Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
- Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract bird, butterflies, beneficial insects & small animals.
- Plant local trees, shrubs, plants in your backyard or balcony of your apartment. This can provide food & shelter to these wildlife. Check with local nurseries for local plants
- Freshwater: Make watering site in your backyard or keep water container in balcony for birds and don't forget to refill it! This is very helpful for birds specially in summer. The watering pan should be shallow. In garden it should be about 2 to 3 feet wide and about 3 inches deep.
Birds are attracted by gently moving sound of water. hanging dripping bucket above the birdbath can attract birds. before refilling always empty and rinse the birdbath.
- We can add feeder to improve habitat. We get different types of feeders -tray feeder, tube feeder etc in market.
- Dead drying trees can be home to birds, plants, fungi etc. Consider leaving them as it is unless they cause any hazard. Use old logs & stumps in garden & landscape.
- Don't use pesticides for your plants they are pollutants. instead you can use
- Buy sustainable fish.
- You can creat pond and keep fish in it. It needs little maintanance but will add beauty to your garden.
Inspiration & Credit (Photos): Lucinda Manouch, "My Garden" blog
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Let's see how our small careless action can threaten wildlife and how each individual can take part in conserving wild life.
Threats faced by Wild life in water resources (i.e Seas, Rivers, Lakes, natural pools, *Wadi etc)
- Fishing & Diving: anchors can damage coral reefs
- Fishing endangered species: High prices & demand can lead fishermen to target rare species
- Coastal & offshore development: dredging can damage reefs, alters habitats
- Overfishing: fish are caught when they are too small and in numbers which the populations can not sustain
- Throwing rubbish: Can be eaten by turtles or other species, which then gets stuck in their digestive system & kills them
- Red tide: seasonal phenomenon possibly accelerated by high nutrient loads in coastal water
- Oil pollution: tankers waiting in seawater to enter the gulf occasionally wash out their tanks, resulting in dangerous oil pollution along the coast.
- Toxic waste: Can pollute water and damage animals. Animals become trapped by plastic
-Introduction of non-native i.e. 'alien' species: compete directly with native wildlife for food & space
- Excess ground water pumping: cause drying up water resources like wadi pool.
*Wadi- It's Arabic word. It's a valley , gully or stream bed that filled with water from rain or oasis.
Threats faced by Wild life in mountains and forests
- Quarrying: Result in habitat loss & fragmentation
- Hunting: large mammals traditionally hunted for food are now needlessly hunted for sport. population of these animals is decreasing at alarming rate
- Throwing rubbish: toxic waste can pollute water, damage trees and animals. Animals can eat the rubbish which may be harmful to them.
- Introducing alien species: Can compete with local species for food and space.
- Developments: Cause loss of habitat in region
Threats faced by Wild life in Dessert
- Off road driving: burrows can be destroyed, animals & plants can be damaged by vehicles.
- Throwing rubbish
- Leaving pets in dessert wildlife
- Development: Large development in dessert leads to loss of habitat
Wildlife Conservation tips when you are outdoors
-Take your rubbish home with you
-Do not realise any pet in wild
-When driving off road stick to tracks, do not disturb wildlife
-Take care not to damage coral while swimming
-Do not remove or damage any wildlife
-Do not damage plants or burn trees
-Don't use plastic, use paper or clothe
-If toilets are not available find location at least 100ft away from water resource. dig deep whole and cover up your deposit
-Don't drink aerated drinks. It's not healthy and cans, bottles are huge waste problem
WE ALL CAN PROTECT OUR WILDLIFE!!!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Recently I got opportunity to volunteer for Emirates Wildlife Society- WWF for a awareness program. Today Conservation officer Emma Smart form EWS arranged this workshop for preparation of this program. It was great to meet people, other volunteers who truly believe in conserving environment and give their bit for it! I will post regarding this programme later as it is still under construction!
But I thought I should give you some information about EWS-WWF.
