which 14 samples of feeding bottles were collected from Delhi, Baripada in Odisha and Bhopal in MP. Researchers were shocked to find 50% of BPA-free samples with BPA levels exceeding the EU threshold of 0.6 parts per million (PPM). In one of the bottles, the BPA concentration was 9.8ppm, about 16 times the limit, and 78.5% of the samples contained BPA.

The feeding bottles in India are regulated by the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992, as amended in 2003. The act mandates that all the feeding bottles sold in India will have to adhere to the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards. “The BIS revised the standard for feeding bottles in 2013 and prepared a draft notification banning BPA. Leave aside enforcement, even the changes have not been notified,” said Satish Sinha, Associate Director, Toxics Link.

 

Author’s take:

I would suggest everyone to keep expected moms, babies and children away from the plastic, as these are more prone to these endocrine disruptor chemicals. Many research studies have suggested that prolonged exposure or low dose exposure to the chemical in

  • early development stage, could affect them later in their lives
  • childhood or adulthood could affect reproduction and growth and
  • parents could affect the next generation.

Studies have shown links between BPA and cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other illnesses.

Alternatives:

Go for silicone based, glass based or stainless steel based milk bottles or sippy cups.

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Note it as a thumb rule that a plastic should not come in contact with anything that goes inside us ( food or water etc).

Ciao. Stay healthy.

Baddi Pharma Sirsa river-A Hate triangle

Pharma companies have always been revered as the ideal companies to work with. After all they are responsible for producing the life saving drugs shielding us from life threatening diseases.Angel Isn’t it?

But lately many research studies have accused them of conducting irresponsible operations., paying no heed to the people and environment and Neglecting the local people’s health for their profits?

Let’s look at the truth.

Firstly let’s look at operation of an ideal pharma company

Apart from producing the live saving drugs, a pharma company also releases chemical laden solid waste and effluent. Now a responsible pharma unit treats this waste before releasing it in the environment i.e. solid waste is either incinerated, sold or dumped at a proper disposal site(treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF), while the effluent is treated in an Effluent treatment plant within prescribed SPCB limits. Also while incineration some harmful pollutants are released in the air which are captured by suitable mechanisms. Remember this treatment costs a substantial amount to a company. Any cost incurred means a lesser profit. But for good, ethical and responsible companies this cost is not more than the health of people and environment. A reflection of their strong moral foundation . Respect!!! Respect!!!

What few pharma companies actually do:

A recent study by CSE in Baddhi Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) region has exposed many aberrations in operations of few pharma companies. These are:

  1. Improper disposal of solid waste
  2. Burning of solid waste in open
  3. Liquid waste from these units is also discharged through pipes and other outlets that open behind the plant or run underground and open into bushy areas. This released wastewater accumulates in or flows through nallahs, canals, and rivulets into the Sirsa river.
  4. Effluents are also injected into the ground at night by digging bore wells or released during rains.

Due to this, Not only sirsa river which flows downstream of  Baddhi region is turning black and emanating foul odour but it is also becoming a grave concerns for “us”.

 

In BBN region,Many companies manufacture formulations, or finished products such as tablets and syrups. Some companies also manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or the main biologically active ingredient used in formulations, including antibiotics.

The poorly regulated discharge of untreated wastewater into soils and rivers is causing the spread of antibiotic ingredients which cause microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) to develop immunity to antibiotics, creating superbugs.

As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.

Superbugs are able to travel quickly through air and water, aboard airplanes and through global food supply chains.

According to WHO:

  • Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised.
  • The cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs.
  • Globally, 480 000 people develop multi-drug resistant TB each year, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well.

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By 2050, the total death toll worldwide as the result of contracting an infection that proves resistant to treatment is expected to reach 10 million people

Currently, effluent standards are limited to chemical contaminants such as heavy metals. APIs are not considered as a chemical contaminant. Laws must be made to ensure that there are no APIs in treated effluents.

With the news of creation of Bulk pharma drug park in Baddi the threat of AMR due to APIs in the environment will be more pronounced as Baddi expands manufacturing capacity.

