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? [...]

30 09, 2014

Ghost power can bust us

By | 2014-09-30T06:36:42+00:00 September 30th, 2014|Power|0 Comments

Can you save electricity by turning off your TV set? Not really. When you press ‘off’, most modern TVs, DVD players, and other electronic devices don’t really shut off. They go into a standby mode. That means they are still using electricity. Those blinking lights and digital clocks are still using energy. They call it ‘ghost power’. When your computer goes to ‘sleep’, it is still using electricity. Many people leave their computers in sleep mode all night long so they won’t have to wait a few seconds for them to come on in the morning. Computer printers also use [...]

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 [...]

28 09, 2014

The Four Factors that can beat Population

By | 2014-09-28T06:37:29+00:00 September 28th, 2014|Inspire|0 Comments

By 2050, people who know these things say that the world population should stop growing. There are four factors that work together to slow birthrates in developing countries. One, education of girls. Two, equal rights for women, which should get them to participate in decisions of their families, communities and nations. Three, improved health systems that lead to high child-survival rates. This will make parents feel confident that most or all of their children will survive into adulthood. And four, The ability of women to to choose how many children they will have and when they will have them. The [...]

27 09, 2014

Population is starting to slow down

By | 2014-09-27T06:37:57+00:00 September 27th, 2014|Inspire|0 Comments

It might surprise you to know this: in terms of population growth, we are seeing a historic success story. Thirty years ago, scientists talked about the ‘ticking time bomb’ of population growth. Today, human population growth is slowing down dramatically. It is happening way too slowly, though, as if in slow motion, but the slowdown is real. One major reason as you can see with families like yours and mine, is that as people earn higher incomes and receive more education, and as people live longer, they choose to have fewer children. It is people in poorer nations, where there [...]

26 09, 2014

How much can Earth take?

By | 2017-03-28T08:44:18+00:00 September 26th, 2014|Crossover|0 Comments

In 1804, 107 years ago, we touched the first billion as people. It was not until 1930 that we hit the 2nd billion. It took the next 30 years to 1960 to hit the 3rd billion. A mere fourteen years is all it took to hit the fourth billion in 1974. And 13 to the fifth billion in 1987. 2000 saw us with 6 billion people. At the ramparts of the Red Fort in 1947, Nehru thundered, “I don’t see us as 280 million people but as 560 million hands that can build this nation.” By the time Deewar’s famous [...]

25 09, 2014

Oh, all those motors that guzzle!

By | 2014-09-25T06:39:04+00:00 September 25th, 2014|Energy|0 Comments

There is an advantage to saving energy that people are starting to see. It saves money. By replacing old machinery, businesses around the world can save huge amounts of energy and save money, too. For example, there are millions of electric motors in many thousand factories. There are nearly 3 million pumps for borewells in Karnataka alone. That means a total of over 50 million pumps in the country—each of them using up about 12 KWh every hour of use! There are motors which move conveyor belts or turn drills or lift heavy objects. If you add up all the [...]

24 09, 2014

Think forest, when you think energy

By | 2014-09-24T06:39:32+00:00 September 24th, 2014|Nature|0 Comments

How do we save energy in every area of our lives—at home, in our offices, our factories, hotels and hospitals? We read sometimes of energy savings being tried out in cars and other vehicles. So what can the government do, what can you influence within your workspace, to make efficiency one of our biggest tools in the fight against hurting the planet. Remember that every MWh of power we use means 1 ton of coal that is extracted in some forest land. A city like Bombay alone uses 30,000 MWh a day while Bangalore’s consumption is at 18,000 MWh. India [...]

23 09, 2014

‘Hazardous’ is a mild word’

By | 2014-09-23T06:40:02+00:00 September 23rd, 2014|Pollution|0 Comments

E-Parisaraa is the first Indian Government-authorised e-waste recycler. It’s a Bangalore-based organisation, started in September 2005, working towards collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of e-waste. Though there are a few initiatives like E-Parisaraa in the country, most of the recycling of e-waste is being done unofficially, by groups of children and youth who burn off the plastic from wires to sell the copper, earning just enough to survive. They immerse wires in open acid to melt the pvc coating, salvaging what they can sell. It takes about a minute to dismantle a TV, says one of the 'businessmen', wielding a [...]