EWS, The Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, World Wide Fund for Nature is non-governmental organisation working to promote Nature Conservation in UAE since 2001. EWS-WWF aims to work with people and institutions within UAE and region to conserve bio-diversity and promote sustainable living through education and conservation initiatives.
The mandate of EWS-WWF covers:
- Climate Change
Monday, October 12, 2009
In these days I was too busy with my work and was feeling bad that I can't get time to update my blog. But today, though I have not studied or researched enough; I decided to write a general post to give a restart to my blog writing!
In last month I saw 2 documentary films arranged by 'Heroes of UAE' & EWS-WWF along with Animal Planet. One was 'Fresh Water' and other 'Marshes & Mangroves'. The films were about the impact of climate change on animal populations around the world. These films were very informative and educating! I loved them & I decided to join voluntary work for Heroes of UAE team. After screening we were gifted the energy saving lights. It was a very good initiative in terms of awareness. I saw many parents with theirs kids for these screening and the good no. of people present there were indicating their interest in sustainable environment.
Now, Let me tell you about greening my workplace.
- I found about 200 waste visiting cards of a previous employee. Instead of throwing them away I am using them to make list of tasks or giving some notes to my colleagues. I took some of them to home to make grocery list :).
- The blank-side of waste printouts I am using to reprint the sample files or to do rough work.
- The pages which are completely waste after reuse I am keeping aside so that I can recycle them in recyclers kept on Cornish.
- The waste water in my bottle I am throwing in plants kept in my office.
Some things I still need to convince.
- keep one recycling bean for papers in office.
- Energy saving by introducing the system of turning off unnecessary lights.
Waiting for your Green suggestions...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Made In UK - Energy saving recommended certification
Made in Singapore- Energy Efficincy rating, NAE (National Environment Agency)
Other worldwide Energy efficiency labels are as follows
Check out the latest updated post on this topic here.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
On this day individuals, non-government organisations, community and youth groups, business, industry and the media
organise activities to renew their commitments to protect and develop environment. they organise activities such as clean up campaigns, tree planting, colorful street rallies, green concert, essay and photo competitions in schools and recycling efforts.
To know more about the World Environment Day please visit the link,
World Environment Day Themes for past years:
The theme for 2005 World Environment day was "Green Cities" and the slogan was "Plan for Planet!".
The topic for WED 2006 was Dessert and Desertification and the slogan was " Don't desert dry lands"
The topic for WED 2007 was "Melting Ice - a Hot Topic?" During International Polar year.
The host for 2008 WED was New Zealand. With the main international celebrations schedule for Wellington. The slogan for 2008 was "CO2, Kick the Habit!"
World Environment Day 2009:
The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to combat Climate Change'. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.
This year's host is Mexico, which reflects the growing role of the Latin American country in fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets.
Mexico is also a leading partner in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The country, with the support of it's President and people, has spearheaded the pledging and planting of some 25 per cent of trees under the campaign. accounting for around 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is demonstrating its commitment to climate change on several fronts.
To celebrate World Environment Day, Use Less, Act More! Daily Do Something!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Now we need to be keener about recycling our waste. Generally, our Garbage bin contains 35% Organic waste, 30 % Paper, 12% Construction, 9% Plastic, 6% Metal, 5% Other, 3% Glass. Let us see how we can save energy by recycling the waste.
- Recycled aluminum reduces pollution by 95 percent.
- Four pounds of bauxite are saved for every pound of aluminum recycled.
- Enough aluminum is thrown away to rebuild our commercial air fleet four times every year.
- Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy versus virgin glass.
- Recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
- Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution and 50 percent less water pollution.
- One ton of glass made from 50 percent recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste.
- Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year.
- Recycled paper saves 60 percent energy versus virgin paper.
- Recycled paper generates 95 percent less air pollution: each ton saves 60 pounds of air pollution.
- Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.
- Every year, enough paper is thrown away to make a 12-foot wall from New York to California.
