Updates on Seawood lake project

I have been on a mission lately and I am happy. But the fact that things are not moving as I anticipated has me working harder on this. I had done a post on Save Seawood lake a few days ago.I was trying to send out emails and increase awareness about this project apart from scouting for people in the media who could help.

It is depressing to see real estate developers encroaching this lake by dumping debris and wanting to alter the natural landscape of this part of Mumbai.

 Image Source: Save Seawood Lake Group (Facebook)
 

  I have joined the facebook group called : Save Seawood Lake, dedicated for this project. HERE. (I did not have an account on facebook. But I joined in to be a part of this group. So I request you to make an effort and join this group…every vote counts!).

I wanted to share this information about the lake and the project. Inspite of all my research, I am sure I couldn’t written in better than Rajee herself. I quote the information stated on facebook page for the group.

“Seawoods Lake is located in Navi Mumbai … which is the city neighbouring the financial capital of India … Mumbai.The entire creek surrounding this general geographic area is house to the most endangered mangroves … the government of India has today in effect stringent regulations to protect these mangroves.As you come up the Thane creek … please look at Seawoods lake (wikimapia.org) located very near the panvel creek … divided only by a abandoned manmade road … this lake is not considered a part of the mangroves and suddenly dumpers have started to fill this lake with debri from other construction sites … looking at the sudden drop in water levels … it is very obvious the water is being drained out .This lake is the backdrop of a school … and houses many wildlife species … including the migratory pelicans and flamingos at certain times of the year(like right now) … The Navi mumbai authorities are undertaking major projects in collaboration with NGO’s to save and protect the wetlands and the mangroves … also located close by is the office of the Konkan Commissioner … also working towards the protection of the mangroves … but somehow protection of this lake is becoming a case of … ‘slip through the cracks’ … Help us save this lake … it is part of the mangroves … it is the first line of defence for the local geographic area which is anyways a metre below sealevel. Incase of a repeat of a deluge tragedy like 26/7 this area would be a major disaster area in the absence of these mangroves … irrespective of whereyou are located geographically … let us all come together to prevent an ecological and environmental disaster.The authorities concerned need their attention drawn to this issue so that they take the urgent steps needed to save this lake .The mangroves are in danger if this lake is allowed to be drained away.Our belief and faith in our institutions and authorities keeps alive a flicker of hope.
By joining this group you will prove that protection of our environment is of utmost urgency … we don’t need scientist to warn us time and again … deepdown we all know.The polar caps are melting … sea levels are rising … tsunamis are no longer stuff of sci-fi movies…. the rains are diappearing … winters are shorter or lost in many parts … rainforests are diappearing … what more.
Help save this lake its part of our environment …our Earth … lets mend our ways … one step at a time… this may be our only chance … we haven’t yet got another place to go.”


Significant milestones for this Project:

  • Member strength on facebook: As on Dec 20th 2009 – 175 (More the merrier – Its for a cause – Join in)
  • An article in  the Mid Day : HERE:  Cry for me, Copenhagen             
Image source: the article
  • Hindustan Times mentioned the Signature Campaign started to save the lake. (participants- 600 residents)
Image source : Seawood lake Group on Facebook

Group Admin Rajee Sood updates the Facebook wall with the latest for all of us to feel the connection to this project orrespetive of where you live. Please do let me know if you are from the media or know someone in the media (in mumbai or elsewhere) and can help the project.

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Green Irene

Even the greenest of crusaders need inputs from fellow green beings from time to time. I keep researching for innovations happening in every sphere and industry to keep track of who is doing what, better than I am. As I always mention, living green is a journey. It is for us to be open to ideas so that we could improve on what we are already. Researching helps me to make changes for the better. My basic idea is also to read about which corporate is doing what in terms of making a difference to the environment. (they are the major force in how the world takes to green living. (Let us not buy their claim that they (corporates) are driven by customer demands, is it not logical that if they dint manufacture a non green product in the first place, things would happens for the better!…so first kick all the so called non green product inventors and innovators and the companies who mass produce them, invest in marketing the product, make money and forget about all the ruckus they create for the planet)

During one such researches is when I found this website – Green Irene. They are basically a product marketing company, with consultants in almost every possible state in the USA. What grabbed my attention is that apart from selling “green” products, this company also provide you with inputs to live  greener life while making small changes in ur home and office. I thought it would be great to mention it in my blog. I am not however convinced about the product packaging which is not green yet. I would recommend that you read through their blog and see if you can find anything that you would like to work on (in your lifestyle).

