Celebrate World Environment Day 2013

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on June 5 every year. This day focuses on important environmental issues and has become one of the main vehicles through which United Nations create worldwide awareness regarding environment.

On the same day, June 5 in year 1972 the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was created, and WED was first celebrated in 1973 to tackle various environmental issues. Being hosted yearly by a different city with a different theme; it gives emphasizes on environment protection.

Environment Day helps realizing our responsibility and power in order to support sustainable and equitable development. It encourages people across the world to come forward and join hands to ensure “cleaner, greener and brighter” prospect for present and future generations.

For year 2013 World Environment Day celebrates the theme of “Think.Eat.Save!” It’s an anti-food loss and food waste campaign that motivates us to reduce our foodprint. According to FAO, each year 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted. Furthermore, over 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily because of starvation and 1 in 7 people go to bed without eating anything. This huge imbalance in lifestyle imposes devastating effects on our environment. So this year’s theme – Think.Eat.Save creates awareness among people regarding environmental impact of their food choices and encourages them to take informed decisions.

It’s rightly said “Change starts from you!” This food-inspired campaign encourages everyone to take action from home and witness the power of collaborative decisions made by you and others to cut-down food waste, save money, reduce environmentalimpact of food production and drive food production processes to become more effective & efficient.

Steps to Reduce Your Impact on Environment!

First straight forward step one can take is to make informed decisions as mentioned above. It means select those food items that have less impact on environment. Choosing organic foods that involve “no chemicals” in their production would be one beneficial step.

Buying food from local market is another important step to be taken. Plan what you need before going for food shopping and make sure to reuse the leftovers to reduce wastage.

Create awareness campaigns in your locality and bring people under one roof to motivate them for making sound decisions regarding environment issues. Create banners, posters regarding environmental heath to attract people from different directions. Present mementos to people who have taken great steps to benefit the environment, so that it encourages others as well.

Use sustainable modes of transportation and encourage others to opt for same. Use public transport or prefer use of bicycle as a means of transportation. Walking is another great option to consider.

We are unaware of how much we are contributing in wastage of energy and resources every day. Forgetting to switch off television, lights, fans and other electrical appliances, unplugged chargers, overflowing bucket of water, and more contribute to huge energy loss. Keeping a check on these small things is important to make a big difference.

Plant more trees in your society.

Encourage friends, colleagues and family to join hands with various environmental organizations. Curb all of your unsustainable activities and remember one step can change the world!

Go green and remodel your garden space. Do composting to boost production of your garden. Plant seasonal crops, herbs, and spices in your garden that give extra benefits besides their beauty. Buy some eco-friendly products like garden furniture by grabbing coupons for Gaiam, Bambeco discount offers from CouponAlbum, and contribute towards a healthier living place.

Follow 4Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Any individual can contribute towards his planet by rethinking about resources he uses. Opt for using renewable energy resources and reduce usage of non-renewable ones. This would be a major step in this direction. Recycling and reusing polybags, cans, bottles, clothes, and more would lead to less wastage and thus environment will remain more conserved.

Conduct environmental education programs in schools and colleges to make students aware about their role towards environment and what they can do for a healthier, safer society.

Make resolution to keep your surroundings clean.

We all should strive for becoming better stewards of earth. Keeping our environment preserved and protected should be our foremost goal. This WED analyze state of your environment and take steps for conserving it. Remember every effort counts towards building a more sustainable environment for humanity. Well! Possibilities are endless to save environment and reduce disaster risk, it’s up to you how you take it.

World Environment Day – Is There Any Hope for the Yamuna?

The present state of the Yamuna river from Delhi to Agra, a distance of roughly 250 km, is alarming. Described now as a huge sewage canal, Yamuna water is unfit for human consumption. It cannot even support bacteria or aquatic life.

Yamuna finds mention in the Rig Veda. The founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babar, was lyrical about the quality of Yamuna water. It was Yamuna water that compelled Shah Jahan to build his dream monument the Taj Mahal along the river bank.

But what of today? How do we describe Yamuna today? A sewer canal, a drain, a big gutter, a civilisational sink?

In the past 25 years government agencies have spent over Rs.800 crore (over $140 million) to clean up many Indian rivers. The latest report of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, however, candidly admits that the two great rivers Ganga and Yamuna continue to flow dirty.

The funds have been spent on cleaning the drains that lead to the rivers, by putting in sewage treatment plants (STPs) and sanitation facilities. Unfortunately no improvement is noticed in the overall situation. The pollution load continues to increase.

