Friday, May 29, 2015

We are going tomorrow - are you coming to witness a change?

  • Why did two microbiologists give up a comfortable city life and start living in a village?
  • How does one truly live a sustainable life?
  • How does one make use of renewable energy in everyday living?
  • How does one process their own farm produce?
  • How does one build their own house?
This and much, much more, coming up in our site visit tomorrow. Meet the residents, observe a day in their lives closely, interact with them.


Your last chance to be a part of it. Register with us today for this one-day event. Limited occupancy, so hurry up! Call us or email us. 




Note: Fee includes transportation and food.



#ChangeHasArrived

#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sustainable living - Visit to a live site

(In continuation with yesterday's blog, find some more details on the event as below.)

Your chance to explore the sustainable side of our lives, how to practise a simple yet sustainable living within our current lifestyle. 
  • Meet and interact with the residents
  • Get your myths busted
  • Get your facts straightened out
  • Get your queries answered
  • Experience the change


Register with us today for this one-day event. Limited occupancy, so hurry up!

Note: Fee includes transportation and food.




#ChangeHasArrived

#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SUSTAINable living - in its true sense

We have spoken so much about sustainability in the last couple of weeks. Sustainable living, sustainable lifestyle, sustainable cities, towns, sustainable measures, et al. The term is definitely no longer alien to us.

Having discussed at length about sustainable living in the last few days, we are now going a step further. 

We connected with people who are actually living a sustainable lifestyle. Two microbiologists who are born and brought up in a typical city lifestyle; consciously made a choice to shed their urban ways of living and hug the nature, literally! Having bought a couple acres of land near Pune, they started practising a simple sustainable lifestyle. Right from building their own mud house (by hands), farming for a living, processing their own farm produce, growing vegetables organically, to selling home-made products for a living, these siblings have nailed it totally.

Samuchit is making a tempting offer to you - meet this duo, experience their lifestyle first-hand, see how they operate an absolute sustainable life, and spend a day with them. 
Interact with them - what drove them to take this decision? How do they manage so beautifully to live off the land? What are the challenges and their compromises? Know their journey. 
Be ready to get inspired! :-)

Keep watching our further blogs for more details.






#ChangeHasArrived



#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Nuclear Vs Renewable

I have often come across this argument: India's energy need is growing exponentially. How can we possibly meet this requirement of energy, just through renewable energy? We have no option but to focus on nuclear power. The person raising this point often quotes Dr. Kalam or Dr. Kakodkar, and the general attitude is that if such great people are saying so, then it must be so. 

With due respect to both these eminent persons, I would like to humbly point out that both of them are human beings, and human beings do make mistakes and errors of judgement. Therefore 'some xyz person says such and such.. ' is no argument to accept any opinion. Obviously, it also means that whatever I am going to say here may also be totally wrong! I invite all the readers to think over the logic, and reach their own conclusions, without prejudice to who is saying what. 

Let's first understand the reasoning behind the above argument. 

This argument is first and foremost based on accepting without question the idea that if we are 'developing' we must consume more and more energy. But do we really need energy, or do we need the end product or service that is created using the energy? 

Let me give you an example. When the night falls, we want some illumination in our house. Would you really care, if the illumination comes through use of electricity, or by any other means, as long as you get light when you turn on a switch? What you really care about is the 'service' and not what technology or energy carrier is used for delivering that service. People were getting illumination in their homes even before electricity was discovered, and some of those technologies, if revived and advanced, can provide the same quality of service as electricity does. In modern times very good quality solar powered lights are available, that can provide adequate illumination without using a single unit of grid power. Even when you are using electricity, the quantity required to achieve the same level of illumination will vary depending on what type of light bulb is being used - incandescent lamp, tube light, CFL, or LED. 

Under these circumstances if someone made an assumption that all the homes in India are going to use only grid electricity for illumination, and then came up with a number as our electricity 'demand' for home lighting in say 2025, isn't that estimate open to debate? Depending on what combination of technologies I consider for illumination, I can come up with different estimates! Even if I am not considering any non-electric technologies, I will come up with different answers if I assume that 0 or 50 or 100 percent households will use LED lights, for example.  And all these estimates will be equally valid! 


