Jumat, 04 Februari 2011

CNG: Delhi saved; hero forgotten

ON THE SIDE of every bus operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is the signage "The world’s largest eco- friendly bus", highlighting the fact that the DTC fleet does not any more operate on diesel, but on environment-friendly compressed natural gas. It wasn’t always so. Till, early 2002, DTC operate its 10,000 bus fleet on diesel and so did the many private operators in the city. The story of the switchover to CNG for public transport in Delhi goes back to 1985 when lawyer and environmental activist M C Mehta filed a public-interest litigation before the Supreme Court against the failure of the government to protect the environment. The court then passed a series of orders to reduce harmful emissions, but getting them implemented took several years of maintaining pressure on the government.

The Environment Pollution and Control Authority (EPCA) — better known as the Bhure Lal committee — formed after a court order, played a key role. Its advice was that taxis and autos should switch to clean fuel, that buses older than eight years be banned and, most importantly, that the entire bus fleet should shift to CNG by March 31, 2001. The Supreme Court adopted the EPCA’s recommendations in its order on July 28, 1998. For two-and-a-half years, following that order, little happened beyond a CNG bus trial. Then, in January 2001, bus operators sought an extension for conversion to CNG, claiming that the
technology was untested and that CNG filling stations were not available in adequate numbers. However, in spite of numerous attempts to scuttle the process, the entire fleet of buses was eventually converted to CNG.

By filing landmark public interest petitions, first to protect the Taj Mahal, then to reduce pollution in Delhi by insisting on the use of CNG and now recently by approaching the Supreme Court against the rampant commercialization of residential areas of Delhi in active connivance of the Municipal Corporation, M C Mehta has shown the road — that changes can some times be made through advocacy — which is a combination of skill, tact, persistence, grit and determination. Anybody who reads newspapers in Delhi, cannot but notice the notifications issued by various organs of the government from time to time in pursuance of court directives in response to the petitions — M CMehta Vs the Union of India.

For 15 years, Mehta has showed how courts can preserve and restore clean air and water for millions of people who have long suffered from uncontrolled pollution that threatened health and even lives. He has challenged the government and thousands of industries in court. Mehta has been called a "green messiah" by some and a meddling devil by others. But no one doubts the man’s impact. "He has changed the country," says Menaka Gandhi, Former Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests. "Before M. C. Mehta, not many people believed that the system worked."

While India has had laws protecting the environment, they weren’t being enforced satisfactorily. Mehta’s law suites, on the other hand, are based on the article in the constitution, which guarantees the right to life. The Supreme Court has broadened the clause to include the right to a healthy environment, one that doesn’t threaten life. Incidentally, while Mehta won the Ramon Magsaysay award for Public service as far back as 1997 as well as other international awards, he hasn’t won in India — even the Padma Shree — a telling comment perhaps on the importance given to environmental activism in India.

From: http://www.merinews.com/article/cng-delhi-saved-hero-forgotten/123569.shtml

Selasa, 11 Januari 2011

3 R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)


The best way to manage waste is to not produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines:

* Buy products in bulk. Larger, economy-size products or ones in concentrated form use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce.
* Avoid over-packaged goods, especially ones packed with several materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. They are difficult to recycle, plus you pay more for the package.
* Avoid disposable goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, razors, and lighters. Throwaways contribute to the problem, and cost more because they must be replaced again and again.
* Buy durable goods - ones that are well-built or that carry good warranties. They will last longer, save money in the long run and save landfill space.
* At work, make two-sided copies when ever possible.
* Maintain central files rather than using several files for individuals.
* Use electronic mail or main bulletin board.
* Remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer want to receive.
* Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
* Use a dish cloth instead of paper towels.

It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity:

* Reuse products for the same purpose. Save paper and plastic bags, and repair broken appliances, furniture and toys.
* Reuse products in different ways. Use a coffee can to pack a lunch; use plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes.
* Sell old clothes, appliances, toys, and furniture in garage sales or ads, or donate them to charities.
* Use resealable containers rather than plastic wrap.
* Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of paper cups.
* Reuse grocery bags or bring your own cloth bags to the store. Do not take a bag from the store unless you need one.

Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, remanufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and at work:

* Buy products made from recycled material. Look for the recycling symbol or ask store managers or salesmen. The recycling symbol means one of two things - either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled. For instance, many plastic containers have a recycling symbol with a numbered code the identifies what type of plastic resin it is made from. However, just because the container has this code does not mean it can be easily recycled locally.
* Check collection centers and curbside pickup services to see what they accept, and begin collecting those materials. These can include metal cans, newspapers, paper products, glass, plastics and oil.
* Consider purchasing recycled materials at work when purchasing material for office supply, office equipment or manufacturing.
* Speak to store managers and ask for products and packaging that help cut down on waste, such as recycled products and products that are not over packaged.
* Buy products made from material that is collected for recycling in your community.
* Use recycled paper for letterhead, copier paper and newsletters.