Find a Green Irene- Eco consultant near you ..their blog

Disclaimer:
The views expressed here are my own and am not promoting any company or product offered by them. I am not a part of Green Irene or any associates there off…this was one of my finds during my research for “green jobs” (I m jobless 🙂 )…until next time..take care

Why not to invest in gold – A social and economic perspective

Gold is one of the most over rated commodities in the investments market. Most commodities can be made to look lucrative by sheer manipulation by a group of well connected buyers. These buyers’ extensive networks, can fluctuate the supply and demand. Hence, it has been a point of debate among analysts about feasibility of opting for Gold as an investment option.

Unlike any other mineral or metal, gold can be mined in its pure form, also called raw gold. Investment in gold happens in three forms – jewelery, coins/ biscuits, and raw gold. I am not sure of the purity of gold jewelery we buy from jewelers in India. Although they claim to sell 22k jewelery gold, time and again, it has been proved that most jewelery is not more than 21k (most reliable sellers). So is there a real reason to go about accumulating gold in jewelery or any other form. There was a time say just a few years ago when investing in gold meant a washout investment with no dividends and an added headache of storage and safe guarding the metal. I do not want to delve more into the financial analysis part of owning GOLD.

Gold coins

Image source: i.ehow.com

Raw gold – nuggets

Image source: nevada-outback-gems.com

Major cause for concern is the dowry system prevalent in India. Even in the most decent of families, brides are put on a comparison chart for the amount of jewelery and money they bring into the family. Financial strain on a girl’s parent turns into a perfect alibi for female infanticide and foeticide in in India. Dowry system is a major strain and a huge emotional trauma for the girl as well. It is rather a matter of ridiculous pride to show off the loot for the groom’s family. It doesn’t stop there….greed leads to murder or suicide(Newspapers carry at least one story each day). Educated and well to do families don’t stop lusting for more money and literally auction off their sons in the marriage market. (Pathetic).

It is not a great thing though but, I too was among those who were taunted for not having enough gold. My parent’s financial situation, my aversion to gold and the compulsion to wear jewelery for my wedding led me to make some real fine pieces of precious stone jewelery in silver…ridiculous as it may seem but my family calls them artificial. Time and again I have tried making them see the economic and aesthetic perspective of my choice, but I failed..god save me……:).

A good friend of mine believes – heavier the bride’s wedding neck wear (mangal suthra /thaali), the better it is for her married life…(in a way yes!! she wont be tortured or insulted in her in-law’s home)….Are such thoughts nothing but justifications for the dowry system. I am not sure. My question – what about those families who cannot afford heavy jewelery?

I have been researching on the green perspective on gold mining. the post is turning out to be quite horrific…and its coming soon….

Go Green with your Chirstmas tree

Indian Christmas means people decorating plants and trees in their backyard/front yard. Climatic conditions and traditions in Americas, Europe and elsewhere have people putting up Christmas trees indoors to usher in the festive season.

In the USA and other developed parts of the world, retail chains stock up large quantities of real and fake Christmas trees. Long aisles are packed with plastic Christmas trees and other related decor.

I cannot keep myself from weighing the impact of these Christmas decor, buying and shipping gifts etc, have on the environment. Let us assume that we cannot forgo traditions and have to put a Christmas tree. The least we could do is to go green with your choice. Here is the tree at Washington DC senate. 🙂

Fake vs Real trees…
There has been a long standing debate on which was a more earth friendly choice – using a real tree or buying a plastic one. (Assuming that the plastic/factory made tree would be reused for a few years to come). As always, I set out researching for stats on what makes the earth bleed lesser (with regards to Christmas trees this time)…and found a few articles online. I thought I’d share snippets from my research.

Comparative carbon footprint (source: Earthtime.com )
One uses the same plastic tree for nearly 20 years to match their carbon footprint as one natural tree felled each year. As much as it is not great to chop trees, we may have to bear with people making this alternative to any plastic junk. More than 3 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced in the growing, transportation and disposal of a real tree compared with the 48 kilograms produced in the manufacture of the average artificial tree.

Why not plastic…
Most plastic trees are made of polyethylene (PEE) and the cheaper ones are made of poly vinyl chloride (PVC), both have high recycling cost and even when recycled have by products which are similar to tiny pellets. These pellet like bits end up in the digestive track of marine life and then into the food chain. Phew!

One thing is for sure, any plastic produced, is never going to go away…so the choice is nothing but a real tree, (the lesser evil angle!). If by using a plastic tree, you thought that you were saving a tree from being cut, think again, you are actually choosing to increase instances of neural disorders. It is not just a coincidence that issues such as ADHD, autism etc have become a cause of concern. Deep routed “throw away” culture, means that consistent use of anything is never a possibility. The plastic or any styrofoam trees would land in the garbage some day.

We also need to consider all the energy and resources spent on production, packaging and shipping of these trees to your living room. Plastic trees are known to contain lead and other toxins which will enter your home environment. Simply put, you are inviting neurological disorders into your life once you make a “plastic” choice with things.