Let's say that we do not want to assume development of any newer and/or more efficient technologies than those that are in existence now. Therefore, electricity is the only clean and user friendly option for illumination. In that case, obviously, the country's energy demand is going to be the least if by 2025 everyone shifts to LED lighting, which is the most efficient option that is already available in the market. The barriers to getting 100% families in India to use LED lighting are cost and availability. In that case, should not the energy policy focus on making LED lighting accessible to everyone? We may not even need to increase our existing electricity generation capacity allotted for home lighting, even though we may have lighted each and every house in the country, if we use LEDs, which are fantastically more efficient than any other type of light bulbs. (Here is one comparison for anyone who is interested in actual quantitative data:  http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html )
However, if we are not going to focus on putting in place the most efficient technology already available, and are going to base our requirement in future on the basis of inefficient technologies, we are bound to come up with a higher number for electricity requirement. This is like continuing to use leaky buckets in the house, and then estimating the daily water requirement! Which approach makes more sense? First, get good quality buckets, and then monitor the water meter to make future projections, or ignore the buckets, just see the current water meter reading and calculate on that basis?

The point I am trying to make here is that first and foremost, I would like to question these so-called energy demand projections which are being thrown about without giving any explanation as to the assumptions behind them. 


Another 'pillar' of the 'we cannot do without nuclear' argument is the blind faith in electricity. 

Taking the same example of illumination - if we have different options like gaslights, solar powered LEDs, etc., why are we so obsessed with 'electric' lighting? A common presumption is that energy means electricity, and that too grid power. You may be astonished to know that out of the total energy consumed in developed countries only about 40-45% is in the form of electricity. Even in our daily lives, do we use only electricity? We need thermal energy for cooking, we need fuels to produce mechanical energy to help us travel from one place to another. 

When people compare nuclear energy and renewable energy, they are only comparing the respective potentials for electricity generation - because with nuclear power plants that is the only form of energy you get. This is an unfair comparison, because renewable energy sources can give us electricity, heat, or motive power. This argument is like comparing only the bowling statistics of a specialist bowler and an all rounder player to conclude that the specialist bowler is a superior cricketer. 

I certainly have more to say on this topic, but will stop here for now. Please feel free to share your opinions! 

Priyadarshini Karve

Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech




#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Quiz is here....

Answer this simple question to test how environmentally aware are you!

Q: Which of the following sources of energy are NOT renewable?

  1. Hydropower
  2. Petroleum
  3. Biomass
  4. Solar power









#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Samuchit Lifestyle Workshop

Take-aways from the workshop:

  • Learn to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with minimum impact on environment
  • Learn small steps which make a great positive impact on environment
  • Calculate your own carbon emissions and methods to reduce it
  • Live a healthy sustainable lifestyle, benefitting the environment and future generations
  • Brainstorm and discuss on various concerns of today's urban lifestyles; get solutions from Dr. Priyadarshini Karve
Your last chance to book a seat for tomorrow's 3-hour workshop! Get in touch with us today!






#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Quote of the day





#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why do I need a change?

Why should one attend a Lifestyle Workshop?

Given a typical urban setting that we have, a major chunk of our daily routine revolves around our work life, causing an imbalance between our personal and professional lives. To keep pace with the rat-race, we strive to survive, to become economically strong, grow faster, think smarter, innovate and invent...And in this process, we cause more imbalance in our lives which results in a proportional imbalance in our surroundings, environment, and nature at large!
This can be hard to believe, but the impact of this imbalance manifolds, affecting our daily budgets adversely, which in turn, heavily shoots up the energy dependencies and hence their prices (LPG, petrol, diesel, etc).

In this over-consumption based energy-intense lifestyle, where slowing down is not an option recommended for us, we need to realise that if we want our future generations to survive, we need to revamp our lifestyles!

As scary as it sounds, it is not really difficult to achieve this. All we need is some insight on how to live a 'better' life, with minimum impact on the environment and NOT compromising on urban lifestyles, too! This does not imply we move to the stone age, as thought by many people! All we do is understand the current scenarios and what difference our minuscule actions can make in bettering our lives without having our environment to suffer. One would also get enough inputs on how to reduce your own carbon emissions, and, hence, live more sustainably.

This is, again, not difficult to achieve, if we decide to make a small difference starting with ourselves.

Attend this workshop to get a hang of our real challenges, and discuss strategies of survival with minimum damage to all!

Just a few seats left... so hurry! 




#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: The Population Conundrum continued...

In last weeks MUSING I talked about the population aspect of sustainability. The point I tried to make was that the global population growth rate has already dropped, and the population is already headed to a stable state of about 10-11 billion people by the end of the century. In any case, whatever new measures we may put in place for further bringing the population down (if we feel it necessary), they will not show immediate results, whereas in order to achieve sustainability in the near future we need to act NOW. Therefore, although sustainability is a function of both population and the lifestyle choice, we have to take the population as it is, and focus on identified the lifestyle choice(s) that make our existing or future population sustainable. 

