Monday, August 31, 2015

Samuchit's Monday quiz

How well do you know your environment?

Q: Which is the largest non fresh-water lake in India?

1.) Wular Lake
2.) Chilka Lake
3.) The Ganges
4.) Dal Lake

We await correct answers!

Last week's answer: Venus. Due to excessive amount of carbon dioxide, its temperature is as high as 480 degree Celcius. It is considered as a runaway greenhouse effect.

Lucky Winner : Ameya Mirikar & Anita Sambhus

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Friday, August 28, 2015

SUSTAINable Life : Friday Feed

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sustainable gifting ideas - celebrate Raksha Bandhan with a twist!

Raksha Bandhan is round the corner, and many brothers are still thinking what useful gift can be given to their sisters; and many sisters are anticipating these gifts!

Here's a chance to gift with a twist - gift your siblings an idea which is eco-friendly, sustainable, durable and which acts as a environmental friendly product which is ideal for gifting!

Give a break to sweets, chocolates and the usuals - move a step ahead in sustainable eco-friendly solutions!

Solar lanterns are stylish, eco-friendly, charges your mobile devices, and uses normal daylight to charge themselves. Ideal gifts to those who wish to take their love for reading over to their beds!

Bamboo lamps - elegant design, complete handmade and terracota coverings! Try iserting a colored lights or a film of different colored papers on the insides of the lamp, and enjoy the magic of colored lights!

Mitticool - clay products made of 100% clay, having a wide range of tableware including clay dinner sets, refrigerators, non stick cookware and many kitchen pots and utensils...

Much more environmentally sustainable ideas and products on our website

Give an edge to your celebrations this year!

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Points of View -- Watt A Life!

Recently, our apartment complex had a week-long power outage due to some technical fault in the main line. In those seven days I saw our happily bustling community regressing to the 80s era. 

This fast time travel was brought about by the going off of the home appliances. I am sure those who had switched to induction stoves were thrown to the times of caveman. Four days on, the persistent power outage started taking a toll on the water pumping system and the taps started going dry, and down slipped the already deteriorating quality of life. The faltering diesel generator back up placed the people living on upper storey almost under house arrest. Eventually, due to costs overrun, as the gensets were switched off, we felt almost cut off from the 21st century world,  for it rendered the internet modems and in turn, the smartphones useless. Now, the only bridge to the outer world was our automobiles!

After seven days of nightmare, as the power supply was restored, and as I went through the scathing mails shot in the community mail forum by the irate residents, I was bemused by realisation of the very basis of our happy, individualistic, independent life – the energy. I know that the appliances and gadgets were invented to save our time and (muscular) energy but I had not realised that we needed external supply of energy to spend the conserved time and energy as well. Now that’s called as development (I prefer to use the term energy-addiction).

Going by the current weather trend a bigger energy crisis is lurking around the corner. We have made enough noise to get the governments work on energy supply side management but have we ever delved  into our lifestyles deep enough to understand how we, as consumers, can manage the demand side of energy at least for the sake of energy security of our future generation, if not for environmental protection?

On this note, I would like to know different practices to conserve (electrical) energy and yet lead a comfortable life in the 21st century.  I would also like to call on the readers to revive the memories of childhood and come up with recreational activities to spend all the time we save and energy we conserve by using various gadgets.


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MUSING FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Measuring Sustainability...

In the last couple of musings I have talked about GDP and GINI coefficient. But both of these indices only assess the economic aspect of development. Sustainability is about achieving economic growth with social empowerment and preservation of the environment. Are there any indices that help us assess how we are doing on all three fronts?

There have been a few attempts in this direction. The main difficulty is how do you put numbers on social empowerment and protection of the environment? One attempt that tries to measure the various aspects of development in a partly quantitative and partly qualitative manner is the Happiness Index. Our neighbouring country of Bhutan invented this parameter in the 1970s. However, its measurement is based on subjective assessment through surveys of citizens rather than on hard and impartial data. Therefore, this index is not accepted worldwide. 

A more scientific and universally accepted index is Human Development Index or HDI. The formula for calculating HDI is based on the following parameters: 
–Average life expectancy at birth
–Mean and expected years of schooling (number of years spent in school by a 25 year old, number of years a 5 year old is likely to spend in school)

–Gross national income per capita

Thus, HDI takes into account some parameters that are indicative of social empowerment and economic prosperity of a country. However, the environmental parameter is totally left out from this index. There are now attempts to expand the formula to include some measurable indicators of overall environmental health. 

It might interest the readers to know that the concept of HDI was put forth by the Nobel Laureate Indian economist Dr. Amartya Sen, and the actual formula was developed by a Pakistani economist, Dr. Mahbub ul Huq. 

