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200 Green Tips


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200 Green Tips

  1. 1. 200 GREEN TIPS for Living in India • Only print if it is absolutely necessary. • If you do print, use both sides of the paper. • Get your office to turn the air-conditioning up by 1 degree this month. • Next month ask them to increase it by another degree. Each degree rise in AC temperature can save up to 10% of a building’s energy bill and consumption. • Call for an official energy audit to be done on your office building. • If you are going to use a car, buy a small car which is practical to get around and has higher fuel efficiency. • Check the tire pressure the first of every month to ensure it is still sound to save on petrol needs. • Think about living as close to your work as possible, this reduces your commute and drastically helps reduce your travel emissions. • Shame others on the public transport that litter or spit by asking them to respect the facilities so they are more pleasant for everyone to use. • Skip unnecessary business trips and do telephone conferencing instead. • Plan ahead and combine all your errands into one trip to save on emissions. • Ask your office to subscribe to Down To Earth and Sanctuary Asia magazines to find out more climate issues in India. • Carry your own coffee mugs to office. Avoid using disposable cups. • Develop an awareness chart in your office or home where everyone can see a list of ways they can reduce their carbon footprint. • If you see anyone littering or wasting water or food, sit them down and explain to them how this adversely affects our climate. • Carpool to office with friends and colleagues who live around you. • When purchasing a home, ask the developer what energy saving principles they have implemented • Always buy ice cream in a cone so as not to add to the garbage created from the spoon and cup. • Create the habit of taking only what you need in every situation. • Try and buy foods and goods that were produced locally. • Stick to a vegetarian diet. The consumption of livestock leads up to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases.
  2. 2. • If going veg is to hard of a move than make sure you at least avoid beef at all costs as this is the biggest contributor to green house gases. • If you must eat meat or fish, buy it from local sources and flavor it with local ingredients. • Add all the used paper in your house in one stack to give to the kabaadiwala. • Take nature trips to natural parks nearby, but remember to leave no traces and respect the environment. • Never release balloons outside, and avoid using them for outdoor events. • Create innovative décor and cards from recycled materials for weddings and special occasions instead of high-energy consuming materials. • Ask for birthday presents to be eco-friendly and wrapped in old newspaper. • Use LED lighting with light paper decoration around your house instead of bright burning lights. • For the next festival you celebrate, avoid adding emissions to the air with firecrackers. • Wash dishes in a tub instead of under a running tap. • Keep your water heater on for 5-7 minutes only (and only when you really need warm water) as heating water takes a significant amount of energy. • Take short showers! • Continue to take a bucket shower if it is your habit. • Study your water bill and set goals to reduce your water consumption by 5% more every month for the next 6 months. See how low you can go. • If there is a garden near your building, ask that the groundkeeper only water during the early morning or evening to avoid extra water needed to compensate evaporation. • Leave grass clippings on top of a garden to act as a natural fertilizer. • Fix a water leak as soon as you see one. • Steam rather than boil vegetables to save 25% of water needed. • On cool evenings leave your windows open instead of switching on the AC. • Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room. • Completely shut down your TV and computer from the power point when you are not using it. • Read through your energy bill and find out the amount of electricity you are consuming. Then make a goal to reduce your consumption by 5% next month, 5% the following month, and see how much lower you can go. • The money you save on your energy bill, use it to donate for green initiatives, or investing in a more energy efficient appliance at home. • When painting your home, use natural Indian paints and stick to lighter colors so that they compliment natural light coming in. • Implement solar thermal heating in your building and you will actually start saving money very quickly. • Ask your building society to change the building and hall lights to LEDs and CFLs. • CFLs will save up to 66% in energy consumption. LEDs require even less energy! • Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. • Look into rainwater harvesting for your buildings water resource needs.