This won’t only effect the residents of Baadi or Haryana but everyone including you , me and the same officials of Pharma companies are at equal risk.

The Sirsa River enters Himachal Pradesh state in the Solan District near Baddi and flows straight into Punjab and finally meets Sutlej near Ropar. My city receives water the same river. Oh f****

All the more reasons to go to Canada.

God bless us

Researches that link untreated waste to AMR:

  • A study of wastewater factories in China and Hyderabad found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding. For every bacterium that entered one waste treatment plant, four or five antibiotic-resistant bacteria were released into the water system, tainting water, livestock and communities.
  • Another research found traces of antibiotics in treated effluent of CETP and Musi river, which receives effluents from WWTPs around Hyderabad.
  • Another study, published in Infection in April 2017, shows that water samples from the direct environment of bulk drug manufacturing facilities were contaminated with antimicrobial pharmaceuticals and resistance genes.
  • Resistant bacteria in samples from different manufacturing sites across India were also reported by international agency Changing Markets in 2016.

But pharma companies shrug off such findings.

This reminds me of Trump “Climate change is a hoax”

Read more at: http://www.millenniumpost.in/opinion/opinion-242616

Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking is the 2nd largest organized crime after drugs.

Trafficking means any activity leading to recruitment, transportation or harboring of person or human organs by means of threat or use of force.

 Close to 80% of human trafficking across the world is done for sexually exploitation and rest is for bonded labor and India is considered as the hub of crime in Asia.

A lot of young boys are trafficked into India for work as bonded labor in industries like coal, bricks, handloom and embroidery.   They are made to work upto 16 hours a day in return of some food or very little or no money.   India is also a transit point for young boys who are sent to Dubai and other middle east countries for Camel Racing.

In the western part of India’s capital city New Delhi more than 5000 domestic worker placement agencies operate from Shakurbasti for years.  These agencies have flourished by indulging in the business of trafficking minor girls and selling them as domestic salves in the cities.

 Agents identify girls from extremely poor families and lure them to the city with the promise of good job and sell them to a domestic placement agency.  Agency resells her a domestic salve.

 Several natural disasters have left millions homeless which has created easy target for traffickers. Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprise because it holds low rise with high profit because unlike drugs human can be sold repeatedly..

Social inequality, regional gender imbalance, poverty and corruption are the leading causes of human trafficking in India.   Sometimes parents are also desperate to sell their daughters to earn money.  Family pressures to employ children are the main factors, why human trafficking is arising each day.

Victims of human trafficking have great chances of suffering from Issues like mental disorders, depression and anxiety. Women into trafficking Have higher risk of getting affected from HIV.

SOME SHOCKING FACTS

  1. There are estimated 27 million adults and 13 millions children around the world who are victims of human trafficking
  2. Human trafficking not only involves sex and labour but also human organs
  3. Research estimates that more than 80% victims are female
  4. Over 90% of the trafficking is done within border and 10% from overseas.
  5. NCB findings shows that West Bengal is the hub of Human trafficking in India, followed by Tamil Nadu, Assam, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.  Delhi is the transit point
  6. As per NCB data in 2014-15 65.5% of crimes committed in India was related to human trafficking, out of which 31% of the crime was registered to minor girls trafficking.
  7. According to Governments data in every eight minute, a child goes missing. Almost 40000 children are kidnapped yearly but 11000 could never be traced.
  8. India alone is home of 40% of world’s total estimated 48.5 million salves

According to Global data: Though under the immoral trafficking prevention act, trafficking is penalized and punishment ranges from 7 years to life imprisonment but there is a huge gap between enactment and enforcement of these laws.  Activists says although the government response to human trafficking has improved in recent years, justice and support still eludes many victims especially children. There should be strict disciplinary action against everybody involved in such a crime, then only problem can be addressed.  Also better education and job facilities should be provided at native place, so that parents do not opt these ways for their kids.  Above all attitude towards women and young girls must be changed.

Human trafficking is something inhuman and unethical.  This is something shame to society and mankind.   THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED.

