Thursday, April 30, 2015

Make your switch to healthy cooking....


Cooking food and storing water in clay pots is a method that is as new as tomorrow and as old as time itself! 
  • It's unique in that, this mineral rich composition of pure nature cooks your food without any additives like metal ions, toxins or glazes leaching into your food. 
  • Clay cooking has a unique ability to lock steam & nutrients in food, and cooks with a far superior form of heat without damaging any of the nutrition bearing cells in your food.
  • There are no plasticizers, extenders, dyes, talc, mica, glaze or anything else gets added to the clay, making it naturally rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and other micro-nutrients, which also get added to water stored in clay matkas.
  • As clay is non-reactive, nothing from the pot reacts and leaches into your food or water. Metals on the other hand can be highly reactive -- they react & leach into food and can be harmful in your body.


Make your sensible choice today and deck your kitchen with clay ware!

Samuchit Enviro Tech helps you make this much-needed switch - visit our office today to explore our range of Mitticool clay products and great discounts this summer - beat the rising heat with Mitticool...Ditch the water bottles in the fridge for a lovely-looking water pot that also strengthens you from within...


#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Can climate change cause earthquakes?

It's hard to see how one can get away with putting climate change and earthquakes in the same sentence, but a closer look suggests the theory may not only make sense, but also could have historical precedent.

What's the argument?
The argument goes like this: When the climate changed naturally in the past, and the planet emerged from an ice age, large ice sheets covering much of the planet retreated. They were so heavy that the resulting release of pressure on the earth's crust caused it to 'bounce back', triggering earthquakes, tremors, and even volcanic activity along pre-existing fault lines.
Right now, the Earth is still responding to the end of the last ice age some 20,000 years ago when temperatures began to rise, causing large ice sheets to retreat.

Climate change occurring due to human activities has the potential to alter the risk of geological and geomorphological hazards through the twenty-first century and beyond. Such changes in risk have not yet been systematically assessed. The risks of dangerous changes in the earth's surface due to man-made climate change are yet to be intensively investigated. 

Conclusion:

We cannot safely assume that there is no link between human activities resulting in global warming and causing subsequent change in climate, resulting in earthquakes, tremors or volcanic activities. Let us await geological studies and evidences to back the argument.

Having said all of the above, this does NOT mean that every natural calamity is a result of climate change! The earthquakes in the Himalayan ranges are a common phenomena related to the motion of the Indian subcontinental plate against the plate of China. This in itself is enough to cause large strains in the earth's crust here - the impacts of climate change, if any, in this case may be negligible. But the important message is that in case the hypothesis proves right, we cannot be sure anymore that the areas considered not very susceptible to earthquakes as of now, will remain so in the future. Perhaps another reason to rethink the current model of development that favours massive infrastructure and densely populated urban spaces?



*Professor Bill McGuire of University College London, introduced his book  Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes
*The above arguments are data sourced from a blog posted on The Carbon Brief <www.carbonbrief.org>, in lieu of introduction of the book.



#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Who is the culprit?

I am writing this week's piece as the horrifying stories of the havoc caused by the earthquake in Nepal and Northern parts of India are still unfolding. 

The Himalayas are relatively young mountains and their height is still growing. This mountain range is actually a 'fold' formed as the plate of the Indian subcontinent is pushing under the plate of China. As a result this entire area is and will remain prone to earthquakes. Minor tremors is a routine matter in this region, but there have been strong earthquakes too occasionally. In fact if you consider the total area of Pakistan, North India, China, Bhutan, and Nepal, strong earthquakes with devastating effects have occurred quite frequently in this region.  In view of this always eminent danger of major earthquakes, what precautions have been taken by the people or the governments in this region? Forget about the people living in the region, how prepared/informed are we in the rest of India, when we flock to Nepal as tourists and expect/demand certain amenities and conveniences? 

The earthquake has indeed caused a widespread damage to historic monuments, and also impacted the mountaineers. But the large number of victims is primarily due to collapsing concrete buildings. Who then is the culprit? The earthquake, or the short sighted policies that did not impose appropriate building codes to ensure earthquake proofing? 

