Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Our rights and duties

Dear All, 

We just witnessed the 69th Republic Day. Being a democratic nation our Constitution gives us certain rights and endows us with certain duties. Our environment is linked to our rights in such a way that it is the basic human right to live in a pollution free environment.

Regarding the same lets see how our Constitution relates to Environment.

The Article 48-A bestows upon the State to protect and improve our environment and safeguard our forests and wildlife. 
The Article 51A (g) endows us as citizens with a fundamental duty,“to protect” the environment from any kind of pollution and also to “improve” the environment quality if it has been polluted' .
The Article 21 states that 'no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by Law.

We as citizens are facing several environmental issues like pollution of air, water and land ultimately depriving many of us from life which is our basic right. Hence it is crucial for us to understand our duty towards our environment.   

In short our duty to protect and improve our environment is essential for our right to life.  

Happy Republic Day!

Pournima Agarkar.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Our attitude matters!!!

Dear All,

While learning Sustainability and working with different people on executing Sustainability, I came across something that is very basic to humans, its our own behaviour, attitude or way of looking at resources. People's behaviour and their approach towards resources is one of the reasons that led to consumerism and hence unsustainable production.

I realized this, while conducting an activity for undergraduate students on using resources sustainably. The students were divided into two groups of three each. Each group was given a set of 12 coins and each one from the group was instructed to pick up as many coins as they wish from the set. The rule was to pick at least one coin from the set in order to survive in the game. They were not supposed to communicate with each other while playing the game. Once all the students were done with picking the coins, whatever coins remained in their set, exactly same number of coins were provided to the group for playing the next round. We played four such rounds. 

Note that, here the coins represent a renewable resource available to us. At the end of the game, the group that had at least 6 coins remaining in their set was using their resources sustainably.

One of the two groups ended up exhausting all the coins by the third round, so that effectively none of them survived in the fourth round. The other group managed to have a few coins left over at the end of round 4.

We asked the students what did they feel while playing the game. Their answers reflected on the various human behaviours we see in society. While the rule was to have only one coin for survival, only one student had figured out that having leftover coins at the end of each round was necessary for survival, and that the best strategy was to pick up only one or two coins in each turn. One of the students in a group having left with no coins at the end of the game simply mentioned that she was thinking only for herself and didn't want her colleagues to have any coins at all. 

It is noteworthy that in the instructions we had never mentioned what would be the 'win' state. Most of the students worked towards amassing as many coins in their own hands as possible. Some tried to figure out a strategy that would maximise own benefit while leaving a balance on the table in order to get additional coins for the next round, but other members of the group did not quite catch on to the strategy, as no communication was allowed among the group members.

I feel that in every situation having an attitude of considering our fellow beings is crucial, because if all the coins in a set would be over the entire group would be out of the game. Having a greedy attitude will lead us nowhere, inspite of having resources that are renewable. And now that we are going towards the use of renewable sources of energy, its important to use them wisely as well.  

Pournima Agarkar.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Cradle to Cradle

Dear All,

Do you know that the rate at which we are using our resources to produce new stuff everyday, we will require three Earth like planets to fulfill our needs by 2050. Is it possible to get more planets? Are there any other Earth like planets from where we can get more resources?

The answer is NO, we have only ONE EARTH and we have to fulfill all our needs within the boundaries of this planet only. Its just like having a savings account in a bank from which you can withdraw only what you have deposited not more. Unlike a credit card where you can use more but then you are in a debt and for which you have to pay extra interest as well. If you cannot pay back the debt with interest, you are going to go bankrupt! Currently we are in a debt to our planet in terms of resources, in order to compensate we have to take some conscious measures.

Measures like conscious consumption and efficient consumption by using the 4R's i.e. refusing, reducing, reusing, and recycling can save our resources to an extent. But we will be more effective if we take certain measures while we are producing the stuff.

We saw the concept of lifecycle which  is the entire journey of any product right from the time its born till its death, also known as Cradle to Grave. However, there is nothing like death in nature, everything that dies is used up by other organisms as their food and is thus part of a natural cycle. For example we all learnt about the food chain in our schools. After the predator its the decomposers or bacteria who mix with the soil and help in the growth of the plants or producers. 

Can we produce or manufacture, using this Nature's concept also known as Cradle to Cradle by making industrial processes more innovative and efficient, where the waste of one product becomes source for another product. 

As consumers can we demand such production pattern? If yes, please comment with an example if you know of one!