  3. 3. • Invest in renewable energy consumption, their market is growing at a time when many markets are unstable, and you are also helping to develop their scale and efficiency. • Promote renewables such as solar, wind, and hydro as solutions to our climate problem. • Do not ask for a plastic bag from a shopkeeper if the items are few enough to carry by hand. • Do not accept free promotional materials that are being handed out with lots of packaging. • If you have a choice, look for items sold in glass jars or easily reusable materials rather than plastic. • There is a natural farming movement called ‘Nanak Kheti’ lead by Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM), where you can buy organic foods. Find out about how you can source food from them. • Eat more raw vegetables which are healthier for you as well as saves on cooking energy. • Replace chemical cleaners with good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar and go for biodegradable dishwashing soap. • Pack lunches in reusable lunch bags and washable containers instead of plastic wrap and bags. • The plastic bags you already have at home should be washed and reused. • Always carry a cloth bag with you to bring home any purchases. • Reuse the water used to wash veggies and fruits for watering your plants. • Keep and reuse all your rubber bands, paper clips, boxes and packaging material. • Garments such as socks and undergarments do not need to be ironed, so save the energy. • Check to make sure your refrigerator door seals when closes so that you don’t consume extra energy to keep things cool. • Heat the water in a kettle not in open pot. • Use smaller pots for cooking small portions. • If you need two cups water for tea fill your kettle with only two cups. A lot of energy will be wasted heating up a full kettle full of water. • Instead of boiling water for drinking, buy a filter on the market that uses little or no energy to purify your water. • Soak lentils and rice for several hours before cooking to reduce the time and gas needed to cook it. • Regularly cleaning the condenser coils found in the back or bottom of the refrigerator will maximize its efficiency. • Keep the refrigerator away from heating appliances (ovens), windows and heating ducts. • Allow hot food to cool off before putting it in the refrigerator. • Do not put uncovered liquids in the refrigerator. The liquids give off vapours that add to the compressor workload. • Outdoor lightblulbs can change to LEDs, which require even less energy than CFLs.
  4. 4. • When ordering food in, ask in advance for them not to include the napkins and plastic utensils. • Keep plants in your home to help moderate the temperature, air quality, and keep you naturally feeling cool. • Next time you want to buy something you don’t need, wait thirty days and then make the decision to avoid impulse buys. • Eat unprocessed and unpackaged food whenever possible. • Plant a tree that is indigenous to the area where you plant it. • Replace paper napkins in your home with cloth napkins. • If you use toilet paper, stick to the bleach free ones that are made from recycled sources. • Pass old clothes, books, shoes, electronics, and other household items to schools, orphanages and shelters in need. • Send extra hangers to your local dry cleaners. • Donate old eyeglasses to a nearby optometrist clinic. • When dealing with hazardous waste (chemicals, paints, batteries), make sure you find out the proper place to dispose of them instead of adding them to the regular trash. • If your clothes are clean, do not get them washed after wearing them just once. • Dress warmly when it is cold instead of using a heating device. • At the next family gathering, ask for ten minutes to give a presentation about global warming and what needs to be done to mitigate it. Use the statistics and tips you have learned in this diary to give them ways to get involved. • Write to your favorite Bollywood actor, restaurant owner, hotel owner, movie theatre, or band and ask them to go green with you. • Write to your local MP, ministers in the government, and police station, about why the environment is a priority for you and your vote. • Research information about climate change and keep reading the newspapers for latest studies and facts. • Ask your favorite magazine and newspaper to offer more coverage of the green space. • Call your local TV station and ask them to start covering stories related to climate change and the environment. • Discover new parts of your region rather than take holidays far from home. • Sign up for The Climate Project – India monthly newsletter and visit our website for updated information on Climate Change. • Organize a screening of The Inconvenient Truth movie with your friends. • Support environmental organizations with your actions and funding. • Check the internet for a Carbon Calculator website so you are conscious of your carbon footprint. • Keep the window shades open to allow natural light so you can turn off some of the lights. • Walk wherever possible, and find stores near your home to get the things you need. • When choosing an item, think about the amount of energy used to make it before making the purchasing decision.