Choosing a real tree doesn’t exactly mean that there are no issues either. Most real trees you buy from stores and nurseries are “farmed” there by wasting precious land and resources. Other impacts on the environment are due to packaging, shipping and disposal of these trees.

Going green…

  • You would want to try “non tree decorations”  
  • Renting a tree – look for options to rent a tree which could go back to a community garden or a bio reserve.
  • Use a potted fir tree and plant it in your own backyard or your community after Christmas. This way you would have helped increase the number of trees in your neighbourhood at the end of the holiday season.

Have a merry holiday season and be kind to the planet…

No Plastic? Fantastic

During a recent visit to Kroger, I found a teeny tiny sticker near the billing counter. It said “Less plastic? Fantastic!” . I decided to write about this campaign and began my research as soon as I reached home. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any material about this campaign initiated by Kroger. I had to go to their website and look for campaigns and initiatives. Here is where I found an article on their mission to save a billion bags this year –  Less plastic? Fantastic!

There was not a single copy of the above mentioned sticker in print or online..Strange!! So do we assume that the corporate policy on social responsibility is nothing more than their ploy to “meet legislative requirements for corporate environmental responsibility”? Even if the program is supposed to be genuine, we don’t see any retailer visibly encourage use of reusable bags- say by means of ads or any other promotional programs. Just hanging them at the billing counters doesn’t help…right!.

Did you know that kroger has an entire segment of their website dedicated to GREEN LIVING. I dint until I searched through their website. I was so angry about their attitude towards green projects that I researched for them online. As mentioned these programs do not get as much publicity as their “SALES and discount coupons” (nonsense)…They need to work more on these programs rather than restricting it just to their website. The least they could do is to show people using reusable bags in their TV ads, but the ads glorify the idea of plastic bags being brought home..and the focus is on Save money live better!

I am not sure what Kroger intends to achieve with this tiny sticker or the program for that matter. When a billboard sized hoarding on these topics can’t work its magic on people, what difference could an insignificant one inch square sticker make?

Retail giants don’t push a green programs fearing a dent in their customer base. Retailers and corporates are here to make money and “create wealth for their stakeholders”...sounds familiar…lol..lines from our financial management books on wealth creation….(sic!). I have nothing against Kroger, its subsidiaries or any other retailer for that matter.

None of the convenience freaks (read customers) would have “seen the sticker” or would want to even acknowledge that plastic or anything with throw away culture is bad for them. Don’t I see a suicidal tendency in them…hmm…seems like an interesting way to look at the whole issue.

Its not lack of information but lack of integration of know-what to know-how which glorifies throw away culture. A simple thing like going to a temple and asking for “prasadam” means using up two fold able styrofoam containers and of course one plastic/styrofoam glass for water. I have stopped buying anything from Hindu temples here in the USA or even carrying home food from restaurants.

It pains to see that not one person standing before me in a billing counter has ever said no to a plastic bag….And to top it all, they look at me like I belong to the jungle and not the civilized world…why you my ask?…because I take my own bag and specifically ask the billing clerk to pack things in my own bag…it is just a small effort and a major start to bigger things…

My eyes are sore looking for just one more environmentally responsible earthling around me (in person)!!! Will I ever be able to come across one ..I don’t know…when are all these convenience freaks going to realize that they are being a pest on this planet.
 
If you are among those who can think, can feel and surely make sense out of happenings around you…How about spreading some awareness…as they say knowledge is power…and we can bring in change when we are committed to it.

Share this or similar videos with family and friends. I am sure it is more a lack of awareness than lack of common sense that people don’t realize a lot of things. Here is a talk on TED by Captain Charles Moore on why we need to get more conscious…brilliant and surely is nothing short of a horror movie

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Image source: Kroger green living website

Managing skeptics

Image source: cartoonstock.com
If you know some one who majorly argues that

  • climate change is inevitable and thats what has happened over billion years of earth’s existence 
  • or that nothing can be done about non-biodegradable debris floating in the oceans . 

Just shake them up to make them see sense, and tell them..that though climate change has been cyclic over the last million years..it hasn’t been as rapid as it has been in the last two decades.

I know I am sounding too hostile in this post…but it is no longer a matter where we can spare these fools from waking up to reality. It is getting tougher to tackle these M*r*ns who are all out to display their pseudo intelligence.Will they wake up only when their own body is afflicted with some form of irreversible health issue? or will they bang their heads to the wall when they realise that their new born has some health issue because of all the moronic choices they made over the years?

Let them continue being as ignorant as they are and increase risk of breast and prostate cancer, genital abnormalities in male babies, infertility in men, early puberty in girls, Type-2 diabetes, and many more helaht issues thanks to all toxins seeping into the eco system.

More than saving the world from “things”..We better save the planet from these pests….