- Production of recycled paper uses 80 percent less water, 65 percent less energy and produces 95 percent less air pollution than virgin paper production.
- If offices throughout the country increased the rate of two-sided photocopying from the 1991 figure of 20 percent to 60 percent, they could save the equivalent of about 15 million trees.
- Plastic milk containers are now only half the weight that they were in 1960.
- If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep two billion tons of plastic out of landfills.
- According to the U.S. EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTUs.
Waste Management Steps
Once you have reduced your waste and made a plan, it is important to decide the disposal method you are going to use.
Step 1: Separate the waste depends on material. We have to make different recycle bins for Paper, Plastic, Glass, Metal etc.
· Paper recycling bin will contain white paper, colored paper, cardboard, office mail, magazines/catalogs, etc.
· Plastic recycling would have bin will contain each type of plastic: #1-7
· Metal recycling bin will contain all metals, tins etc.
Though it is, better to further more separation of these waste like separate bins for plastic #1-7 or separate bins for aluminum and steel. This will add more prices to the waste and will reduce time at final stage of actual recycling. However, it might create space problem as well as increase time for classifying the waste and then throw in separate bins.
In a company, it is easy to make different bins because you can allot a space as garbage area. Alternatively, you can locate different bins at different location and inform your employees about it. In office if you are, making different bins for different material then you need to make it compulsory for employees to separate garbage. For papers, you can keep shredders and make sure all employees should throw waste papers in shredder at the end of day.
At home, we can make space for garbage bins in balcony, terrace or bathrooms or hallway or even space under kitchen sink. For paper collection, it is not very dirty so we can collect papers for a month and then recycle it. The waste from kitchen or waste from vegetables, food etc we can go for compost in our personal garden or building garden for all. We get low cost compost bin in market or even we can make our own compost. If you are living in apartment, you can get involve the building management to allocate the garbage area where different bins for metal, glass and plastic can be kept and can be recycled once in a week. Building management can request local authority to place a recycler in nearby location.
Step 2: Find the recycler in surrounding
Here the local authority comes in picture. In some countries like US, Japan, UK, Canada, UAE there are recyclers placed by government in public areas. The interesting thing is these countries have carbon footprint on quite higher level than the required. In most of the developing countries there is no recycler system but there people don’t waste things.
In overpopulated country like India, there is no such system available. There is no recycler in public areas. Only in some metro cities, you can find recyclers. However, there is a very good system since many years, people collect the papers, metals, glass, plastic, clothes, electrical appliances, electronics or even furniture broken or good condition and sell it to people called kabadiwala/ bhangarwala once in a month. These kabadi people act like a recycler. They collect these items and sell it to plastic, metal, glass, paper, furniture-manufacturing companies as row material. Therefore, if you collect your waste you can save energy and even earn money. Many people even do compost in their gardens or fields. People are keen not to waste things. May be this is a major reason why carbon footprint in India is less than what is required.
If there are, no recyclers kept by government find out some organizations, which recycle the products. Sometimes some shops have recycling junctions like some electronics shops accept mobiles, electronic waste. Electrical appliances shops accept electrical waste, acid batteries. Motor garage accepts tires, automobiles waste.
If there are things at your home, you want to get rid of it like books, clothes, spectacles etc. instead of recycling them you can give away to needy people or to some charity organizations, which help the people in war or flood or earthquake.
Step 3: Improve recycling process.
To reduce contamination and improve recycling efficiency, wash and squash!
· Scrape out any food remains/pour away excess liquid.
· Rinse the container (use your washing-up water)
· Don't put recyclate in the dishwasher – no need to waste resources to achieve an unnecessary level of cleanliness!
Squash· Crush metal cans.
· Squeeze plastic bottles flat to expel as much air as possible.
These steps help prevent contamination and reduce the volume of recyclate, making collections more energy efficient.
Removing the caps and lids from plastic containers is more important. Plastic caps are often made from a different polymer type, and therefore have a different melting point when compared to the plastic used for the bottle itself.