-I VIJAY LAXMI, working as a manager in LIC of India, Chandigarh have a strong feeling to eradicate these crimes from society, by spreading awareness and contributing to eliminate trafficking against minor girls and women.

Two sides of the same coin: Environment and poverty

maxresdefaultYou just need to take a break from your perennial thoughts pertaining to job, stability, career, girl/boy to observe the surroundings. And when you do, you see that a lot has changed. The three basic life forces i.e. air, water and food; have turned poison. The rising number of deaths, nearly one in four global deaths owing to unhealthy conditions (according to new estimates from WHO) corroborates the veracity of the above statement.

The foundation of an economy is laid on natural resources. Ideally speaking, each one of us irrespective of nationality, social status, religion or culture should enjoy equal rights on them but we all know the reality.  It can’t be overlooked that, over the past few years, average living standards have risen (Yeah.. Kudos) but the gap between the rich and poor has also broadened (Ah.. depressing). Resources which were meant to be enjoyed by all are at the disposal of few. (Yeah that..”Aao kabhi haveli pe” people.. wink.. wink..)

Many international publications have declared that environment and poverty are interrelated. But how? Isn’t the environment is concerned with interaction between human and nature, management of natural resources and life sustaining treasure i.e. air ,water and land while poverty is lack of means to meet even basic necessities of life (acc. to wikipedia).

But to my utter surprise, these publications made sense. Let’s see how poverty is leading to environmental degradation and how poverty is being impacted by environment.

Around1.6 billion people (mostly poverty stricken people) across the globe depend on forest products for their livelihoods and due to high demand, insufficient knowledge and unconventional planning they are unable to properly manage their practices, leading to massive deforestation.  Also, immoderate usage of wood for cooking, heating and housing is creating its shortfall, thus making it more expensive to buy, enhancing the downward spiral of poverty and environmental degradation.

Do you know, what is the major cause of deforestation? Any ideas?

It is the agriculture. According to wwf.panda.org

“When natural vegetation is cleared and when farmland is ploughed, the exposed topsoil is often blown away by wind or washed away by rain.
Erosion due to soy production, for example, sees Brazil lose 55 million tons of topsoil every year.  This leads to reduced soil fertility and degraded land.
Other major crops that cause soil erosion include coffee, cassava, cotton, corn, palm oil, rice, sorghum, tea, tobacco, and wheat.”

With time, agricultural land often loses its productivity and rendered useless(becomes barren), so the farmers keep on moving to more productive land (usually arable forest area). Globally, the land used and abandoned in the last 50 years may be equal to the amount of land used today.

“4500 acres of forests are cleared every hour by forest fires, bull dozers, machetes etc.”

These publications also attributed air pollution, soil pollution and water pollution to the poor production techniques and damaging economic assets employed by poor people. The enormous pressure on a land leads to land degradation, soil erosion and concomitant food production decline and endangered fisheries. Again this is not out of will but due to lack of knowledge, lack of government involvement in providing environmental friendly technologies and lack of capital at their disposal

It is said that “You reap what you sow”. Absolutely true, there is no denying in that fact. But it is to be noted that poor people are reaping what we all are sowing. It is the poor who is being persecuted in the hands of development. People engage in insalubrious professions, more out of need than out of will. Often they are exposed to toxic atmospheres prone to myriad of life threatening diseases ranging from asthma to cancer. With meagre earnings leave medical bills they are even unable to provide one healthy meal for their family. Often residing in squalid ghettos ,unhygienic conditions ,they are the ones facing the brunt of environmental catastrophes like Hurricane katrina, flood ,malaria, dengue ,human made tragedies like the Exxon Valdez,BP oil spill.and remembered only during “democratic elections”

 “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”.

A lot of poverty stricken people are still living in “dark ages” with no or limited access to education, knowledge or information leading to poor management of available resources (deforestation), environment degrading production methodologies, overuse of chemicals ,soil erosion, land degradation etc. This not only affects the environment but also effectuate income loss for poor farmers and exacerbate there piteous condition. But what could they do? Their utmost priority is to arrange basic necessities i.e. food, clothing and shelter for their family. Their entire energy is devoted in the pursuit of these necessities, in the “pursuit of happyness”. Thoughts of sustainable practices, environment protection are not expected from them.