Source: http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm

Kamis, 06 Januari 2011

100 Ways to Save The Environment

In Your Home – Conserve Energy
1. Clean or replace air filters on your air conditioning unit at least once a month.
2. If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
3. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
4. Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
5. Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
6. Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
7. Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
8. When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
9. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
10. Unplug seldom used appliances.
11. Use a microwave when- ever you can instead of a conventional oven or stove.
12. Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
13. Reverse your indoor ceiling fans for summer and winter operations as recommended.
14. Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
15. Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refridgerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.
16. Only use electric appliances when you need them.
17. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
18. Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
19. Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away
20. Insulate your home as best as you can.
21. Install weather stripping around all doors and windows.
22. Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
23. Plant trees to shade your home.
24. Shade outside air conditioning units by trees or other means.
25. Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.
26. Use cold water instead of warm or hot water when possible.
27. Connect your outdoor lights to a timer.
28. Buy green electricity - electricity produced by low - or even zero-pollution facilities (NC Greenpower for North Carolina - www.ncgreenpower.org). In your home-reduce toxicity.

In Your Home – Reduce Toxicity
29. Eliminate mercury from your home by purchasing items without mercury, and dispose of items containing mercury at an appropriate drop-off facility when necessary (e.g. old thermometers).
30. Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.
31. Buy the right amount of paint for the job.
32. Review labels of household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, water or a little more elbow grease.
33. When no good alternatives exist to a toxic item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result.
34. If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wall paper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
35. Use traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers.
36. Have your home tested for radon.
37. Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs.

In Your Yard
38. Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
39. Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
40. Leave grass clippings on the yard-they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
41. Use recycled wood chips as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
42. Use only the required amount of fertilizer.
43. Minimize pesticide use.
44. Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
45. Water grass early in the morning.
46. Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.
47. Take actions that use non hazardous components (e.g., to ward off pests, plant marigolds in a garden instead of using pesticide).
48. Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away. Yard debris too large for your compost bin should be taken to a yard-debris recycler.

In Your Office
49. Copy and print on both sides of paper.
50. Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
51. Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.
52. Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.
53. Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence.
54. Use recycled paper.
55. Use discarded paper for scrap paper.
56. Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
57. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.

Ways To Protect Our Air
58. Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
59. Recycle printer cartridges.
60. Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
61. Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
62. Don't use your wood stove or fireplace when air quality is poor.
63. Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires. They produce the largest amount of pollution.
64. Burn seasoned wood - it burns cleaner than green wood.
65. Use solar power for home and water heating.
66. Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
67. Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle.
68. Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
69. Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternative to lighter fluid.
70. If you use a wood stove, use one sold after 1990. They are required to meet federal emissions standards and are more efficient and cleaner burning.
71. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
72. Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.

Ways to Use Less Water
73. Check and fix any water leaks.
74. Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets.
75. Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously.
76. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
77. Follow your community's water use restrictions or guidelines.
78. Install a low-flow shower head.
79. Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
80. Turn off washing machine's water supply to prevent leaks.

Ways to Protect Our Water
81. Revegetate or mulch disturbed soil as soon as possible.
82. Never dump anything down a storm drain.
83. Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
84. Check your car for oil or other leaks, and recycle motor oil.
85. Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
86. Learn about your watershed.

Create Less Trash
87. Buy items in bulk from loose bins when possible to reduce the packaging wasted.
88. Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.
89. Buy products that you can reuse.
90. Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
91. Check reports for products that are easily repaired and have low breakdown rates.
92. Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
93. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
94. Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.
95. Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
96. Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
97. Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
98. Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials. Old newspapers make great packaging material.
99. Compost your vegetable scraps.
100. Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.

Source: http://www.seql.org/100ways.cfm

Selasa, 09 November 2010

What You Can Do:

There are simple steps we all can take to reduce waste and make sure plastic bags don't end up as litter.

Reduce: Shoppers can always decline a bag at checkout (is a bag really necessary for carrying that pack of gum?).

Reuse: More than 90 percent of consumers reuse their plastic grocery bags at home for purposes ranging from waste basket liners to lunch bags to pet clean up. What new ways can you think of to reuse your plastic bags? » Learn More

Recycle: Next time you head to your local grocer or retailer, remember to return those shopping bags, dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, diapers even the plastic bag that delivered the newspaper! Across the country, many grocers and retailers accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling. » Learn More

Recycling plastic bags and wraps is important because this valuable material can be made into dozens of useful new products such as low-maintenance fencing and decking, building and construction products, shopping carts, and of course, new bags!

Source: http://www.plasticbagfacts.org/Main-Menu/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.aspx

Rabu, 27 Oktober 2010

Facts About Plastic Bottles

* Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year.
* Nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill.
* It is estimated that the production of plastics accounts for 4 percent of the energy consumption in the U.S.
* HDPE and PET bottles showed the highest recycling rates of any plastic bottles types, at 27.1 and 23.1 percent, respectively.
* Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.
* Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
* Recycled plastic bottles can be made into products such as clothing, carpeting, detergent bottles and lumber for outdoor decking.
* More than 80 percent of U.S. households have access to a plastics recycling program through curbside or community drop-off centers.
* Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than required to make products from raw (virgin) materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/

Kamis, 14 Oktober 2010

Did you know?

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

* 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
* 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
* 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
* 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

* Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
* The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
* The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
* On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
* As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
* Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
* 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Source: http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/recycle.html

Kamis, 07 Oktober 2010

How far has Singapore gone with waste management?

Singapore has gone very far in waste management. Now, they are aiming at zero waste.
Pls check this site:

As usual, the campaign is carried out in Singaporean style --systematic and integrated.

When Indonesia will start this initiative?