Step 4: Analyze your waste.
To better understand the kind of materials that enters and leaves your home, office or school, consider conducting a waste audit. Set a span of time like a week or a month, and separate your waste categories. Weigh the different kinds of material flows that go out the door (landfill waste, organic compost, aluminum, recyclable plastic, reusable material, etc.). Design a “material recovery” program that minimizes the amount going to the landfill. This is a great exercise to do with kids so that they will understand waste management and it’s importance.
To know more on waste management please visit the following sites
REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Lot of programs get arranged all over the world. To find the events & campaigns visit, http://www.earthday.net/earthday2009
http://www.energystar.gov/ This website provides tips on how to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Recently I came across a site on which you get information about waste management & recycling. If you want to recycle specific waste ex. Electronics, CDs, glass etc; you have to type your location & type of waste it gives you nearby recycling location. Presently on this site recycling locations in US, Canada & Japan are given. I have requested them to create the country option for UAE so that I can feed the recycling locations. There are plenty of recycling locations in UAE, near to Parks, Malls, Creek, Cornish, beaches. I have uploaded the quick window to find recycling locations from same site, please scroll down to the bottom of blog for it.
Some quick ideas to celebrate Earth Day,
-Collect your household waste & recycle it
- Clean up Community Park, beach, lakes and rivers
- Plant trees & vegetation
- Pledge some of our Green habits
- Spread the awareness of Earth Day
- Make every day earth day!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
· If you notice any water leakage, broken pipe or open hydrants when you are out, or any electric short circuit, electric wire not in place or any source of water pollution , land pollution, air pollution report it to relevant local government authority, so that action can be taken to repair the faults and water or electricity can be saved.
· Share conservation tips with family and friends to help spread awareness about Green living.
· Teach your house cleaner, cook, car wash person, security guard, office-boys energy saving techniques. They need to know this. Do not forget to mention that these energy saving techniques are going to save some money for them.
· If anybody on road or in your neighborhood is wasting unnecessary energy say water or electricity etc, please do not hesitate to tell him or her about it in friendly manner.
· If you get any opportunity of presentation or speech in front of any audience say in business, community, schools or even family /friends get together please give some of your favorite green tips to audience and tell them proudly how green you are!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
UAE’s leading newspaper Gulf News featured a story on this blog, published today (29th March 2009). Link to the article in Gulf news about blog- http://archive.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10299425.html Or http://www.citigroup.com/uae/gcb/comm_services/images/press_clips02.pdf
Gulf News appreciated the Green Habits and Green Living approach. I would like to thank Gulf News for the acknowledgement of my efforts!
Many people are writing to me to show their support. My request is to please comment or suggest on the blog so that other people also can see your words. Your Green suggestions are always welcome!
To support Earth-Hour we have to switch off all lights at 8.30 pm wherever we are! We need to spread awareness of Earth-hour wherever possible Office, friends, family, schools, local authority etc. I have already informed most of my friends and family about Earth-Hour.
During Earth Hour 2008, lights dimmed at Sydney’s Opera House, Rome’s Coliseum, New York’s Empire State Building, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Even Google’s homepage went black. In total, more than 50 million people participated in Earth Hour last year.
Visit http://www.earthhour.org/home/ for more details.
Earth Hour 2009 will be even bigger, with some of the world’s largest cities, including Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London, Manila, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto joining WWF in turning off lights. Tens of millions of people around the world will demonstrate concern about the future of the planet by doing something simple yet remarkable - they will turn off their lights for one hour.
In Dubai, a lantern parade is going to take place from iconic Burj Al Arab to mark Earth Hour. http://www.gulfnews.com/Nation/Environment/10201111.html. Nevertheless, as we are staying far away it is not wise to spend petrol for Earth-Hour! Several other companies and organisations are going to take part. Last year Dubai was first Arab city to join the movement.