What is required is to instil the faith of poor farmers in sustainable practices like rain water harvesting, integrated pest management ,cover crops etc., to make them believe that they too can reap benefits from such practices This can be done by making them aware of the latest environment friendly technologies, providing them education and vocational training. A world wide approach encompassing national and international organizations, government bodies, community and society is essential to alleviate destitute, to empower needy and to make this “pale blue dot” a better place to live in.

P.S.: Also, We have an opening for an editor the current one is real pain in the ass (obscene middle finger gestures).

Sources:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/deaths-attributable-to-unhealthy-environments/en/

https://www.thoughtco.com/poverty-and-the-environment-1204029

http://www.teamstoendpoverty.org/wq_pages/en/visages/environnement_detail.php

THE UGLY SIDE OF BEAUTY

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Wise people often say “Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart”. But how many of us do really follow this wise quote? Do we not constantly try to look beautiful/ well groomed/ smell nice in order to impress people around? (Sadly the answer is “We do”)

There is no doubt that no matter how many times people quote these quotes, We surely are living in an “appearance- centric world”! We have this utmost desire to look and smell good to socially acceptable standards.

But have u ever wondered that while you are exfoliating your face with that most expensive exfoliating scrub in your dressing table, you are contributing to four awful things:

  1. Environmental pollution
  2. Killing of animals
  3. Threat to your own health
  4. Child labor

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You must be thinking  how can that seemingly harmless , cute little bottle of that scrub is being held responsible for these things. Strange? Well… Let me explain! Those exfoliating scrubs, face wash contain small tiny particles of plastics called “Micro-beads”. These microbeads are made of either polyethylene, polypropylene, or polystyrene. While we are rinsing our face with those scrubs to get ready for a romantic date at “Sagar ratna” with “him” , we do not realize that those tiny plastic beads get washed down to drain and because of their small size, they do not get caught in the sewage treatment plant and hence lead to Plastic water pollution !!

Those dozens of bottles adorning our bathroom shelves are made of increasingly scarce resources , and despite our best intentions, many of them are destined for landfills. It has been observed that 23000 tonnes toothbrush end up in US landfill every year and 2 billion disposable razors are thrown away in US. (Pretty threatening….isnt it?)

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The chemical substances used in cosmetics such as P-Phenylenediamine (in dark hair coloring products), Cosmetic preservatives like BHT/BHA, Dioxane (found in creams, moisturizers, shampoos), Dibutyl Phthalate (found in nail polish), Triclocan (hand sanitizers, deodorant), Diethanolamine (almost every product) ..these dreadly chemical substances wash down to the drains and enter into the water cycle. Where all life on earth is dependent on water cycle, this contaminated water vaporizes into the atmosphere , re- accumulates into clouds , then re-liquefies and returns as rain. (This time…..tip tip barsa paani, paani ne tabahi machayi chemicals k sath).

Then there comes this packaging of the products which comprises of more than 40% of rigid plastic.  The reason of using this rigid plastic as a packaging material for these shampoo bottles  is to prevent the packaging to be degraded by those harmful chemicals contained in the bottle. This packaging material then needs hundreds of years to be degraded and thus becomes a major contributor to already brooming plastic pollution.

These chemicals when enter into the water cycle, destroy the aquatic life to the extent which is possible and even beyond that.  Some of these chemicals have been linked in animal studies to male genital birth defects, decreased sperm counts, and altered pregnancy outcomes. Their use disrupts the hormonal balance , and can lead to skin cancer too!! ( Ladies, the greatest gift you can ever give to your husband is the “healthy you” . So choose to be healthy because the most perfect health is the most perfect beauty)

And what is worse than snatching someone’s childhood? Nothing! Do we have a realization that those glittery products we use to shine at a party contains a mineral dust called “Mica” whose mining involves more than 20000 of child labor ? In the state of Bihar and Jharkhand , children as young as of 6 years of age are employed in the dangerous mining of Mica which is responsible for adding shimmer to the beauty products. The tender age where they should be holding pens in their hands, they hold tools, and what will bring you goosebumps is the fact that 5 to 10 kids die every month in Jharkand and Bihar owing to Mica Mining.  Child labor is nothing less than child abuse and we surely never want to contribute to it.