To quote a government committee, “the quality of water in the Yamuna river has not shown the desired improvement, particularly in Delhi, due to enormous increase in pollution load and lack of fresh water in the river during (the) lean period.€

No proof about the poor quality of Yamuna water, generally unfit for human consumption between Delhi and Agra, was ever required, but when hundreds of thousands of fish continue to die at regular intervals in Agra and Mathura, it is natural for alarm bells to ring. In the past two years there have been mass deaths of Gharials in the Yamuna due to pollution.

The Yamuna, as it meanders through Delhi over a 48-km stretch, picks up huge quantities of chemical wastes and toxins as also more than 225 million gallons of untreated sewage every day before leaving Delhi. When it enters Agra, the river is overloaded with additional discharges from industrial clusters in Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal and Mathura.

What the people in Agra get to drink cannot be called water by any stretch of imagination, according to a number of research studies including one by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). At several points the water is jet black with a thick layer of waste floating on the surface.

In Agra, Braj Pradesh Kranti Dal president Surekha Yadav and environmentalist DK Joshi have filed law suits against dozens of government officials under relevant sections of the Air and Water Pollution Act of 1974. The state pollution control board officials routinely send out warnings to the polluters but have not proceeded against them.

Subijoy Dutta, a US-based scientist and president of the Yamuna Foundation for Blue Water, has submitted detailed proposals for installation of floating aerators and diffusers to neutralise pollution in the Yamuna, but so far there has been no response from government agencies.

“Elsewhere, pollution of this fatal nature would have been treated as a criminal offence against humanity and those responsible for it would have had to pay a heavy price for their acts but in India people are seemingly becoming immune to pollution and their sensibilities have also been insensitised,” Subijoy said in an email interview.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitors the water quality of the Yamuna in Delhi and it is graded in the severely polluted category, fit only for recreation, aesthetics, and industrial cooling.

The 48-km stretch of the Yamuna that flows through Delhi contains 7,500 coliform bacteria per 100cc of water. The Yamuna receives an estimated 600 million gallons of untreated sewage every day from the greater Delhi area and leaves New Delhi carrying an inconceivable 24 million coliform organisms per 100cc. The same stretch of the river picks up every day five million gallons of industrial effluents, including about 125,000 gallons of DDT wastes.

What can be done?

A large number of NGOs, pressure groups, eco-clubs, citizens’ movements, have been active, doing their bit to clean up the Yamuna, but given the dimension of the problem, these piecemeal and sporadic efforts cannot yield any tangible benefits. One way to resolve the problem could be to use the Indian armed forces to desilt, dredge and clean up the river between Delhi and Agra, with citizens also participating in a joint operation. At the same time the laws relating to water pollution need to be given teeth and implemented rigorously.

Water Recycling For A Better Future

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Jenero proposed an annual International celebration of fresh water . A year later, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. Backing for this new holiday has rapidly spread throughout the world with many people showing their support by refraining from using community provided water sources or enthusiastically participating in viral activities on Facebook.

The United Nations focuses on using this day to promote the UN recommendations for water resources and encouraging themed activities. In 2011, the theme was responding to the growing challenge of providing clean and adequate water to cities. With as many as half of the world’s population living in cities and the population growing exponentially, addressing these concerns is of paramount importance. This urban growth is taking place primarily in poor and developing countries with as many of 40% of the urban expansion creating giant slums. It is projected that until 2020, as many as 27 million people will be moving to urban slums every year. Where will all of these people find safe, clean drinking water?

For many communities, the answer is going to lie in water recycling. By collecting rainwater in tanks & treating to make it potable, it is possible to relieve reliance on the community’s water resources. Often the communities are simply unable to provide adequate piped water, so the people living in poverty or near poverty situations have to make do without. In some areas, water recycling makes it possible to entirely replace the full amount of water with safe drinking water. Not only will this prevent people from drinking water from the polluted bodies of water, it keeps the community from needing to maintain and treat large reservoirs of water.

Water recycling in urban communities is most cost effective when modular water tanks are placed on the roofs. Smaller tanks can be placed underneath the rain gutters below in order to catch the run-off water. Depending on the use of the collected water, it can then be treated for drinking or used directly from the tanks for purposes appropriate for grey water.

Being careful to conserve water is important for everybody, but in poor urban areas, failing to do so will expose everybody to unsafe conditions. Proper water recycling can help keep the communities healthy and thriving. Water recycling will provide clean drinking water and prevent further environmental pollution.

A Quarter Of The Worlds Population Is Without Safe Drinking Water

Interesting facts about water and the treatment of:

A quarter of the worlds population is without safe drinking water.

Less than 1% of the water treated by public water systems is used for drinking and cooking.

In the time it took you to read these first three facts another child has just died in the developing world from unsafe drinking water.

According to NASA the natural rotation of the Earth has been altered slightly by some 10 trillion tons of water stored in reservoirs over the past 40 years.