I have visited Nepal a few times over the last few years in connection with my work, and every time the changes have been disturbing - I see more shops, narrower roads, more multi-stories buildings every time, and more tourists (mostly Indians - the European tourists typically come to Nepal to 'rough it' and avoid the urban 'comforts' as much as possible) demanding even more of the same. I just do not get the logic of going to a breathtakingly beautiful country and spend most time shopping and gambling (although I think the casinos were closed down last year)! So in a way, WE are all responsible for the tragedy that has struck Nepal, by encouraging the cities and towns in this geologically sensitive zone to become congested urban sprawls in order to serve us as tourists. 

This once again underlines the point that I have been trying to drive home over the last few weeks - the root cause of many if not all of our problems today is to be found in the industrial/urban life style that we, as a civilisation, have identified as THE ideal, THE Utopia, to be achieved by every community, in every corner of the globe. 

Priyadarshini Karve
Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech



#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful



    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Quiz : Answer and Win!


Weekly Monday Quiz

This week's Monday Quiz has an interesting question....Put your global environment sector knowledge to test....


Where would the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference be held?

Keep answering and keep winning!



Last week's answer : 5th June.

Lucky winners: Dayaghan RanePrasuna PedapudiANIKET MOTALE 
All winners win discount coupons and will receive it in their inbox shortly!



#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful



    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Friday, April 24, 2015

Each day - Earth Day



Let's pledge to make every day as Earth Day, and not pinpoint it only one calender day!






#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful



    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day : 10 things you can do to make a global impact in saving our planet

It was Earth Day yesterday, but literally, the necessity is to celebrate Earth Day each day. And this is how you can take baby steps at your own level and make a global impact:




1. Slow The Flow
A faucet leaking just one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! Thats like 4129.04 litres per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes both water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gasses. Most repairs to plumbing fixtures pay for themselves within just a year. Fix it!

2. Think Green When You Clean
Cleaning products that contain chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and then end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long term damage to the Earth.



3. Choose Both Sides
Every year, paper mills release over one trillion gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper making process. Using the other side of the paper can cut that pollution almost in half! And choose recycled paper—especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper.

4. 'Green' Your Machine
Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year just because tires aren’t properly inflated. That's like 2650 millions of vehicular fuel! Millions more are wasted because our vehicles aren’t properly tuned up or not maintained to their best. Keep your machine running ‘Green!’ You’ll save money and reduce emissions!


5. Meat Less For Dinner
Once a week, plan a meat-alternative for dinner. Enjoy some local green vegetables or even pasta with a cheese sauce, veggie pizza, or even grilled veggie burgers! Reducing meat consumption conserves fresh water, saves topsoil, and even reduces air pollution!
6. Walk, Hike, Ride A Bike
If people would occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car or a 2 wheeler, over 265 million litres of fuel could be saved each year! And there’s the added benefit of enjoying fresh air and exercise! For short errands, take a hike!

7. Plant A Tree Every Earth Day!
Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade that keeps homes and cities cooler!

8. Give Weeds A 'Hand'
Herbicides aren’t the only way to control weeds, and they’re certainly not the most environment-friendly way! Invest in a good pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Also, choose natural alternatives to pesticides for getting rid of pests!

9. Lighten Your Electricity Bill
There’s a brighter way to light your home: new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Compared to regular bulbs, CFLs last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat—yet they produce more light per watt! Brighten the future: go CFL!

10. Reduce, Reuse Recycle
It’s more than just a slogan. You can start making the world a ‘greener’ place today: use minimum or no plastic bags, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers instead of bags, there are hundreds of easy things to do! It’s up to you!

*sources and figures gathered from www.rustletheleaf.com

#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful



    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day - What is it?


Earth Day - What is it?

We all know 5th June is celebrated as World Environment Day, but what is Earth Day all about?

How did Earth Day evolve?
In 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to spread the message of environmental awareness, and in the process created the first ever Earth Day. The campaign led to remarkable change — generating momentum for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. The brainchild of the late Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day 1970 garnered bipartisan support and is widely considered to be the beginning of the environmental movement. Earth Day 2015 includes a cleanup Great Wall of China beach litter removal. and an attempt to protect 25,000 acres of rain forest in Indonesia.

