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26 03, 2016

Eco-friendly Living – Act Now

By | 2017-03-28T08:43:44+00:00 March 26th, 2016|City Smart, Energy, Green Tech|0 Comments

Why it is absolutely imperative to make changes to our current lifestyles The reason is simple. We have exhausted all options and the only way out is, to shape up or ship out. Dramatic as it might sound, we are in danger of wiping ourselves out from the face of the earth, if something is not done about environmental degradation. Most of the recent flooding, forest fires, and landslides can be attributed directly to unbridled human activity. The recent Chennai floods is a case in point. The devastating loss to life and property is mind-numbing. Danger signals: Melting ice The [...]

25 03, 2016

How Green Really is Your ‘Green’ Home?

By | 2017-03-28T08:43:46+00:00 March 25th, 2016|City Smart, Energy, Green Tech|0 Comments

What makes for a green home in reality? Oftentimes, what you get sold is not what you want, or at least, not the exact thing you want. Asterisks and other typographical symbols come in handy for sellers who are unable to match their sales pitch with actual delivery of goods matching the promised specifications. It always pays to go through sellers’ claim with a fine tooth comb and linger on fine print until you are reasonably satisfied with what you are getting. In most cases, the discrepancies may be as acceptable as the difference between a lime and a lemon. [...]

23 03, 2016

Benefits of Rooftop Gardening

By | 2017-03-28T08:43:48+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|City Smart, Green Tech, Nature|0 Comments

How does the food we eat end up on our dining table? Young kids might be forgiven for thinking food actually grows in supermarkets. Only if it were that simple. So what steps are involved until the food ends up on your table and how does it impact environment during the journey? The concept of food miles is used to assess the environmental impact from the time of production of food until it reaches the consumer. Farming sector in crisis The distress in the farm sector owing to factors like excess rainfall, unavailability of farm labour, crop failure, and lack [...]

2 10, 2014

Festival of Noise

By | 2014-10-02T06:35:51+00:00 October 2nd, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

That India is slowly coming out of its firecracker tizzy is obvious. Firecracker sales have dipped by 30-40% over the past few years. Add to it rising manufacturing costs that have pushed firecracker prices by 25-30%. On Saturday, 2.5 lakh engineering students in Karnataka pledged not to burst firecrackers this year. Instead, they will celebrate it with orphans and street children. Parag Shah, 34, businessman, says, “I have seen how kids toil at factories in Sivakasi. After seeing their plight, I pledged not to burst firecrackers ever again.” He has decided to take his four-year-old daughter out and distribute sweets [...]

1 10, 2014

Take back your time today

By | 2014-10-01T06:36:15+00:00 October 1st, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

So, what are you doing with your time today? Not spending it at dinner with your family? Not comforting your spouse who had a rough day? Not visiting your mother? Not laughing over a joke with your friend? Not watching the sunset with your sweetheart? Not learning photography? Not exercising? Not relaxing in a hammock? Not cooking Szechuan for the first time? Not discovering jazz? Not reading a book to your child? Not writing a letter to a lonely relative? Not learning to play an instrument? Not attending a play? Not helping with grocery shopping? Not relaxing with a hobby? [...]

29 09, 2014

The Ad whirl

By | 2017-03-28T08:44:16+00:00 September 29th, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

A lot of the information we get is in the form of ads. The average urban person now sees about 300 advertising messages per day. Those ads all say the same thing—buy more. And we have been listening. We’re consuming more and more without thinking about what this is doing to our environment. Sales of clothing in India has grown five times from 1991 to 2010. One part was because there were more people who could afford to buy clothes. But the equal part was that many of us bought twice as many clothes. As we buy more, we waste [...]

12 09, 2014

It’s the only device that works 24 x 7

By | 2014-09-12T06:45:11+00:00 September 12th, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

In nearly every urban household, the refrigerator is about the only electrical appliance that remains switched on 24x7, all 8760 hours of a year. While the refrigerator actually guzzles around 18 per cent of household electricity use, we have about 60 million refrigerators in India that consume about 33 million units of power every year. That large number means nothing, if you don’t realize that every single million units of power that we consume needs 0.7 million tonnes of coal that comes from our rich forest belts. And every ton of coal burnt emits about 0.2 million tonnes of ash [...]

7 09, 2014

Got some meat?

By | 2014-09-07T06:46:59+00:00 September 7th, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

Consumerist tendencies in the meat industry have led to large scale development of that market – the numbers are quite astounding. Nearly 40% of the world’s total grain production is used for livestock. In the US alone, this figure stands at 70%. Junk food chains like KFC and Pizza Hut are being pointed out as major players in building the meat industry, leading to immense environmental impact like deforestation, land degradation, contamination of water sources, etc. Food for thought: would they have grown to what they are today if the demand had been less? One pound of red meat, poultry, [...]

4 09, 2014

My city is getting ready!

By | 2014-09-04T06:48:31+00:00 September 4th, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

That's the theme for this year's International Day for Natural Disaster Awareness. Around 252 million people are currently affected by "natural disasters", and this doesn’t include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or other emergencies unrelated to weather. And this number is set to increase to 375 million (54%) every year in just 4 more years! “Biggest, deadliest, worst ever...”. We have seen these headlines too often this year. We have used them about earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and forest fires, about loss of life and income. It will get worse as the climate changes and hazards multiply and we are becoming more and [...]

30 08, 2014

Advanced Happy Carfree Day!

By | 2014-08-30T06:51:17+00:00 August 30th, 2014|City Smart|0 Comments

The number of passenger cars crossed the one billion mark last year. Look out your window: just how many vehicles do you see, zooming around or stuck, as the case may be? Possibly, you own one yourself. Today, there are approximately one million cars on Indian roads. The number is not goin to decrease: India became the sixth largest car manufacturer in 2010 – and is expected to become 4th in another two and a half years! Noone need tell you about the problems the world is going to face – and indeed, already is – if pollution from vehicles [...]