Pournima Agarkar.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Benefits of responsible consumption

Dear All,

Since we have been consuming a lot, if we are now considering our resources while consuming its great news!!! We now know that consuming stuff in a responsible manner is helping us conserve our resources and ultimately our planet. Do you realise that there are bigger benefits of consuming in a responsible manner? 
Linkages of Responsible Consumption

- Reduction in overall wastes generation

When we start using the principles of R's i.e refuse to buy new stuff (unless required) reduce, reuse and recycle our stuff. We start contributing towards generating lesser waste as an individual that leads to overall reduction of wastes ultimately. For example, its about avoiding unnecessary wastage of food according to the United Nations Development Programme, 40% of the food produced is India is wasted.

Reduction in overall Pollution

Wastage is also an indicator for pollution,the moment we reduce wastage, pollution reduces. Pollution of air, water and soil is directly related to the amount of waste that is generated and treated. Today we are generating more wastes than nature can treat and hence we are facing huge levels of pollution. 
Using alternatives that are environment friendly can help us reduce pollution.

- Better Health and Wealth

Reduction in pollution will definitely result in better health quality due to the reduced illness and diseases. This will at least ensure saving our money that is spent in paying the hospital bills. For example, demanding a better managed and affordable public transport for daily commute can keep you both healthy (less vehicles on roads means less air pollution) and wealthy (not having to invest in own vehicle).   

Better Earth

Earth is a biosphere that is home to other living creatures as well, which are vanishing rapidly due to the increased pollution and resource stress created by us. Responsible consumption and equitable use of resources ensures their survival as well making the Earth a better place for all to coexist happily.

Responsible consumption is just one side of the coin, the other side is responsible production and we shall talk about it in the next blog. 

Pournima Agarkar.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Quest for Carbon Negativity Part 2 शोध कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीचा भाग २

In the previous blog, I talked about how converting garden waste to char can take you towards carbon negativity, as against burning in open air or composting the garden waste. But charring also opens up other easy to use ways to reduce your personal impact on the environment. 

मागच्या ब्लॉगमध्ये बागेतल्या पालापाचोळा व काडीकचरा उघड्यावर जाळण्याऐवजी किंवा त्याचे कंपोस्ट करण्याऐवजी त्याचा कोळसा करून आपण कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीकडे कसे जाऊ शकतो, याबद्दल मी बोलले होते. पण कोळसा आपल्याला पर्यावरणावरचा आपला व्यक्तिगत अनिष्ट परिणाम कमी करण्याचे आणखीही काही सोपे मार्ग उघडून देतो.  

* If you add the char to your garden soil, it will help retain moisture and create more space for soil bacteria to reside in. Thus, the water requirement of your garden will reduce, and your soil will become more fertile, reducing the requirement of any kind of fertilizer. As your garden becomes more efficient in producing plant biomass per unit resources put in, you are indirectly contributing to the natural process of removing carbon dioxide from air.

* जर तुम्ही हा कोळसा आपल्याच बागेतील मातीत मिसळून टाकलात, तर तो ओलावा धरून ठेवतो, आणि मातीतील जीवाणूंना रहाण्यासाठी अधिक जागा उपलब्ध करून देतो. यामुळे आपल्या बागेची पाण्याची गरज कमी होते, आपली माती अधिक सुपीक होते, आणि आपली कोणत्याही प्रकारच्या खताची गरज कमी होते. आपण मातीत घालत असलेल्या संसाधनांच्या तुलनेत जैवभार निर्माण करण्याची आपल्या बागेची कार्यक्षमता जशी वाढत जाते, तसे आपण हवेतील कार्बन डायॉक्साइड काढून घेण्याच्या नैसर्गिक प्रक्रियेला अप्रत्यक्षरित्या हातभार लावतो. 

* Char has the capacity to capture and hold organic molecules. You can therefore use the char as organic deodorizer in your toilet, closet, or car, thereby avoid using chemical air freshners. This is another indirect contribution to reducing carbon emissions by replacing a product that is transported over long distances with a local product and also reducing air pollution. After a couple of months of use of the organic deodoriser, the char powder can be put into the soil to improve the soil quality and we also help remove the carbon from air. 