However, in order to make the right choice that will remain relevant for the future, we need to be able to accurately predict the future population trend. In the last MUSING, I focused on the 'business as usual' scenario. But if you look in history you can discern that the human population, both global and local, is influenced by a number of external factors, and some of these are also related to environmental changes. So, this 'equation' is not as simple as it looks! Our lifestyle choice will impact the environment, which in turn will impact the availability of resources AND population size, which in turn will impact the sustainability of our lifestyle choice! If we make wrong assumptions and wrong choices, this feedback loop can make the situation spiral out of control very fast! 


There are 'doomsday' scenarios which predict that by the middle of this century the tolerance limits of the earth's ecosystem within which humanity can safely survive and thrive will be breached, leading to a catastrophic civilisational collapse. It is predicted that this catastrophic collapse will kill off about half of the human population, bringing our numbers down to about 3 billion people. That in itself will ease the pressure on the natural resources and there will be a sort of a recovery. So the good news in this scenario is that humanity as a whole will survive the crisis and emerge with a new civilisation, and another chance of achieving sustainability. The bad news is that the chance of survival for each of our children and grandchildren individually would be only 50%. 

As far as this scenario is concerned, there isn't much that we can do once the catastrophic collapse sets in. We can try to delay this, but till we reach a stage where there is a drastic reduction in our numbers, we are not going to get back on track with sustainability. We can only hope to increase the chance of survival for ourselves, and our future generations by learning to adapt to the rapid changes around us. Learning to live comfortably on minimum resources would be a very very useful skill indeed in such difficult times, if this comes to pass! 

What is the likelihood of such a scenario? Well, even the best statistical models cannot predict anything with 100% probability, so nobody knows for sure. Under such circumstances, it is always prudent to prepare for the worst case scenario. It would therefore be wiser to live within the tolerance limits of the earth, as they are identified now, while we also keep working on stretching the limits through innovation and invention. However, it would be dangerous to just assume that solutions will be found in time and continue to exploit resources indiscriminately. 


For those interested in collapse scenarios, a very realistic and clear discussion can be found on http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2011/05/11/transition-and-the-collapse-scenario/

Please do compare the predicted world view of 2015, with the current situation around us. There are enough similarities between prediction and reality to make this scenario very very probable. 

*****

While the MUSINGS are my thoughts on sustainability, I am going to break away from this particular thread for the next week, to answer a question that has been raised by several people on various occasions. I was once again asked this question recently, and so I thought I might as well use this platform to put down my answer. 

The question is: What is our best bet to meet our escalating energy requirement - renewables or nuclear energy?



Priyadarshini Karve
Director, Samuchit Enviro Tech



#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful


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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Quiz: Question Hour

It is Monday and your time to scratch your grey locks!

A very simple question, and the best answer wins a voucher...


Question: Tell us in one sentence (not more than 25 words), what one should resolve to do so as to make a difference (in 17 days), for the upcoming World Environment Day on 5th June?

Best answers wins! Answer until end of week.



Last Monday's answer: The phrase is : Green is not a color, its a state of mind.


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#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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

Friday, May 15, 2015

Samuchit Lifestyle Workshops - back in Pune!

Samuchit brings to you, their popular Lifestyle Workshops...Especially designed to suit the urban lifestyle, in our workshops, you will learn how to minimise your impact on the environment yet lead a lavishly comfortable lifestyle.


  • Learn how to take sustainable steps without compromising on your current lifestyle
  • Calculate your own carbon footprint with Carbon Footprinting Calculator and know your own carbon emissions. 
  • Learn various strategies for survival as well as minimum damage to environment.

Be a part of the solution..

Book your seat now, only 10 seats available on first come first serve basis.

Contact us today for reservations.



#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

From pollution to solution....

In the last post, we were enlightened about a few hard-hitting facts on how pollution is killing us, here are some sustainable solutions which most of us haven't really given a deep thought:



1.  Make Sustainable transport choices: 


  • Walk or ride your bike whenever possible. One of the best things you can do to help stop pollution is to stop using your car for short trips! Bonus on health and fresh air!
  • Use public transportation. Riding the bus, or train is another great way to avoid using your personal vehicle and reduce carbon emissions. If you have access to good public transportation where you live, take advantage of it. Since you won’t have to worry about keeping your eyes on the road, you can take advantage of the time to read, catch up on news, or just relax!
  • Carpool to school or work. If walking and public transportation are not good options for you, consider joining a carpool to your school or place of work. You could take turn driving and develop good relations with your co-workers...
  • Consolidate your trips. Making lots of little trips over the course of a few days contributes more pollution to the environment every time you hop in your car or bike. Try to consolidate these into one round trip, which will also save you money since starting your car when the engine is cold consumes 20% more fuel than driving your car.
2. Make Sustainable food choices:
  • Choose local food whenever possible. Transporting food from across the country and around the world requires a considerable amount of fuel contributing to air pollution. Instead of purchasing food that has traveled thousands of miles to get to your table, choose food that comes from nearby farms and that has been grown using sustainable methods. 
  • Choose organically grown fruits and vegetables. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown by farmers who use sustainable farming practices. For example, they avoid using chemical pesticides, which contribute to pollution of ground water. By choosing organic fruits and vegetables you will be contributing to farming practices that are better for the environment.
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Starting a garden in your own backyard is another great way to help stop pollution. Plants and trees turn carbon into oxygen, which automatically means less pollution! Even a small space on the terrace or balcony can be converted into a small garden. 
3. Make Sustainable energy choices:
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you are not in the room. Plugging electronics into a power strip is also a good strategy because you can easily turn off the power strip and turn off all of the electronics at the same time. 
  • Look for small changes that can lead to big energy savings. There are lots of little things that you can do to make sure that you are conserving as much energy as possible. 
    The simplest you can start with is to choose energy efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save up to 75% of the energy that goes toward lighting your home. These bulbs also produce less heat than normal light bulbs. LED bulbs are even more efficient. 
4. Recycling, reducing and re-using your waste:
  • Buy reusable items. Lots of waste is generated by disposable cups, plates, utensils and storage containers for food. Instead of contributing to the waste in landfills by using disposable dinnerware, only use reusable items.
  • Avoid buying products packaged with styrofoam. Styrofoam is a common packaging material, but it contributes to much of the waste in landfills because it is difficult to recycle. Styrofoam production also contributes to pollution.
  • Recycle everything that you can. Almost everything that you buy can be recycled. Try to avoid products that do not have a recycle symbol on the package or that are made of mixed materials that may not be easy to recycle.
  • Purchase items made from recycled materials. By purchasing items that have been made from recycled materials, you will be helping to reduce the amount of new materials that need to be produced.
5. Getting involved in educating others:
  • Learn about the major polluters in your area.  In order to protect the water and air where you live, it's important to find out what's putting them in danger.
  • Tell people about what you know. Even though a lot of people are concerned about stopping pollution, many don't understand the severity of the problem or aren't sure what to do about it. You may use your knowledge to make a difference by talking about it with other people. The more people know about pollution, the more likely we will collectively find a way to stop it.

#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fact-file : Pollution

Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million worldwide.
Here are some eye-opening facts on pollution in India and Asia outside textbooks. If this hasn't shaken you up, nothing will...



Fact 1: Children contribute to only 10% of the world’s pollution but are prone to 40% of global disease.

Fact 2: China is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide. United States is number 2.

Fact 3: Almost 80% of urban waste in India is dumped in the river Ganges.

Fact 4: Acidification of the ocean is the worst type of pollution. Oceans are becoming more acidic rue to green house emissions from fossil fuel. Sea water Pollution also kills more than 1 million seabirds and 100 million mammals every year.

Fact 5: More than 100 pesticides in any medium- air, water or soil can cause birth defects, gene mutation and  cancer.

Fact 6: There are more than 500 million cars in the world and by 2030 the number will rise to 1 billion. This means vehicular pollution level will be more than double.

Fact 7: Around 1000 children die in India every year due to diseases caused from the polluted water.

Fact 8: In India, the Ganges water is gradually becoming septic, especially due to dumping of half burnt dead bodies and enshrouded babies.

Fact 9: 88% of the children in Guiyu, China suffer from various respiratory diseases as the area they live in is a huge e-waste site.

Fact 10: Tsunami in Japan during the year 2011,  has created a debris of 70 miles, which consists of cars, plastic, dead bodies and radioactive waste.

Fact 11: Pollution in China can change the weather in United States.

Fact 12: Every 1 million ton of oil that is shipped, approximately 1 ton from gets wasted in the form of spills.


Fact 13: A glass that is produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials can reduce related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.

Fact 14: If you think that you don’t smoke and you will be spared by lung cancer, just remember that your lungs or heart may be similarly damaged simply from exposure to ozone and particulate matter.

Fact 15: In cities, where there is huge traffic and vehicles run bumper-to-bumper, the pollutants in the air can seep into your car making the air you breathe inside your car up to 10 times more polluted than typical city air.


If these statistics are enough to give us a wake-up call, then even more needs to be done beyond that. 

Step ahead and stop pollution yourself, today. How to achieve that and more, in our upcoming blogs....

*facts gathered from http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/



#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful



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