The motto of Earth Day is "100% Renewable" — What does it mean?
Earth Day Network is calling on cities to go 100% renewable by 2050. We want all of our consumed energy to be created by renewable energy sources– sun, wind and water!
Why do we need 100% renewable?
1 billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day and those most affected by climate change are low-income or marginalized populations. These trends will only get worse if we don’t stop misusing the planet. Moving towards a 100% renewable world is possible, but only in a world where all countries commit to a low carbon future. We have the technology. Now we need the political will to begin this change.
Over the past 20 years, there have been a series of failed attempts to create an effective international treaty to mitigate climate change. In 1997, the UN passed the Kyoto Protocol, the first major international agreement. Unfortunately, the US—one of the world’s top polluters—failed to ratify the treaty. Since then, the countless efforts to come to an agreement—Rio, Copenhagen— have all ended in failure.
The next summit – COP21- in Paris- is scheduled later this year; and this time we cannot fail. We need a universal climate agreement  that limits global warming to 2°C. We must come together to demand climate action from our leaders!
Why 2°C? There is consensus within the scientific community that greenhouse gases emissions that increase global temperatures beyond 2°C will irreversibly alter climatic regions all over the world, making fierce natural weather phenomena a daily occurrence. Let’s make 2015 the year we reverse this trend, and call on civic leaders to commit to powering our cities with 100% renewable technology.
Moving to renewable energy has the potential to be cost-effective and transform the way we interact with our environment. Divestment from fossil fuels, green buildings, and sustainable cities must drive this change.
We have to start from the bottom up– show our representatives that we will lead where they cannot. This starts in your city.
Earth Day 2015: Let us pledge to save the Tiger, Natural Resources and Biodiversity, our environment, our surroundings, our cities, our future!
2015 – Earth Day’s 45th anniversary – could be the most important year in environmental history. It’s Our Turn to Lead. Get the conversation started on making your city 100% renewable and be part of the movement on April 22, Earth Day.


#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful




    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: What is the real 'price'?

The world will be celebrating the Earth Day tomorrow, on 22 April. I am not sure that it makes much sense to devote one day to thinking about the earth, while we keep exploiting her for 364 days a year, but still, let's hope that the 'noise' made on this one day will trigger some sustained changes somewhere...




Continuing with the thread of my thoughts - so far I have tried to show the link between our quest for sustainability and our lifestyle choices as a society. Last week I talked briefly about the transition from agricultural society to industrial society. 

The back-of-the-envelope calculations in earlier posts have shown that 10,000 years ago the transition from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agricultural lifestyle was intuitively driven by humans' looking for sustainability. Simple agriculture too was not good enough to sustain the human population beyond the 16th century when the seeds of industrialization were sown. How has this transition put the sustainability in jeopardy rather than securing it?

On what basis do I say that sustainability was put in jeopardy by industrialization? 

This can be understood on a broad scale without going into mathematical calculations. With industries mushrooming, the land had to be shared by agriculture and industry, the available manpower also got divided between these two activities. It was left to the land and people engaged in agriculture to provide the basic necessities of life for themselves as well as for those engaged in industry and related activities. There was a rise in the overall productivity, but the rise in population outstripped it. In 1960s we were 3 billion people, within 40 years we had crossed 6 billion! 

According to one of the estimations that I have come across, if everyone on the earth was to live the industrialized lifestyle of the American people, the earth can sustain only 1.5 billion humans. The fact that about 7 billion people are today somehow managing to live on the earth, is due to the fact that majority of these are still living lifestyles that are closer to simple agriculture than industrialised. In other words, the inequity in the world has become a necessary condition for the survival of human civilization as our population is growing towards the 10 billion mark within this century! 

In the course of the transition to industrialized society humans had also invented an artificial 'resource' called MONEY. This was a convenience that allowed everything to be valued on the same scale in relation to everything else. It also provided an easier substitute for the complicated transactions involved in barter system, which required goods or services to be exchanged in actuality. The barter system had depended on a 'coincidence of wants' - a barrier to widespread trade - that was eliminated with the use of money. 

Many of the resources going into simple agriculture (e.g., rainwater) did not cost money. But as agriculturists tried to maximize the output by using industrial inputs (e.g., use of water from an artificial reservoir), it was convenient to assign monetary 'value' to the industrial inputs vis-a-vis the agricultural produce. Money also allowed easy buying of necessities of life as and when required, for an individual not directly engaged in production of these necessities. Soon saving monetary expenditure and making monetary gains became the ultimate purpose of all human activities - the means became an end in itself. 