* कोळशामध्ये सेंद्रीय रेणू पकडण्याची आणि धरून ठेवण्याची क्षमता असते. त्यामुळे आपण तयार केलेला कोळसा आपल्या स्वच्छतागृहात, बंद कपाटात, गाडीमध्ये नैसर्गिक दुर्गंधीनाशक म्हणून वापरू शकतो, आणि रासायनिक दुर्गंधीनाशकांचा वापर टाळू शकतो. लांबून वहातूक करून आणाव्या लागणाऱ्या उत्पादनाच्या जागी स्थानिक उत्पादन वापरूनही आपण अप्रत्यक्षरित्या कार्बन उत्सर्जन आणि हवेचे प्रदूषण थांबवण्याला हातभार लावतो. साधारण दोनेक महिने दुर्गंधीनाशक वापरल्यानंतर त्यातील कोळसा पावडर मातीत मिसळून टाकली तर मातीची सुपिकता सुधारून हवेतला कार्बन काढून घेण्याला हातभारही लावता येतोच.  

* If you process the char to make char briquettes and use these as fuel with Samuchit Steam Cooker, you can avoid using LPG or PNG as cooking fuel for at least 50% of your cooking. Both of these gases are fossil fuels and therefore contribute to carbon emission when used, without any natural return path for the carbon to come back to the earth’s surface as fossil fuels. When you burn char, you are contributing to carbon emission too, but the char we are using is made from dry leaves and twigs shed by trees and bushes. Even if we had not made any use of the garden waste, the carbon was going to go back to the atmosphere anyway. The trees and bushes from where the waste has originated are still growing, and therefore the carbon is naturally getting converted back into biomass. Thus, by using carbon that is part of a natural carbon cycle for meeting our cooking energy need, we are avoiding use of the corresponding amount of fossil fuel, and thus contributing to reducing carbon emission. 

* जर तुम्ही पालापाचोळ्याच्या कोळशावर आणखी प्रक्रिया करून कांडी कोळसा तयार केलात, तर तुम्ही समुचित स्टीम कुकरमध्ये इंधन म्हणून त्याचा वापर करू शकता. यापध्दतीने तुम्ही तुमचा किमान ५० टक्के स्वयंपाक एलपीजी किंवा पीएनजी न वापरता करू शकता. हे दोन्ही वायू खनिज इंधने आहेत, त्यामुळे त्यांचा वापर होतो तेव्हा कार्बन उत्सर्जन होते, आणि हा कार्बन वातावरणातून परत पृथ्वीतलावर खनिज इंधन या मूळ स्वरूपात आणण्याचा कोणताही नैसर्गिक मार्ग कार्बनचक्रात नाही. कोळशाच्या ज्वलनानेही कार्बन उत्सर्जन होतेच आहे, पण आपण वापरत असलेला कोळसा झाडाझडुपांवरून गळून पडलेल्या पालापाचोळ्याचा आणि काडीकचऱ्याचा बनवलेला आहे. आपण हा कचरा वापरला नसता, तरी त्यातला कार्बन या ना त्या मार्गाने हवेत जाणारच होता. या कचऱ्याचे मूळ असलेल्या झाडाझुडुपांची वाढ होतेच आहे, त्यामुळे हवेत गेलेला हा कार्बन नैसर्गिकरित्या परत जैवभारात रूपांतरित होणारच आहे. त्यामुळे नैसर्गिक कार्बन चक्राचाच भाग असलेल्या कार्बनचा जेव्हा आपण स्वयंपाकाची ऊर्जा सेवा मिळवण्यासाठी वापर करतो, तेव्हा तेवढ्या स्वयंपाकासाठी खनिज इंधनांचा वापर टाळून आपण कार्बन उत्सर्जन कमी करण्याला हातभार लावतो. 

Samuchit Steam Cooker Stove
समुचित स्टीम कुकर स्टोव्ह
Samuchit Steam Cooker Stove allows us to cook everything that is prepared by boiling and steaming (e.g., rice, pulses, steamed vegetables, idali, dhokla, boiled eggs, boiled corn, etc.). As the food gets cooked slowly and at a relatively lower temperature, it is healthier and tastier. At the same time, the stove, once set up and started the fire, does not require any attention, and therefore is a great time saver for the cook. 
MRP with taxes INR 3500. 

समुचित स्टीम कुकर स्टोव्हमध्ये आपण उकळून व वाफवून करण्याचे सर्व पदार्थ (उदा. भात, डाळ, वाफवलेल्या भाज्या, इडली, ढोकळा, उकडलेली अंडी, उकडलेले मक्याचे दाणे, इ.) तयार करू शकतो. यामध्ये अन्नपदार्थ सावकाश व कमी तापमानाला शिजत असल्याने अधिक पौष्टिक व रुचकर बनतात. त्याचवेळी, एकदा तयार करून कोळसा पेटवल्यानंतर त्याच्याकडे लक्ष द्यावे लागत नाही, आणि त्यामुळे स्वयंपाक करणाऱ्याचा वेळ वाचतो. 
करासह किंमत रू.३५००. 