  5. 5. ECO FACTS! • Eco Facts! The Earth’s most vulnerable part is its atmosphere because it is so thin. In relative terms, it is equivalent to a coat of varnish on a ball. • Eco Facts! 99% of our atmosphere is oxygen and nitrogen. • Eco Facts! Carbon dioxide makes up only less than .04% of the air. • Eco Facts! At all times of year, the average surface temperature of the Earth is 15 degrees Celsius. • Eco Facts! Greenhouse gases, and not just the distance from the sun, are the main determinants for the average temperature of a planet. • Eco Facts! If temperature solely depended on a planet’s distance from the sun, then Earth would be minus 15 degrees. • Eco Facts! Carbon dioxide (CO2) comes from burning fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) to produce energy, drive cars, and power factories. • Eco Facts! Carbon dioxide is also emitted into the air when we cut down and burn trees (which are natural carbon sinks). • Eco Facts! Deforestation emissions amount to 8 billion tonnes per year. • Eco Facts! In India, over 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. • Eco Facts! Almost 30% of the CO2 emitted yearly worldwide comes from burning down forests and using wood fires for cooking. • Eco Facts! In India, almost 80% of trees which are cut down are used for cooking fuel. • Eco Facts! Wood fires are the only way rural populations in India can cook their food without access to electricity or gas. • Eco Facts! IPCC reports that every year half a million children/women in India die from wood fire burning indoors. • Eco Facts! Even if we stopped all emission from Carbon dioxide today, the earth would still warm by 0.6 degrees Celsius due to the stock of carbon in the air. • Eco Facts! The second biggest greenhouse gas is methane (CH4), and it comes from landfills, livestock farming, wastewater treatment, fossil fuel burning and other industrial pollutants. • Eco Facts! Methane levels are high in livestock farming. It is usually found in guts in cows, sheep and water buffalos. • Eco Facts! Farm lands also emit quite a bit of methane and nitrous oxide into the air. • Eco Facts! Most waste emissions come from methane over landfills. • Eco Facts! Agriculture leads to 13% of greenhouse gas emissions, and its levels are likely to increase rapidly in India due to new implementations of new farming techniques. • Eco Facts! IPCC reports that greenhouse gases from agriculture will increase by up to 37% before 2030.
  6. 6. • Eco Facts! Nitrous oxide (N2O) is another harmful gas, and humans have increased these levels by about 17% due to our forest burning and industrialization developments. • Eco Facts! Water vapor also acts as a greenhouse gas, and it increases when the Earth’s temperature increases due to other greenhouse gases, thereby accelerating temperature rises • Eco Facts! International Energy Agency says that standby mode in appliances leads to 1 % of world’s greenhouse gas emissions. • Eco Facts! Transport makes up 13% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. • Eco Facts! There will be over a billion vehicles on the road by 2030, and two billion by 2050. • Eco Facts! Delhi has had a 71% increase in four-wheeler emissions and a 61% increase in two wheeler emissions in the last five years alone. • Eco Facts! A return flight from NYC-LON is 1.5 tonnes per passenger, same as the average Indian emits in a year. • Eco Facts! Buildings directly cause 9 billion tonnes of CO2eq per year which is equivalent to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases emissions. • Eco Facts! Because we are a newly developing economy, the majority of our cities and buildings are still waiting to be built, and we have the option to leapfrog and promote best practices. • Eco Facts! Industry accounts for 12 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases which is 25% of world total. • Eco Facts! In the history of the Earth whenever carbon dioxide levels have raised it has been followed by a rise in temperatures. • Eco Facts! Carbon dioxide is measured using part per million volume (ppmv). • Eco Facts! Today carbon dioxide has reached 387 parts per million and is rising by 2-3 ppmv per year. • Eco Facts! After studying 600,000 years back and more, scientists have failed to find any other time in our Earth’s history where CO2 levels had been above 300 ppmv. • Eco Facts! Carbon dioxide levels of 550 ppmv will mean around 3.5 degree Celsius rises in temperature. • Eco Facts! If we continue in a business as usual way to produce energy, in 45 years our Carbon dioxide levels will reach 600 ppmv. • Eco Facts! Even a one degree rise in Earth’s temperature can mean detrimental impacts to all the Earth’s ecosystems. • Eco Facts! The hottest year on record is 2005. • Eco Facts! Because warmer temperatures lead to changed levels of evaporation, rain cycles have become erratic all over the world. • Eco Facts! As oceans begin to get warmer, storms brewing over them increase in intensity leading to the stronger cyclones and hurricanes.