This focus on a totally fictional resource de-linked us from the natural cycles of which we are an integral part. A typical urban citizen today does not need to understand how food is produced, processed, packaged, transported, traded, in order to get access to it. He/she knows that they can go to the shopping mall round the corner any time of the day and pick up a food item that catches their fancy in exchange of a few pieces of specially printed paper (or using a piece of plastic!). Some of us are lucky enough to have this fictional resource called money in ample quantities to be able to satisfy our true as well as perceived needs. Most of us feel the pull of the 'needs' but do not have the 'power' of money to be able to fulfill all our desires. This economic inequality in turn has lead to discontent and also made us all greedy. 

The urge for 'growth' and 'development' that pushes us further and further into industrialized society is thus also driven by a quest for sustainability - but this distorted idea of sustainability is based on only one resource - money - a resource that has no meaning or value in the real world outside human society! The monetary value of any product or service is determined by the push-pull of supply and demand, rather than the actual 'value' of the natural resources being used or the 'price' in terms of damage being caused to the ecosystem. As a result, while we have seen economic prosperity being brought in through industrialization, this has come at the cost of becoming an increasingly inefficient and wasteful society. 

Most of us do not wish for our ecosystems to break down, but we first want to make sure that we have our coffers full of money - this abstract creation of our own mind. Once that is achieved, we will turn to preserving and protecting the ecosystems that provide us with what we REALLY need for living. What can be more ridiculous than this???

Priyadarshini Karve
Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech



#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Quiz: Answer and win

Come Monday, and we await the Monday quiz..

Today's question:

When is Environment Day celebrated across the world?


Answer and win! We are looking for two winners...


Last week's answer: Delhi











#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Friday, April 17, 2015

Plastic bags...defeats biodegradation, kills animals, litters landscape...







#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful



    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Samuchit's ELFD Smokeless Sampada Stove - a revolutionary smokeless stove


Samuchit presents world's first Electricity-Less Forced Draft Stove

A smart technology substitution for stoves that uses wood, biomass briquettes, coconut shells or any other woody biomass as fuel. Absolutely smokeless and clean burning of fuel.

Watch how it works

A two day exhibition on Modern Biomass Energy Technology was organized by Samuchit Enviro Tech (Pune), Electrofabrik and Phoenix Products (Belgaum) at Kannad Sahitya Bhavan on 10th and 11th April. The exhibition was inaugurated on 10 April at the hands of Mr. P.N. Dhond, Director, Lokmanya Multipurpose Co-op Soc Ltd Belgaum.  The function was presided over by Mr. C.V. Murkatnal, a hotelier from Belgaum who has been using smokeless stoves in his hotel kitchen for several years. 

From L to R: Mr. Sameer Kanbargi (Phoenix Products), Mr. C.V. Murkatnal, Mr. P.N. Dhond,
Dr. Priyadarshini Karve (Samuchit Enviro Tech), Mr. Sharad Walawalkar (Electrofabrik)

Demonstration of Samuchit ELFD Sampada Smokeless Stove

The exhibition showcased a number of technologies based on use of organic waste as fuels for cooking and other thermal process like heating bath water, etc., both at household and commercial scale. The main attraction was Samuchit Electricity Less Forced Draft (ELFD) Sampada Smokeless Stove useful for hotel, mess, etc. The ELFD technology is a first-of-its-kind invention of Electrofabrik and Samuchit Enviro Tech, and has been recognized by a Grant for Innovation Award from Nexus Carbon for Development, Singapore. 



The ELFD Sampada stove was operated continuously for 6-8 hrs on both days of the exhibition. Another week-long event was going on at the same venue, and a food stall owner in this event also tried out the stove. He was so happy with the performance that he requested that the stove be left with him till the end of his event! 

Check out the ELFD Sampada video demo and the food stall owner's trial at the above link.


If you know of any commercial or charitable kitchen that is using firewood or biomass briquettes as cooking fuel, do let them know about this revolutionary technology, which will save them money AND make their kitchen smokeless. 


#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How is Global Warming killing us?


How is Global Warming killing us?

Though the term Global Warming is familiar to all of us, little do we know about its occurence, reasons and catastrophic effects. Here's throwing some light in lieu of creating awareness on this issue.