India has voluntarily taken on ambitious targets of reducing the country level carbon emission between 2020 and 2025, under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that was signed in 2015. If India manages to not just meet but exceed the target, it will make us a leader in global politics in a period where climate change is increasingly taking centre stage in international negotiations around trade and technology transfer agreements. Urban Indians need to take on more responsibility to achieve this as we are contributing substantially to India's carbon emissions through our lifestyle. 

२०१५ साली जागतिक वातावरणबदलाबाबत झालेल्या आंतरराष्ट्रीय पॅरिस करारात भारताने २०२० ते २०२५ या कालावधीत आपले राष्ट्रीय कार्बन उत्सर्जन कमी करण्यासाठी काही महत्वाकांक्षी ध्येये स्वेच्छेने स्वीकारली आहेत. पण २०२५ पर्यंत आपण ही ध्येये गाठण्यातच नाही तर त्यांच्याही पुढे जाण्यात यशस्वी झालो, तर जिथे जागतिक वातावरणबदल वेगवेगळ्या आंतरराष्ट्रीय वाटाघाटी आणि व्यापारी करारांतही महत्वाची भूमिका बजावतो आहे, अशा जागतिक राजकारणात आपली पत उंचावेल. आपल्या राष्ट्रीय कार्बन उत्सर्जनात शहरी भारतीयांच्या जीवनशैलीचा मोठा वाटा आहे. त्यामुळे शहरी नागरिकांनी कार्बन उत्सर्जन कमी करण्याच्या प्रयत्नांना अधिक हातभार लावला पाहिजे. 

If farmers in Punjab choose to go carbon negative, they will not only support India's Climate Change Mission, but will also help solve Delhi's winter smog problem. If we in Pune embrace carbon negativity today, it will help us avoid being in the same situation as Delhi tomorrow. 

पंजाबमधील शेतकऱ्यांनीही कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीची कास धरली, तर त्यातून भारताच्या जागतिक वातावरणबदलाबाबतच्या मोहिमेला हातभार तर लागेलच, पण दिल्लीत दर हिवाळ्यात सोसाव्या लागणाऱ्या धुक्याच्या समस्येवरही मात करण्याच्या प्रयत्नांनाही मदत होईल. पुण्यामध्ये आज आपण कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीची कास धरली तर उद्या दिल्लीतल्या परिस्थितीसारखीच समस्या निर्माण होण्यापासून आपण बचावू शकू.  

Priyadarshini Karve

Samuchit Enviro Tech, Pune

प्रियदर्शिनी कर्वे
समुचित एन्व्हायरो टेक, पुणे


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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Quest for Carbon Negativity Part 1 शोध कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीचा भाग १

Samuchit Trashflasher Kiln
समुचित ट्र्रॅशफ्लॅशर भट्टी
Samuchit Sampada Stove (Mini Trashflasher)
समुचित संपदा शेगडी (मिनी ट्रॅशफ्लॅशर)

As the topic of this blog is of local and global importance, I am writing in both English and Marathi.

या ब्लॉगचा विषय स्थानिक आणि जागतिक महत्वाचा असल्यामुळे इंग्रजी आणि मराठी अशा दोन्ही भाषांमध्ये लिहिते आहे.

If you have a garden, you are aware that throughout the year a lot of garden waste is being generated. If you have big trees, they shed a lot of leaves especially during winter. These leaves, and other wastes like twigs, etc. too, if left as they are, will eventually decompose and will improve soil quality. In many cases to clean the garden, the waste is swept to one side and burnt off. Environmentally conscious individuals would compost rather than burn.

तुमच्या इमारतीभोवती बाग असेल, तर बागेत वर्षभर जैव कचरा निर्माण होत रहातो, हे तुम्ही पाहिले असेल. मोठे वृक्ष असतील तर विशेषतः हिवाळ्यात मोठ्या प्रमाणावर पानगळ होत असते. ही पाने आणि इतरही काटक्या कुटक्या वगैरे जमिनीवर तशाच राहू दिल्या तर कालांतराने त्या कुजतात, आणि मातीची सुपीकता वाढवण्याला हातभार लावतात. पण बऱ्याच ठिकाणी बाग स्वच्छ करण्यासाठी सगळा कचरा झाडून एका बाजूला केला जातो आणि जाळून टाकला जातो. पर्यावरणाबाबत जागरूक असलेल्या व्यक्ती जाळून टाकण्याऐवजी त्याचे कंपोस्ट करतात. 