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Now here comes the question as to how can we do our bit to reduce the load on the environment and be a socially responsible citizen.

Firstly, we can opt for ecologically safe packaging or no packaging at all or recyclable plastic bottles, simple paper wrapping or reusable glass packaging to keep product waste out of landfill. There are companies such as Lush, The body shop, L’Oreal etc who have taken this initiative.

Secondly, Going “Natural” never goes out of style, like we can use besan, aloe vera, coconut oil for they have numerous beauty effects. (We do have all the “daadi maa k nuskhe” for that ultra glowing skin. Don’t we? )

And most importantly, we must not forget the fact that every woman is beautiful, it just takes the right man to see it!!

-By Bongi (Editor :Trystwitheco)

Our Carbon Footprint

Believe me, residing in India, bearing the scorching summer heat will raise myriads of diverse questions inside you. Like

“What are the sins you have committed hitherto in life?”

“Why she is trying to get close in this singeing hot weather, Is she trying to kill me.?”

“Is god there?”

“What is the purpose of life”?

“Why god has created human”?

Or sometimes you get epiphanies like:

Oh! That is why we celebrate raksha bandhan in summers and Valentines in winters.

Oh! That is why sales of condoms dip in summers.

And finally comes the gratitude for Water, for electricity and for trees.

But, this pain in the a** (obscene middle finger gesture), ”heat” finally evoked the engineer in me and made me look into the causes.

And behold thy breath, for I am revealing the biggest cause … DUM DUM DUM (author trying to create suspense…..moronic tendencies of author..please bear)

Is “us”. Yeah.. The gullible , petite and innocent human beings.

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We are responsible for releasing tons of GHG-green house gases (like carbon-di-oxide, methane , NOx, water vapours) in the atmosphere via activities like: heating, riding a car, flying in a plane, food and goods production, home electricity consumption etc. For my brothers and their sisters who do not know the meaning of GHG, who actually have a life, well here’s the link for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas .

In this post, an attempt to estimate the CO2 emission by each one of us is made. So that each one of us is aware of the impact they are making on environment and an informed decision, on how to reduce the carbon footprint can be taken. This will be concomitant with a minor lifestyle change and major conscience awakening.

Let’s see how many tons of Green house gases we, the most evolved species, are responsible for dumping each day.

Food

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Ever wondered those banal chapattis, rice ,pulses and vegetables , your mom has been preparing for you is responsible for how much of GHG emission ?

(It is strange though, how the absence of a mother can make this banal food delicious, precious and longing.)

Or those delicious, lip smacking leg pieces, dainty mutton or mouth watering fish, which your friend’s mother has been preparing is responsible for how much of GHG emission.

Lo and Behold.. Your brother (only for guys) from another mother has done some research of his own. Though secondary, but research is a research:-p.

According to a research carried out by  Indian Agricultural Research Institute by Dr. Himanshu Pathak and team, the CO2 emission (or equivalent) will depend on one’s diet i.e. vegetarian or non vegetarian and amount consumed.

An excerpt from the research carried out by them:

Food Man Woman
Diet requirement (g)

 

GWP (gCO2 eq.) Diet requirement (g)

 

GWP (gCO2 eq.)

 

Veg Non Veg Veg Non Veg Veg Non Veg Veg Non Veg
Wheat 225 225 78.9 78.9 175 175 61.4 61.4
Pulse 80 65 23.3 18.9 70 55 20.4 16
Rice 250 250 355.9 355.9 175 175 249.2 249.2
Green vegetable (cauliflower) 125 125 19 19 125 125 19 19
Other vegetables (brinjal) 75 75 11.6 11.6 75 75 11.6 11.6
Roots and tubers(potato) 100 100 17.1 17.1 75 75 12.8 12.8
Milk 200 100 156.4 78.2 200 100 156.4 78.2
Apple 30 30 10.7 10.7 30 30 10.7 10.7
Sugar 40 40 33.8 33.8 30 30 25.4 25.4
Oil 40 40 16.9 16.9 40 40 16.9 16.9
Egg 30 20 30 20
Mutton 30 370.5 30 370.5
Total 1165 1110 723.6 1031.5 995 940 583.8 891.7

Balanced diet requirement for adult man and woman per day and associated greenhouse gas emission at moderate level of work.