Mixing the social factor with the economic factor too helps in getting a more realistic picture of the living conditions in a nation, than just looking at GDP. 

Food for thought: At this point in time - 
•Top Rankers in GDP: USA, China, Japan
•Top Rankers in GDP growth rate: China, Brazil, India

•Top Rankers in HDI: Norway, Australia, USA

Priyadarshini Karve
Samuchit Enviro Tech

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday quiz is here: Test your environment related knowledge!

Monday Quiz is here...

Q: Which planet’s poisonous atmosphere has been described as the product of a "runaway greenhouse effect”?

1.) Venus
2.) Mars
3.) Pluto
4.) Uranus

We await correct answers!

Last week's answer: Urbanisation, Plastics, Waste management, Air pollution, Water pollution, Global warming, Deforestation

Lucky Winner : Ameya Mirikar

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Innovative Disposals

Most of us are aware of one of the biggest modern-age disposal problems - disposing sanitary napkins and diapers. We know these are not biodegradable, and occupy huge land fills. The second worst problem, however, is for the waste pickers who have to handle these napkins - hundreds of them - everyday. Can you imagine a more nauseating thing to have to do? If someone else has to handle our bodily waste, we should ensure that they can do this job with a sense of dignity and without hazard to their health. 

SWaCH has designed paper bags with a yellow tag on it, especially to be used for sanitary disposal. These bags, which are made out of recycled newspaper, have a string to allow them to be secured, and help the rag pickers identify the contents and can classify them without having to touch or handle the soiled napkin or diaper.
By buying these bags, you:
  • Spare the waste pickers from the indignity of handling your soiled sanitary napkins directly.
  • Contribute to a livelihood, since these bags are made by SWaCH women employees.
  • Do your bit to protect the environment, without compromising on your lifestyle.
Samuchit promotes these disposable bags. A packet of 50 bags is available for INR 50 at the Samuchit office. Upto 4 napkins can be rolled up and fitted in one bag, and then sealed and disposed. 
Samuchit cares for what you dispose and how you dispose it.  Pick your packet from Samuchit today and encourage your friends and family to promote them too. Be modern, be responsible, be respectful.

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Global warming and climate change

We came across this slide on, and we thought it needs to reach more people. Hence, we are including it in our blog today.

Tell us how your thoughts resonate with these pointers. Share your thoughts, ideas and methods with us - simply leave a reply in the comments box!


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

(Un)sustainable Hospitality

In the times of dwindling resources of water, rising food prices, increasing labor costs, and shrinking family sizes, following the noble Indian principle of hospitality, Atithi Devo Bhava, is becoming a challenge for me.

It all starts right with the simple act of offering the guest with a glass of water. Living in a city like Bangalore, where drinking water comes at a cost, and water treatment plants are still not a commonplace, topping up the glasses only to see it ultimately go down the drain is quite painful. Add to it, the trouble of having to serve the guests more water and other drinks in different glasses after every use. Suggesting the guests to reuse the glasses is a double edge sword. On one hand, it is against the principle of pampering the guest, and on the other hand, you are highly likely to get stamped as an authoritarian person.

In seven years of my relationship with the kitchen, I have realised that the food that is indulgent to the senses of humans often involves multistage cooking, which, in turn, is very energy-intensive. So an eco-conscious person, aware of the economics of the energy and organic groceries, may well understand why I am often plagued by the guilt of having second thoughts to put together an elaborate meal to please the guests.

The quantity of food, whether homemade or not, to assure the almighty guests that there is enough for everyone, often leads to a significant amount of food landing up in the dustbin, either directly or via refrigerator. In case the food is ordered from restaurants, disposing the containers or other forms of packaging often adds to my waste segregation woes.

Given the dicey, or perhaps the fragile nature of our life support system-the maids, the rising stack of vessels often sends chills down my spine. So to keep the load on this system to a minimum, I start clearing up a part of the stack in presence of guests, which over years I have felt, is also very disrespectful to the guest Gods, let alone making them do their dishes.

Unlike the good old days, where joint families were a norm and womenfolk formed the backbone of the traditional hospitality, I find it very taxing to host the guests arriving even on short notice. And if they are staying over with us for a couple of days, accommodating them smoothly in my eco-conscious lifestyle, that needs a lot of advance planning, becomes a daunting task.

Finally, when the guests leave, as I stare at the footprint left behind, not just by the guests, but by all of us,  as a group of highly social (or party?) animals, the question that continues to gnaw at me is – who are we human beings and what is our place in the intricate web of nature?

--Meera Mahajan Rotti

    Samuchit Enviro Tech.