  7. 7. • Eco Facts! On July 26, 2005 thirty seven inches of rain fell on Mumbai in 24 hours, more than any other city has ever suffered from in recorded history. • Eco Facts! There has been a record breaking increase of super cyclones in the Bay of Bengal in the last few years. • Eco Facts! 2004 saw unprecedented storm activity, with the first ever hurricane ravishing Brazil’s coast, and a new record of 10 typhoons in one season for Japan. • Eco Facts! Hurricane Katrina pulverized the coast of New Orleans, United States, leaving billions of dollars in damage and thousands homeless. • Eco Facts! Intensified desertification of areas in Northern India, are due to the increase in global temperature. • Eco Facts! Food import prices have risen by 90% since 2000 in developing countries • Eco Facts! The rate of extinction of animals has increased at rapid rates in the last hundred years. • Eco Facts! The IPCC has predicted that between 20-30% of all species on Earth could become extinct by the end of the century. • Eco Facts! In 1998, almost 90% of the coral in the Andaman Islands was temporarily bleached due to a combination of El Nino and global warming. • Eco Facts! We now have “dead zones” in the ocean which are devoid of life due to rise in acidity levels from carbon dioxide absorption. • Eco Facts! Vectors such as mosquitoes, tsetse flies, lice, rodents, ticks and fleas thrive in our new warmer temperatures and easily spread more disease. • Eco Facts! Almost all of the mountain glaciers in the world are now melting at increased rates. • Eco Facts! The Himalayan glaciers are melting at a rate of up to 10-15 meters per year. • Eco Facts! Business as usual means an almost complete loss of Himalayan glaciers by 2050. • Eco Facts! Himalayan cities at altitudes which used to be above the mosquito line are now swarming with them. • Eco Facts! The Himalayan glaciers provide 40% of the world’s population with drinking water, through seven Asian river systems. • Eco Facts! The Yellow, Mekong, Yangtze, Salween, Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus, all originate on the same Himalayan plateau. • Eco Facts! “The rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers will first increase the volume of water in rivers, causing widespread flooding. But in a few decades this situation will change and the water level in rivers will decline, meaning massive eco and environmental problems for people in western China, Nepal and northern India.” - Jennifer Morgan, Director WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme. • Eco Facts! Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is all land based ice, which means it is up to 3,000 meters deep on average • Eco Facts! Melting land based ice like Antarctica is very dangerous because it raises sea levels as it melts.