Water makes up 75% of the human brain. 75% of trees are also made from water!

Water expands by 9% when it freezes, making it less dense, which is why ice floats on water.

You could live for a month without food, but you would be dead after a week without water!

In the United States forty-eight million people receive their drinking water from private or household wells.

500,000 tons of pollutants pour into lakes and rivers each day in the US alone.

Once it evaporates, a water molecule spends around ten days in the air.

If you donated 10 or $15 to providing Safe Water that would be enough to give one person safe water for life.

1 Gallon (approx 5 litres) of oil can cause an eight-acre oil slick if spilled or dumped down a storm sewer!

97% of the worlds water is salty or otherwise undrinkable, 2% is stored in glaciers and the ice caps, the remaining 1% is left for humanity’s needs.

Average domestic water consumption = 157 litres per day.

Average daily cost per household = 81 pence per day.

The average household water bill has increased 39.1% since 1989.

The roof on an average 4-bed family home captures more than 100,000 litres of rainwater each year.

A typical family uses 70,000 litres of water each year on toilet flushing, clothes washing and outside use.

One third of all water used in the home gets flushed down the toilet.

Rainharvesting can replace up to 50% of a household mains water consumption, and up to 85% on commercial installations.

Collecting rain from your roof reduces surface water by approximately 60% per plot.

Rainwater harvesting in Germany is over 100 times the current use in the UK.

Rainwater harvesting in the UK has increased by approximately 300% in the last two years.

World Oceans Day

Since today is World Oceans Day, I wanted to write a blog about how large, national companies are embracing this day to donate money or support this cause, especially in the wake of the BP disaster. So I trolled Google for about 15 minutes and found…nothing. That surprised me. I mean, I am a firm believer that you should do the right thing because it’s right, not just because it’s good business or good PR, but come on! If I was an oil company (besides BP, of course, because that would be ridiculous), I would take every opportunity to support this cause, especially this year. Reap the benefits of BP’s mistake! I don’t really think many oil companies necessarily care about the oceans, but couldn’t you just take a fraction of your billion dollar profits and donate some money for a few years (you know, to make it seem like you genuinely care and are not doing it for the good PR?) But even if you are doing it for good PR alone, I guess that’s better than not doing it at all. Someone has to clean up this mess.

One thing a company could do: sponsor this art exhibit. I feel that art or something tangible gets attention faster than an old press release and I think this one is great. In honor of Jack Cousteau’s 100th birthday, Plastic Century, a hybrid science, art and futures project, is asking visitors at California Academy of Sciences to drink water from four different coolers, each filled with plastic and each are labeled a different year. The coolers are meant to represent what our oceans looked like or will look like at the given periods of time, which range from 1910 to 2030. I’ll give you one guess which one has the most plastic. The creators hope that with each drink, people will feel a rising level of disgust and will be moved to do something to clean our water. After all, 2030 isn’t here yet and our water doesn’t have to look that way. Any company who supported something like this would have my lifelong loyalty.

Changes in World Water Supplies Over the Last Decades

When you read about world water supplies the information presents a very grim picture for many countries. There is a lot of talk about global warming and it is a hotly debated topic. But the truth is that whether or not you believe it is a fact, the warming of the earth’s surface is leading to significant chances in rainfall patterns.

Global warming is a term used to describe the increase in the earth’s average temperature. In the last 100 years, the surface temperature of the earth has risen by 1 degree Fahrenheit or.8 degrees Celsius. That may not sound like a lot but it has led to major changes in where and when rain falls. It has also led to some melting of the polar glaciers which also changes the sea level. When sea levels change, rainfall patterns change too.

Thirsty World

When the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, addressed a forum in January 2008 on the availability of clean and safe water, it quickly became clear there are many parts of the world where water is a scarce resource. Places such as the Middle East and North Africa, parts of China, India and Australia are experiencing droughts which are expected to get worse. Australia, for example, has experienced a 30 year drought due to warm ocean currents and it is not expected to end anytime soon.

The United Nations presentation made many people much more aware that the changes in world water supplies over the last decades is producing a serious shortage of safe drinking water in many nations. In China the Yangtze River does not even have enough water to reach the sea any more. The many people who rely on the river for potable water and irrigation are at risk, because in the next 10 years there may not be enough water in the river to support the populations.

Up to one-third of the United States and one-fifth of Spain is dealing with a shortage of water. The polar glaciers are melting and causing climate changes in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Major river tributaries around the world are drying up and even normally dry countries are getting drier. A drought in Africa in the 1980s and 1990s led to the decimation of up to 60% of African herds. Countries such as Israel and many Arab nations face severe water shortages.

