Nov 19
If we wish to preserve our nature and maintain a healthy, peaceful environment around us, we should limit our needs. Anuvrat is one small step toward this. Anu in hindi means small & Vrat means resolution. By taking small resolutions, each one of us can do our part in conserving nature in our day to day life. Some basic resolutions everybody can take in his life are as follows.
  • I will limit the amount of water in my day to day life because water has become one of the most scarcest items in the world.
  • I will limit the number of items I take in food everyday.
  • I will try to use as much natural light as possible, thus preserve electricity.
  • I will try to limit the number of clothes and accessories I buy every year.
  • I will try to limit the number of vehicles I have & will try to use more fuel efficient vehicles, and will try to commute by public transport wherever possible.

These are small, easy steps that anyone can take but will go a long way in preserving our precious nature. Above mentioned steps are the basics of Anuvrat movement. But If we are keen to maintain peace around us, which will result in mental health & emotional health for all, we should follow the following principles laid by Jain monk, ACHARYA SHRI TULSI.

a. I wont kill any living being, whether animal, bird or human being deliberately.

b. I wont kill a girl child in womb.

c. I will fight back, if somebody attacks on me, but wont attack on somebody deliberately.

d. I wont treat anybody superior, or inferior on the basis of caste or colour.

e. I wont encourage any religious sentiments, which spread hatred & violence.

f. I will be fair in my business dealings, & will not indulge in mixing in food items, for my profit, which may harm the health of my other fellow beings.

g. I wont support dowry, or another social activity which disturbs the emotional balance in the society.

h. I wont indulge in any bad habits such smoking, drinking or drugs.

All the above steps seem small, but they are difficult to practice. If brought to practice, however, they will provide mental & emotional stability to all of us, which in turn will lead to a healthy society and will lay  a solid  foundation for a healthy nation, thus leading the way to a peaceful world for generations to come…

May 08

Did you know that bottled water is not just bad for the environment but also for your health? Take a look at this presentation to find out more about why you shouldn’t drink bottled water…

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by aSGuest17618

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Apr 29

Developing countries are fast becoming dumping grounds for hazardous waste generated in the developing world. As the environmental laws become more stringent in the developing world and as more and more hazardous waste is being generated, exporting this waste to poorer countries, even at a cost to the exporter is a financially attractive alternative. Much easier and cheaper than setting up environment friendly waste treatment and disposal facilities. And for the countries importing it, it is a hard to resist offer, given their high levels of poverty. Did you know that Guinea Bissau, one of the poorest 20 countries in the world was to be paid $600 million for storing and disposing of imported hazardous waste? At the time of the offer, the amount was twice the country’s foreign debt!! And about four times its Gross National Product. One can see why it is therefore easy to find disposal grounds and convert them into potential disease and death traps for the natives. The high level of corruption in these countries, and little awareness among the local population of environmental and health hazards resulting from improper industrial waste disposal, only serves to facilitate the trend. 

Olurominiyi Ibitayo in his article Transboundary dumping of hazardous waste, talks about this and other factors that promote easy disposal of hazardous waste in the sub-saharan African countries.

The only way out as I see it, is for local community groups to generate more awareness and pressure the authorities into creating and implementing stringent regulations regarding disposal of hazardous waste. And also effect ban on such imports. In 2003, environmental groups in India, along with Greenpeace had succeded in sending toxic waste back to the sender, in this case Unilever. Hindustan Lever had set up a factory in 1983 in India to import all its mercury waste from the US and export products from the plant back to the US. Greenpeace and the local community groups had exposed the dumping of hazardous mercury waste at a local scrapyard. They had then started a very successful campaign to put pressure to send back the toxic waste to its country of origin.

Such efforts can happen and be successful only if the local community is sensitised to the perils of improper toxic waste disposal. As I write this, tonnes of toxic waste material (read old computers, old mobiles and other electronic parts) shipped from the first world may be getting offloaded at some port in India. Several thousand of unsuspecting workers at the scrap-yards will then break open, sort and recycle this e-waste with their hands in an open uncontrolled environment. What can’t be recycled will be burnt in the open, releasing toxic fumes in the air. Or will be dumped in open grounds, quite possibly next to a residential area! India and China are the world’s dumping grounds for electronic waste. As long as there is a lack of political will in enforcing regulations, lack of awareness amongst the scrap-yard workers & the local population and as long as it is financially attractive to the traders, this deadly business will continue to thrive.

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Apr 06

A team at Australia’s Queensland University has invented a waste treatment plant to treat household waste and waste water. The plan works on waste to produce methane, which is a clean, renewable source of energy and class A+ standard recycled water.

Though this recycled water is not good enough for drinking, yet it can be used for toilet flushing, gardening. Not a bad idea. Could help conserve a whole lot of water. It would be interesting to see when it is launched commercially. We sooooo badly need to save water! Apartment complexes which generate gallons of waste water would do very well to install a waste treatment plant like this. Could perhaps help save them plenty of dough in their energy bills too.