  8. 8. • Eco Facts! Already, we are losing 300 Crore tons of water per year from the Antarctic. • Eco Facts! The population of Emperor Penguins on Antarctica has decreased by an estimated 70% over the last fifty years because their habitat is melting. • Eco Facts! The Arctic ice cap is on average 3 meters thick and is very susceptible to higher temperatures. • Eco Facts! In 2005 we saw a loss of 130 lakh sq km of ice cover over the Arctic. • Eco Facts! Polar bears are becoming extinct because their ice lands are disappearing. • Eco Facts! If Greenland melted into the sea (which is already happening at a slow pace) it would raise sea levels worldwide by over 6 meters. • Eco Facts! The more than 3 billion people who live within 200 km from a coast will be directly affected by rising sea levels. • Eco Facts! In Calcutta and Bangladesh, 60 million people would become climate refugees If Greenland’s ice melts. • Eco Facts! Business as usual means a complete loss of 30% of India’s coral by 2035. • Eco Facts! The Kyoto Protocol was established in ______ and ____ countries have signed on to promise to reduce their carbon emissions and stop the warming of the climate. • Eco Facts! It also established the Clean Development Mechanism and Carbon Exchange market to create incentives for reducing carbon emissions at state and private levels. • Eco Facts! The Carbon Exchange Market acts like a financial market where people trade carbon credits. • Eco Facts! Research and development in renewable and carbon alternatives are key to lowering our carbon emission. • Eco Facts! Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) refers to technologies that can take the carbon dioxide we emit and take it out of the atmosphere; there is still much R & D needed in this space. • Eco Facts! Trees and vegetation are the best working examples of a mechanism for carbon capture and storage. • Eco Facts! The average tree planted will sequester over a 1 ton of carbon in its lifetime. • Eco Facts! Bangladesh has one of the most effective typhoon warning systems- men with bicycles whistle messages to villages who have been drilled to move to higher land. Although typhoons have gotten worse, death rates have plummeted. • Eco Facts! IEA predicts up to 90% less CO2 reduction in emissions from switching to sugar cane biofuels. • Eco Facts! Developed countries are looking to corn biofuels as an alternative, which has created a controversial debate about food production being directed in a new manner. • Eco Facts! Biofuels only emit less carbon if there is no clearing of forestland or draining of peat lands in the process.
  9. 9. • Eco Facts! IEA predicts that more than $20 trillion needs to be invested between now and 2030 to meet global power needs. • Eco Facts! Hydro generated power can have detrimental costs to ecosystems and is excluded by the UN in the Clean Development Mechanism. • Eco Facts! In 2004 Hydro generated power represented 5 % of global energy • Eco Facts! Hydro generated power represented 90% of the renewable energy market. • Eco Facts! India has one of the lowest efficiency coal thermal plants. • Eco Facts! A country like the United Kingdom needs 60 GW of power, and an average power plan generates 0.5 GW of power. • Eco Facts! Wind energy makes up only 0.2% of the world’s energy usage. • Eco Facts! Currently India is ranked 4th in wind power capacity. • Eco Facts! Due to mismanagement, much of India’s wind power plants works at low efficiency levels. • Eco Facts! We could satisfy our energy needs 10,000 times over by the amount of sunlight that falls on our Earth. • Eco Facts! If only 1% of our deserts were used for solar power generation, electricity from there could meet the entire world’s global energy needs expected in 2030. • Eco Facts! Even with efforts to change energy generation habits, IEA predicts at least 50% of our energy will still come from fossil fuels in 2050. • Eco Facts! The United States is responsible for 30.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. • Eco Facts! All of Southeast Asia makes up 12.2% of the greenhouse gas emissions. • Eco Facts! The average American emits over 20 tons of carbon per year. • Eco Facts! The average Indian emits 1.2 tons of carbon per year (1.6 tons including all the other Greenhouse Gases). • Eco Facts! India’s carbon emission rates are so low because over 400 million of us don’t have access to any form of electricity. • Eco Facts! According to the IEA, India will require $1.25 trillion invested in energy infrastructure between 2006-2030. • Eco Facts! States like Rajasthan have some of the highest potential for solar power generation in the world. • Eco Facts! In most parts of India, the amount of rains that fall during monsoons are more than substantial to last the year if we implement rainwater harvesting. • Eco Facts! In 2007 Richard Branson announced $25 million prize for anyone who can find a way of removing 1 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year for a decade. The deadline of the competition is in 2010. • Eco Facts! Research is underway to capture methane from landfills and dams and turn it into energy. • Eco Facts! France’s electricity is already 80% nuclear making their train system one of the most eco-friendly around.
  10. 10. • Eco Facts! The United States has the highest amount of installed power capacity at 1076 GW. • Eco Facts! China has 710 GW of installed capacity. • Eco Facts! With a 145 GW of installed capacity, India is currently ranked 5th worldwide, even though our low efficiency levels means we rarely generate at peak potential.