To summarise:

Balanced diet Men

gCO2 per day

Women

gCO2 per day

Vegetarian 567.2 427.4
Lacto-vegetarian (vegetarian with milk) 723.6 583.8
Ovo-Vegetarian (non-vegetarian with egg), 661 521.2
Non -vegetarian 1031.5 891.7

So if you are a vegetarian (male) you are responsible for emitting 210 kg of CO2 (or equivalent ) annually in the atmosphere.

On the other hand, if you are a non-vegetarian(male) you are responsible for releasing a whopping 380 kg of CO2 (or equivalent ) annually in the atmosphere (almost twice that of a vegetarian).

So if all the non-vegetarians start binging on vegetables, pulses and grains ,”the pale blue dot” will breathe less of CO2. Interesting…

To know how agriculture and animal husbandry leads to GHG emissions, wait for my next article:

Driving:

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Let’s see how our long weekend rides, or workplace commuting, our roving is taking a toll on the environmental health.  Well it mostly depends upon the vehicle type, drive cycle, and engine calibration.

So if you are using a diesel vehicle you are responsible for emitting 2.7 kg of CO2 for every liter of diesel consumed.

And if you are using a petrol or gasoline vehicle, you are emitting 2.4 kg of CO2 for every liter of petrol used.

If you are driving a diesel vehicle of mileage 15 km/lit and you travel around 15000 km annually, you will be consuming 15000/15 i.e. 1000 lit of fuel.

This means that you are releasing around 2.7 tons of CO2 annually in atmosphere.

Now, imagine the number of cars on Indian roads (around 60-70 million) , their usage and mileage.

An electric car doesn’t emit any COper se but you need energy to charge the batteries of electric car. If that energy is coming from fossil fuels, you’ll be responsible for about a ton of CO2 per year (this is covered in more detail in another post); if you have solar panels on your roof that cover your energy needs, your car electric car can be effectively powered by the sun and you can feel good about all those tons of CO2 you are no longer emitting.

Electricity:

electricity-comparison

Do you know the life force behind your air conditioners, lights, fans, televisions, microwaves, mobile phones, kindle etc. Yeah, you are right. It is electricity. Its usance is so imbued in our lives that without it breath will be there but no life.

If I compare the pain of separation with the pain of power cut, it won’t be a “profanation”.

Let’s have a look at energy scenario in India:

According to Wikipedia,” The utility electricity sector in India has a National Grid with an installed capacity of 319.60 GW (as of 31 March 2017.) During the fiscal year 2015-16, the gross electricity generated by utilities in India was 1,116.84 TWh and the total electricity generation (utilities and non utilities) in the country was 1,352 TWh or 1,075.64 kWh per capita. India is the world’s third largest producer and fourth largest consumer of electricity. Electric energy consumption in agriculture was recorded highest (17.89%) in 2015-16 among all countries. The per capita electricity consumption is low compared to many countries despite cheaper electricity tariff in India.”

It should be noted that about 67.6% energy in India is produced from fossil fuels. This accounts for about 2020 Mt (Mega tonne) of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Renewable power plants constituted 30.3% of total installed capacity.

India is a country with a whopping population of 1.3 billion people; this means on average 1.55 tons of CO2 is emitted by every Indian in a year. This is a small figure, far away from the actual number as there are around 400 million people in India which doesn’t have any access to electricity.

According to EPA ,around 0.55 kg of CO2 is produced per kilowatt-hour for electricity at its source and 0.59 kg CO2 per kilowatt-hour for delivered electricity.