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Apr 02

Scientists are planning to launch robotic fish off the port of Gijon (North Spain) to detect pollution levels in the sea. The fish are remarkably life-like and can remain underwater for several hours.

Each robotic fish measures about 1.5 m in length and has cost some Rs. 14.9 lakh to make.  These robotic fish will collect data and transmit it using Wi-Fi technology.  They are battery operated and are designed to get back to their charging stations every 8 hours or so to recharge their batteries…sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie!

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Apr 01

The Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh boasted of as many as 40 tigers till six years back. Today however, the count is very sadly down to null. The lone tiger at Panna has not been sighted for over 25 days now.

The Government on its part is trying to locate the tiger. As part of the effort, two tigresses from Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Park were shifted to the area. However, it has not brought out the desired result. Some say that the tiger has wandered away into the forests of Chattarpur.

Well, lets hope the tiger has indeed wandered away and has not been slain by poachers. But how does a tiger reserve with no tigers sound? Wonder how they managed to mess up so much. And why no one did anything about it while they still had the time. Indeed, its become so common these days to wonder why we didn’t act when we could have. The Age of Stupid tells us its going to become the most asked question tomorrow.

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Mar 30

Earth Hour is a good way to raise awareness of the issue of global warming and how our collective effort can save our beautiful planet. However, while a whole lot of people participated in the earth hour on 28th of March and switched off all non-essential lights for an hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, it was weird to see the same people switch on a galaxy of lights immediately after and go about their business as usual. Well, is that what earth hour is all about? All hype and little substance? Do people participate just to sound ‘cool’ and ‘with it’ or do they really understand the meaning behind the campaign?

If negating global warming and saving the planet really mean the earth to us, then why don’t we make “consuming less” a  way of life? Why do we need to switch on a sea of lights on the Vegas strip? Why do office building have most lights on even long after all staff has left? Why do hotels and restaurants have a sea of lights on all the time? Why do we keep our windows covered with blinds? Why don’t we use natural light? Why do we keep the AC on in our cars when the weather outside is pleasant enough? Why do we first stay all the time in air conditioned environs and then go for sauna and visit spas and gyms to sweat and get rid of toxins?

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Mar 27

That our tiger count is rapidly waning is no new news. We have lost more than 39 tigers in the last year out of which 17 have been in the last three months alone. And mind you these are official figures. I recently read an article by Jay Mazoomdaar where he elaborates on how the unprofessional management and lack of knowledge on the part of concerned officials is nulling any tiger conservation efforts.

Jay enumerates an incident where a tiger cub was mistakenly taken to be a man-eater and had it not been for the prudence of the authorities at Corbett in 2005, there would have been killings.  Interesting….

To quote Jay, “Conservation is not about raising a million tigers in ranches but about letting a few thousands to be in the wild, where at the top of the food chain, they protect the ecology of forests, which in turn, ensure our water security.”

Food for thought…?

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Mar 25

Reports say that the authorities have succeeded in killing the man eater near the Kaziranga National Park. Another man-eater tiger that had claimed four lives in UP had met the same fate in Bakchula Forest in February this year.

Yet another tiger that had turned a man-eater in UP was fortunately tranquilised and sent to the Kishanpur Wildlife Santuary. That makes 3 incidents in the last two months alone.

Why are tigers turning into man-eaters? It requires no rocket science to figure this out. As long as man will continue to gobble up greedily habitats and resources meant for other species, there will be a backlash. The planet belongs as much to the other species as it does to us. We need to realise that we need the other species for our own survival. Without these animals, insects and birds our ecosystem will fail. That is what we need to understand. Shooting man-eaters is not the solution. Attacking the reason they turn into man-eaters is the only viable solution.

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Mar 23

Poaching, poisoning and infighting are killing our tigers.  While the majority of incidents have been reported from the Kanha Tiger Reserve (MP) and Kaziranga National Park (Assam), two tigers were found dead in Corbett Tiger Reserve as well.

Last month, the Army officials seized several tiger body parts at the Myanmar border, which goes to prove that poaching is still very rampant. Despite the ban, tiger parts are actively being traded illegally. In a lot of cases, it has been found that poverty forced the locals to resort to tiger killings for paltry sums from the traders.

Poverty alleviation and sensitizing the locals as well as general popualtion to the importance of conserving wildlife are the only ways to tackle the menace. While NGOs are actively doing their bit, the state authorities perhaps would do well to train and recruit locals as forest guards. That would serve both purposes – give them employment and make them partners in environment conservation. If the locals and the forest officials are together involved in prerservation of the tigers, I doubt the masterminds behind the poaching activities will find any success in their designs!

By the way, there has been further addition to the count since I first saw the above numbers, though that has been on account of tigers turning into man-eaters. Definitely attributable to humans again.

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