Burning in open air is obviously the worst of the three options, as it leads to a lot of local pollution. Composting is time consuming and also needs space and daily attention. Letting the biomass waste generated by plants lie on the soil around their roots is the best and most natural option. However, this makes your garden look unkempt, and also there is danger of snakes and other harmful animals taking shelter in the layer of dry leaves and twigs. There is also the risk of fire if someone drops a burning cigarette butt, etc., on the leaf litter.

उघड्यावर कचरा जाळणे हा अर्थातच तिन्हीपैकी सर्वात वाईट पर्याय आहे, कारण त्यातून मोठ्या प्रमाणावर स्थानिक प्रदूषण होते. कंपोस्ट करणे वेळखाऊ आहे, त्यासाठी जागा लागते, आणि रोज लक्ष द्यावे लागते. वनस्पतींनी निर्माण केलेला जैव कचरा तसाच त्यांच्या मुळांशी मातीत पडू देणे हा सर्वात चांगला व नैसर्गिक पर्याय आहे. मात्र यामुळे आपली बाग नीटनेटकी दिसत नाही. शिवाय साप किंवा इतर उपद्रवी जीव या पालापाचोळ्याच्या आणि काडीकचऱ्याच्या थरात आश्रय घेण्याचा धोका असतो. जर कोणी सिगरेटचे थोटूक या कचऱ्यात टाकले, तर आग लागण्याचाही धोका असतो.

From climate change perspective, all three options have the SAME effect - the carbon removed from the atmosphere by the plants through photosynthesis, is returned to the atmosphere, either through natural decay, or burning, or composting.

क्लायमेट चेंजच्या दृष्टिकोनातून विचार केला, तर वरील तिन्ही पर्यायांचा परिणाम एकच होतो – वनस्पतींनी प्रकाशसंश्लेषणाद्वारे हवेतून काढून घेतलेला कार्बन नैसर्गिक रित्या कुजण्यातून, किंवा ज्वलनातून किंवा कंपोस्टिंगच्या क्रियेतून पुन्हा हवेत परत जातो.

There is a FOURTH option of charring the garden waste. This will allow you to capture 30% of the carbon in the waste in the form of char - solid carbon that will remain as it is for thousands of years, if left untouched. In other words, 30% of the carbon is permanently removed from the return path of the biological carbon cycle loop. You have made your garden Carbon Negative!

एक चौथा पर्यायही आहे – बागेतल्या कचऱ्याचा कोळसा करणे. यामध्ये कचऱ्यात असलेल्या एकूण कार्बनपैकी ३० टक्के कार्बन कोळसा या स्वरूपात हवेत न जाता मागे रहातो. जर तुम्ही या कार्बनला अजिबात हातही लावला नाही, तर तो हजारो वर्षे याच स्वरूपात रहाणार आहे. थोडक्यात म्हणजे तुमच्या बागेत चालू असलेल्या जैविक कर्बचक्रातला ३० टक्के कार्बन तुम्ही चक्राच्या परतीच्या मार्गातून कायमस्वरूपी बाहेर काढला. तुमची बाग तुम्ही कार्बन निगेटिव्ह केली!

Samuchit Trashflasher Kiln:

समुचित ट्रॅशफ्लॅशर भट्टी:

The size of garden space and therefore the amount of garden waste generated on the campus of a housing society or educational or research campus, or factory or business premises, etc. is rather high. This kiln is designed for such users. It disposes off about 3-4 kg of garden waste in 15-20 min and generates about 1-2 kg of char.
Price inclusive of taxes: INR 5000, includes on site demonstration and training anywhere in Pune

गृहनिर्माण संस्था, शैक्षणिक किंवा संशोधन संकुल, कारखाने व इतर व्यावसायिक परिसर अशा ठिकाणी बागेची व्याप्ती आणि त्यामुळे रोज निर्माण होणाऱ्या जैविक कचऱ्याचे प्रमाणही जास्त असते. ही भट्टी अशा ठिकाणी वापरण्यासाठी बनवलेली आहे. दर १५-२० मिनिटांत ३-५ किलो कचऱ्याची विल्हेवाट लावून साधारण १-२ किलो कोळसा निर्माण करण्याची या भट्टीची क्षमता आहे.
करासहित किंमत रू ५०००. पुण्यात ग्राहकाच्या ठिकाणी प्रात्यक्षिक व प्रशिक्षण अंतर्भूत.