In summers i.e. from Mid April to September end (almost 180 days), my electricity consumption is 12 kWh per day and rest of the months it is around 5kWh per day (180 days). So my total electricity consumption is 12*180+5*180 i.e. 3060 kWh. The CO2 load because of my consumption translates to 1.8 tons, higher than the average. This is my household consumption. If there are four members in the family, then per head electricity consumption will be 3060/4 i.e. 765 kWh and CO2 emission will be 1.8/4 tons i.e. 0.45 tons.

Let me know yours?

Stuff:

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Everything we buy from a cloth to a mobile phone has a carbon footprint appended with it. Everything from paper, books, pen, pencil, lotions, face-wash, creams, medicines, clothes, electronic items, cars etc (in short whatever you can think of) is made by burning fossil fuels.

According to a research, 20% of each person’s carbon footprint comes from buying or disposing items.

So if for whole year, I don’t purchase any new stuff and utilize what I already have or buy a used one, the environment won‘t bear the load of my stuff related emissions. Also I will save some money (wink wink).

I can stall my plan to purchase a new mobile when my current mobile is working properly. (Feeling good).

So younger ones, feel free to don on your elder siblings clothes (that too good ones) in the name of environment. :-p

You know what will be more fun, do it without telling them.(devilish smile).

P.S.:  Renew your health insurances.

My carbon footprint:

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If I calculate the amount of CO2 emissions by me:

Driving                  : I ride around 7500 km on annual basis. This amounts to 1.35 tons of CO2 emissions

Food                     : Being a lacto vegetarian, carbon footprint associated with my consumption is 265 kg on annual basis

Electricity            : On average I am responsible for 1.80 tons of CO2 emission , if electricity is produced from fossil fuels.

Stuff                      : 20% of (Driving+Food+Electricity)

i.e. 0.2 * (1.3+0.265+1.80)          =             0.675 tonnes of CO2

Total CO2 emissions are: 4.04 tons

Comparison:

Around 36 Gt of CO2 is emitted by the human population of 7 billion in the year 2015. This translates to per capita CO2 emission of 5 tons (per year).

My carbon footprint is less than world average, but still a huge amount considering the impact it has on environmental health. And not only environment, it has impact on the people I care about.

Entire world is one big family. We are responsible for each other. In order to provide comfort to our loved ones, sometimes we get selfish and ignorant. We start over consuming and the brunt of it is faced by our “brethrens”, our neighbours and our loved ones. Yeah! Our loved ones. They climate change owing to GHG emissions is affecting them also.

If you ponder over it, It is like suffocating your own brother, mother, sister, bongi, son or daughter etc with your own hands, with your own actions. Every ounce of CO2 emitted by you is affecting the people you care about.

It is for the touch you care about

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It is for your responsibility

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Can I reduce my carbon footprint?

Hell yeah! I have made this target of reducing this below two tonnes per year.

How I am planning to do it?

By practicing a “thought”, prevalent since time memorial, mentioned on many occasions in greek , Vedas and Buddhist texts i.e. “moderation”.

  1. Using more of my “pundi” i.e. two wheeler for those romantic rides instead of four wheeler. Moreover the level of intimacy is higher on two wheeler. Speed-Pit-Break, Speed-Pit-Break, Speed-Break-speed –break.(wink-wink). Jokes apart, commuting via my conveyance only when essential and preferring public transport. I will buy a bicycle this year for sure.Tummy will reduce and so the CO2.
  2. No AC July : There was a time when AC was not invented and still we used to have a sound sleep. But after AC, things changed. The first thing I do after entering home is grab a water bottle from refrigerator and switch on the AC. But the question is can I live without it. We will see. If I make it alive( wink wink) then the money which I have saved from electricity bill will be donated to the people who care about environment(or poor farmers etc.). It won’t be much but it will be something.

Dare to take this challenge?

  1. Buying no or only requisite stuff i.e. Clothes, mobiles, groceries etc. Limiting desires. Practicing self control.

Remember

“A thing not purchased is equivalent to thing not made”

 At last, I request all of you to help in reducing my CO2 emission below 2 tons/year. Please let me know of some other methods which can contribute to this impetus.

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