  • Global Warming is the increase of Earth's average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. This is a type of greenhouse effect.
  • Over the last century, global average temperature has increased by more than 1°F (0.7°C). The 2001-2010 decade is the warmest since 1880. Nine of the warmest years on record have occurred in just the last 10 years
Impacts and causes of Global Warming:
  • Rise in sea level : Shrinking land ice, such as mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets, is releasing water into the oceans.
    Also, as ocean temperatures rise, the warmer water expands. Trapped within a basin bounded by the continents, the water has nowhere to go but up. In some parts of the world, especially low-lying river deltas, local land is sinking (known as subsidence)—making sea levels that much higher. 
  • As our climate changes, the risk of injury, illness, and death from the resulting heat waves, wildfires, intense storms, and floods rises.

  • Climate-related threats to global food production include risks to grain, vegetable, and fruit crops, livestock, and fisheries.

  • Rising air temperatures bring heat waves, spread disease, shift plant and animal habitat and cause extreme weather events, from drought to blizzards.

  • Warmer oceans put coastal communities at risk, increase infrastructure costs, endanger polar creatures and threaten coral reefs and fisheries.

  • Humans use water for everything from drinking and bathing to growing crops, supporting livestock and fish farms, shipping goods, generating electricity, and simply relaxing and having fun. Yet climate change is producing profound changes in this precious commodity, threatening water availability, access, and even quality.      

  • As permafrost (frozen ground) thaws, it releases heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, which accelerates global warming. It also alters local ecosystems and destabilises infrastructure, necessitating costly repairs.       

  • Loss of sea ice accelerates warming, threatens animals and peoples living in the Arctic and raises global security concerns. 

Enough fodder to digest and reflect for a time? 
Let us elaborate on actions that can reduce our own carbon emissions (and global warming, indirectly), in the next blog.


#BeModermBeResponsibleBeRespectful


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Where has agriculture taken us?

I have been talking about the lifestyle change that humans underwent in the quest for sustainability nearly 10,000 years ago. The following pictures more or less summarises the key points of the musings so far.


Even assuming that the actual carrying capacity of a simple agricultural lifestyle is far less than the theoretical number of 750 million persons (refer the calculation in last week's musing:http://samuchitenvirotech.blogspot.in/2015/04/musings-from-priyadarshini-karve.html), we still did not face much of a resource crunch at least till the 16th century. It is no coincidence, that the industrial revolution, whereby humans started to shift some of their resource base from agriculture and manual labour to machines, started in Europe in the 1600s, and literally exploded after the discovery of petroleum in 1800s. However, we all know that a lot of the problems that humanity faces today are linked with social and economic inequity and environmental degradation. 

The seeds of industrialisation were sown by the agricultural society itself. 

Imagine an era of simple agriculture. Whether it was farming or animal husbandry, agriculture being a labour intensive activity, a land owner always faced a dilemma. If he wanted to increase his farm output, he needed more hands to work the land. But more hands to work also meant more mouths to feed! So there was a clear incentive to reduce the labour input while increasing the farm output - by inventing machines that allowed a single worker to do the work of two... or ten... or more! 

Agriculture is also heavily dependent on weather and climate - and both of these changed unpredictably. As hunter-gatherers, if a band did not find any resources on a particular day, it meant starvation for one day. As agriculturists, if a season's crop failed or if a herd of animals died, the settlement had to starve for one full year. There was therefore an additional incentive to control as many natural parameters as possible, in order to reduce the uncertainty in agriculture. This gave an added impetus for technology development (e.g., irrigation systems, fertilizers, etc). 

The catch however is that with the machines and technological infrastructure coming into play, agriculture no longer remained 'simple'. While the labour input declined, the resource input went on escalating. The corresponding gains in terms of output of the farm produce may have been substantial for a few years, but as the land got more and more 'exhausted', the inputs continued to escalate, with little or no increase in the output. 

As the technologies became more and more sophisticated, as well as popular, some people had to engage themselves totally in manufacturing, some had to engage in mining, and processing and transporting, etc., to support the manufacturing industry, some had to focus on research, education and management to create and manage the workforce required to keep the wheels of industry turning... and so on. The responsibility of growing food for these people too fell on those who remained in agriculture, which in turn became more and more dependent on the industrial inputs... till agriculture lost its prime status in human society. 

This is the picture of the industrial society that we are living in for the past 300 years... more about this next week!  

Priyadarshini Karve
Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com