Samuchit Sampada Stove (mini trashflasher):

समुचित संपदा शेगडी (मिनी ट्रॅशफ्लॅशर):

This very handy ‘mini trashflasher’, is best suited for dealing with small quantities of garden waste generated in private gardens. If you are generating waste in the form of twigs and small branches, it can also be used as a stove for heating bath water.
Price inclusive of taxes: INR 3500, includes demonstration and training at our office

व्यक्तिगत छोट्या बागेत निर्माण होणाऱ्या कमी कचऱ्यासाठी ही एक वापरायला अतिशय सोपी अशी मिनी ट्रॅशफ्लॅशर भट्टीच आहे. काटक्याकुटक्यांच्या स्वरूपातला कचरा असेल, तर अंघोळीचे पाणी तापवण्याची शेगडी म्हणूनही तिचा वापर होऊ शकतो.
करासह किंमत रू ३५००. आमच्या कार्यालयात प्रात्यक्षिक व प्रशिक्षण अंतर्भूत.

I want to share much more with you... Part 2 coming soon!

आणखीही पुष्कळ सांगायचे आहे... दुसरा भाग लवकरच येतो आहे!

Priyadarshini Karve

Samuchit Enviro Tech, Pune

प्रियदर्शिनी कर्वे
समुचित एन्व्हायरो टेक, पुणे


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

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My City My Responsibility: Going Efficient!

Dear All,

Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2018!!!

For me 2017 was an amazing year. I joined Samuchit Enviro Tech, made new friends and made lots of new connections nationally and internationally. Last but not the least, I learnt to be more Sustainably responsible.  So I already feel like a global citizen. 

Earth rising over the Moon
Source: https://www.theverge.com/2015/12/18/10585198/nasa-new-earthrise-photo-earth-moon-apollo-8

Recently, I came across a beautiful quotation 'In Nature nothing exists aloneby Rachel Carson a marine biologist, conservationist and author of the book Silent Spring (1962) which initiated the environmental movement. Lifecycle Analysis is thus crucial to understand, since, everything in nature is interlinked and interconnected and we are an integral part of Nature. I hope all of you agree with me. 

Now that we are aware of being completely dependent on natural resources for our survival, can we look at using our resources efficiently. By efficiently I mean using them wisely. I remember the days when I was in 1st grade and there was an advertisement on Doordarshan. The advertisement was about saving water while brushing, by turning the tap off when not in use. I am sure, some of us could relate to it. However I used to wonder, why such an advertisement was being shown on a national television. As I used a glass of water to brush teeth back then, so it was difficult for me to understand the importance of saving water and my action. While I was studying Environmental Science, I  learnt the importance of Water as a natural resource and that there is only 2.5% to 2.7% of freshwater available for us to use, out of the total water that Earth is surrounded with. I felt proud about my action of saving the water since childhood unconsciously. 

Coming back to leaving the tap water running while brushing, a tap releases 6 litres of water in a minute and while brushing if we keep the tap running for say five minutes, we are wasting around 30 litres of water. That is roughly two buckets of water! These figures mean a lot when you multiply it with the world's current population of approximately 7 billion people. Isn't it too much??? This is indeed a whole lot. Therefore, being efficient is very much needed for our survival. And will ensure to make the use of available resources in a way that suffice all our needs.  

Likewise, we can also use other natural resources like food and energy in a wise manner. There are many actions which many people take and are efficient but they themselves are unaware of it. For example I got to know about a lady who boils drinking water for the day and puts the vessel of boiled water in a larger vessel filled with cold water. The heat is transferred to the cold water making it warmer. Thus, the boiled water quickly cools down to room temperature and becomes available for drinking through the day, while she also gets warm water for bath when her morning chores are done. Another such example is while reading a book at night you don't need the entire room to be lit, a lamp light focused on the book can be sufficient. Even better if the lamp is a solar lamp.

The key is to be conscious of our actions. We can save our resources in everything that we do in our day to day lives and still get the desired output in terms of quality of life. Its all about being efficient and being responsible. 

You can write to me about any such actions in your daily practices. All of us are undertaking such acts but never realize that we are already contributing to making the world a better place.   

Pournima Agarkar.