The World Health Organization reports there are currently 1.1 billion people in the world right now who do not have access to adequate water supplies. Rain water tanks are being used in many areas as an inexpensive and practical way to collect rain that does fall. The prediction is that there will be up to two-thirds of the world lacking clean water by the year 2025.

A Dry Australia

Australia is normally dry which is why there is a large arid interior. But global warming and El Niño, a warm ocean current, have exacerbated the problem. With the changes in the climate have come changes in the rainfalls. In some cases there is actually more rain, but it comes in more intense and brief rainfalls. Global warming has resulted in rainfall that is not evenly distributed in either Australia or around the world.

It is going to take a coordinated world response to the rainfall changes in order to insure people have access to enough water. Australians have been proactive by developing solutions such as rainwater tanks, which collect rain water when it does fall, for later use. It is predicted that the tank water collections systems will one day be a major source of even potable water as the drought continues. Installing a rain water tank now will prepare you for whatever rainfall changes happen in the future.

Commercial Water Tanks

Water tanks are one of the commonly used products that are being used in various industries. There are different applications that employ the use of water tanks. Some of the types of water tanks include potable water tanks, rain water tanks, waste water treatment tanks, process water tanks, fuel storage tanks, or chemical storage tanks etc.

Since ages, the primary aim of tanks is to meet storage requirements. In early days, people were making clay tanks to store food and water. In homes, we also use different kinds of water tanks to meet our water requirements. These tanks are designed specifically to provide adequate storage as well as safe drinking water.

Companies involved into construction, manufacturing or chemical industries need high quality durable giant tanks to ensure proper storage and safety of the materials. They have a limited space and want to utilize that space properly to maintain safety as well as storage. In order to make the limited space good, tank manufacturing companies totally customized solutions in terms of size, shape, material used, and space.

There are various applications of water tanks that include rain harvesting, rural, community, mining, export, re-roofing, grants, metropolitan, farm, commercial, re-lining, schools, fire water, industrial, and servicing etc.

For instance, there should be proper hygiene in school tanks as a slight amount of contaminants can cost lives of hundreds of children. Tank manufacturing companies provides assessments of a school’s water storage requirements and makes sound recommendations as to the collection, accurate placement of the storage tanks, and the redistribution options to supply toilet systems, or for reticulation of gardens.

In today’s world where underground water is receding rapidly, there is a strong need for rain water tanks. The rain water that you save can be essentially used to supply your toilets and irrigation. It also leads to save our natural resources.

Well Water Filtration Systems

Having your own independent source of water is an advantage that many people enjoy these days. If you are one of them, you may be aware of the risks that arise from the use of well water if it’s not treated correctly. While municipal tap water, in most regions, covers all the requirements for safety and taste that local and world water organizations standardize, it’s a different situation when it comes to well water. With the proper use of well water filtration systems you can aim to bring your water to a higher level of quality. Another benefit is that you have the freedom to customize what affects its taste and smell.

If someone tells you that you can consume your well water without chlorine treatment for an extended period of time, don’t believe them. There is not such thing as decent, safe well water filtration not utilizing chlorine. Some of the best systems go to such extent as to use tri-chlorine for optimal treatment. The good news is that chlorine is removed before the water reaches your faucets, with the use of additional layers of filtration.

A very contradictory opinion exists about reverse osmosis water filters. The arguments come from the fact that this method removes all minerals from water. It has been recently discovered that some of those minerals are essential for our well being. The defenders of the method claim that public water supplies contain only bad minerals that can lead to health problems. Yet world water organizations say that there are many benefits for our organism which minerals provide, sustaining the balance of vital functions in our bodies.

Before you get confused, it is important to note that the first and fore-most thing you can do to clear up the picture is to have your well water thoroughly analyzed by a trusted local authority or laboratory. By interpreting the data and consulting specialists you will become aware of what contaminants and level of pollution your well and the water inside it have, in order to take measures.

While reverse osmosis can be used at some exit points in your house, it is not a suggested system to use for the water purification on its path from your well to the house. A great many modern methods exist that effectively remove chlorine and organic substances from water while restructuring the water on atom level to give it much higher hydration and antioxidant effects. It’s good to note that these effects are short-lasting as the body is able to recover its natural pH balance, but there are still some benefits from a long-term usage.

By employing ion-resins and magnetic surfaces, and with the combination of secondary filtering units acting as pre- and post-filters, a complete purification can be achieved. At the same time the waste of water, slow speed and demilitarization that accompany reverse osmosis or distillation methods are avoided.

If there is a risk for contamination to your water well or you’re not so sure about the purity of water in it, you simply can’t afford to save on expenses. After all you want to guarantee the long-term health of yourself and your family, right? Utilizing the correct well water filtration system is just a matter of careful research and consideration. Once made, this decision would improve the quality of your life and let you enjoy cool fresh water for years to come.