I remember last year we religiously switched off all lights, equipments even A/C and TV during Earth Hour and called up friends and family and told them ‘switch off your lights quickly!’ This year we have planned for it and I would like to share it with everyone here. My husband and I will go out, have a walk around during earth hour of-course switching off all lights in our home. After coming back we will have a romantic candlelight light dinner (to prolong earth-hour). We already follow Green living by reducing unnecessary energy consumption. However, today on earth hour we will have dinner for which fuel will not be required, special menu for the dinner! Thus, we have planned to cut off energy use for not just hour but for whole evening.
Happy Earth-Hour to you all!!!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
There are options to calculate your carbon footprint for house, car, bike, flight, public transport and secondary. When I calculated my carbon footprint, it came 2.3 tones /month. The average footprint of UAE people is 37 tones/ month. Thanks to Green Living that I save that much energy than other people in UAE! The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tones. The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tones. The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tones. Now my target is to reduce my carbon footprint up to 2 or less than that!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
- Waste papers should go into shredder or recycler.
- Before recycling, use blank side of waste papers to do rough work.
- Don’t print or copy if not required. - Make compulsory printing on both sides of paper and double-sided photocopy.
- Maintain different bins for different recyclable materials. Give importance to waste management - Use Coffee mugs and glass instead of plastic cups. Consider gifting all employees coffee mugs and glass on which company logo is printed. - Remind staff to turn off lights or terminals.
- To save electricity, put computers, printers, copiers and fax machines in standby or sleep mode after about 20 minutes of inactivity. The shorter the period, the more energy is saved.
- During lunchtime, tea-coffee breaks, meetings turn off lights and A\Cs of your workplace.
- Make your websites green. Background black and text white. If background is black, it consumes less energy.
- Instead of taking elevators use stairs. You will save energy and have exercise too!
- Avoid keeping unnecessary extra equipments, share as much as you can in between each other to reduce energy consumption.
- Every day before leaving for home, checkout you have switched off all equipments you use.
- Provide task lightings instead of lighting up whole office room.
- Promote day lighting in offices.
- Reduce use of toilet papers
- Introduce water efficient taps or half-flush toilets.
- If there is any leakage in office, toilets treat it immediately.
- If you have half-used bottle of water lying around the office, use it to water the plants in or around office.
- When it is weekend check all equipments computers, copiers, projectors, fax machines, coffee maker, kettle, microwave etc are switched off and unplugged. Also, make sure all taps are rightly closed, not dripping.
- Try not to give car to everybody. Arrange transport for employees so that instead of separate vehicle they will share one vehicle.
- Hold a contest among employees with a prize for the best ideas for reducing waste and cutting energy consumption in your company’s daily operations.
- Make No Smoking policy in office.
- Award a green employee every month
- Organize tree plantation program for employees around and in office
- Lastly, if any co-worker or even cleaner in your office is unaware of energy conservations, aware those by telling green tips.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
And residents are supporting this campaign by reducing wastes in their regular routine.
There are some interesting articles explaining how to wipe out wastes. After reading those articles I find it is in line with my Green Living campaign! So I am also a supporter of Wipe Out Waste campaign by Gulf News, and I'll follow zero waste lifestyle! Below is given link to Gulf news online paper.
UAE govt. has already declared to build green buildings is compulsory. The authority of water and electricity of Dubai (DEWA) has issued some energy saving tips for residents (I found the booklet in Global Village, and I am quite impressed by seeing UAE oriented energy saving tips which can be used in everyday routine). Last year under Go Green campaign, Gulf news urged to 'say no to plastic bags'. They gifted jute bags to all their subscribers, the bags are really good looking and useful. (But people are still using plastic bags in supermarket). I think cheap jute/ cloth/ paper bags is the solution, because in market those green bags are above AED 30!
UAE really needs to go green, one gets a real high life here, spending more energy and heavy on pocket, which means no saving (in any way ;)..).
Good to see that Local governments, news papers, many local organisations, businesses and even residents of UAE are going GREEN!