A short story goes viral

Very thgt provoking..what seems like a fad today was the way to live…where did we go wrong 😦

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Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.

She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….
Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?




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Creating awareness ~ in style

(click on the pic for a larger version)

source: link

This amazing picture is a view of the swimming pool at Bhakti Par in Mumbai, India. The eye-catching
swimming pool has been built to raise awareness about the threat of sea level rises as a result of global warming. It was constructed by attaching a giant aerial photograph of the New York City skyline to the floor of the pool.

Conceived by: Ogilvy & Mather
Commissioned by: HSBC to promote its £50million project tackling climate change.
How they did it
O&G team used an aerial shot of a city to the base of a swimming pool.The pool gives a shocking view of a city submerged in water. A sunken city view was to drive home the impact of global warming, and how it could destroy our world someday soon.

What better way to create awareness about rising sea levels and the imapct of global warming. Melting glaciers and north pole issues are not only a threat to polar bears but will take us down too

Eco friendly wireless mouse

I have had this peeve about wireless mouse and keyboard.  All the battery it drains, made my green alarm go off on full blast! A few sniffs later, I came across Aramedia’s cordless mouse which does not need battries…read more here



An Eco-Friendly BatteryFREE Wireless Mouse For Laptop - Click Image to Close






An Eco-Friendly BatteryFREE Wireless Mouse For Laptop for $39.95. I am still worried about the plastic which went into making it, but it is a decent trade off compared to all the battery drain from using regular cordless mouse and keyboard



And then Logitech has its Solar powered keyboard..cool isnt it!
The Logitech Wireless Solar-Powered Keyboard
Quoting the Logitech siteover 15 billion batteries dumped into landfills in the USA alone, each and every year. Let’s face it, any number over zero is too many. All these batteries can potentially leak lead, cadmium, nickel hydride and other chemicals into our groundwater and contaminate our soil. This toxic brew not only renders the soil useless but will also foul our drinking supply. Part of the reason for so many batteries being discarded is that they simply cannot keep up with the demands of modern technology.
Logitech has introduced a new wireless solar powered keyboard that is designed to eliminate the need for batteries. It even works inside in a standard lighted room, so you don’t have to work only near a window or outside on a sunny day. With convenience like this, battery hassles will soon be a thing of the past.
Keeping with the eco-friendly theme, Logitech has used completely PVC-free construction methods and the packaging is fully recyclable. The design is intended to create a minimal footprint.”

I am very happy to see some progress! However, I do not recommend buying more plastic, it is always better to use anything until its lifetime. One of the sources for green hazard having ruled out, there are products which have been thought out a little further.

These are made of bamboo

Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse
sourc
There is a downside to using renewable materials as well, as I always say, using any resource in excess and over consumption is never earth friendly..:)..Be wise choose well and be a minimalist!..Frugality is definitely eco-freindly

Pass the spinach….er…..diazinon please! ~ Guest post ~ Kamini Raghavan

Access to organic food without the hassle of plastic packaging means a lot. I came across a post by a fellow blogger, the very talented Kamini (of Saffron and Silk and Zingara Girl) and requested her to share her (and her husband’s) experience with Hydroponics…..What to know more …read on…:)

Over to Kamini….

Food! We all love food, some of us live to eat, some of us eat to live. But either way, we all have a love/hate relationship with food.

I am not a huge foodie and I am not at all fussy, give me my roti/dal, a couple of veggie dishes (especially if spinach is one of them) and I’m happy. All I ask is that the veggies be organic and fresh! But where I live getting my hand on organic vegetables is almost impossible, so I have been settling for the next best thing – fresh vegetables from the local vendor around the corner. I make sure I buy them when his truckload arrives around 9am in the morning, so at least if not organic, its fresh! So imagine my horror when I found out that the vegetables in the local market are grown with 700 times the allowed pesticides that can be used. 700!!! Not 5 or 10, but 700!!!

Yes, so along with my cauliflower curry I have been eating Cypermethrin, the okra fry I love is laced with Monocrotophos, Palak Panir is accompanied by Malathion and Diazinon…..apples, oranges and grapes are not exempt either and are known to have residues of Aldrin and Chlordane, 2 deadly pesticides! There is irrefutable evidence to show that these residual pesticides can lead  to all kinds of health problems including cancer, kidney and neurological diseases.

This is when my husband and I decided to take matters into our own hands and grow our own vegetables. We researched soil, we learned about pest free gardening, we went into the backyard and peered at the ground to see what creepy crawlies were living there, we poked, we prodded, we bought fertilizer, we bought manure, we bought organic pesticides, we got rid of our gardener whose mantra was spray, spray, spray…..and while we were in the midst of all this we chanced upon the whole concept of HYDROPONICS! I won’t go into too much detail, you can read about it here, but basically it is growing vegetables without soil, but only in water, where the plants are anchored in vermiculite or rock wool. Pests live in soil, so by default no soil = no pests! Pretty simple.

Of course, reading about it was one thing, actually starting our own hydroponic garden was quite another. No one had heard of it here in Hyderabad. So some more reading and googling and we found a vendor in Tamil Nadu who was selling bags of coco peat. Coco peat is just pure and simple ground up coconut husks and have the appearance and texture of soil, but none of the mineral content. So it mimics all the characteristics of soil without the problems associated with soil. (A little side note here about my husband…..he’s the left brained engineer type, so nothing he does is ever without a whole lot of research and study and discussion and total concentration…and then he jumps into the project headlong and gives it his all!! No multi tasking like us women!!). So it would only be fair to say that this gardening project is entirely his baby, my only contribution was suggestions as to what vegetables to plant.

Hydroponics can be as simple as growing a single plant in hand watered bucket or as high tech as being fully automated, monitored and controlled with your cell phone!!! The average home hydroponic set up has a growing medium in trays, a reservoir/tank to hold the nutrients, a submersible pump and drip irrigation tubing for ease of watering, a simple timer and an air pump to oxygenate the nutrient solution. Of course light, natural or artificial is also required.

Since we were almost out of space in the backyard, we decided to set up shop on our rooftop terrace. So this is basically our set-up! The 4′ long x 8″ wide bags of coco peat came in flat bales which swelled up once we wet them with water. Each bag went from being an inch high to 8″ high. Then 3 or 4 “X’s” are slit on top of each, into which the seedling is planted. If you are scattering seeds for veggies like spinach and lettuce, you can make a long rectangular cut out and scatter the seeds. Once the little veggie saplings are planted, they need nutrients. The nutrient/fertilizer is concocted according to a very specific formula…..NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), magnesium and calcium and a host of trace elements, are mixed together in water. (A small note here: even so called “organic veggies” in US markets, have NPK in their soil). A huge plastic container holds this nutrient mixture, and the pump and timer feed it to the plants via the drip irrigation system at specific intervals.

Here are some pics so you can understand better….

Little seedings getting watered by the drip
 The timer
 The reservoir holding the nutrient mixture
Tomato plants
Tomatoes getting bigger
and bigger…..
 Green leaf lettuce
 Tomatoes and okra harvested today
 Green peppers
 Cauliflower
 Greens – lettuce, fenugreek and spinach
 Cabbage – yet to be harvested
Chili peppers
Of course, as with any new venture, we had successes and we had mishaps! My husband totally overestimated how many tomato plants we would need, so now we get about 2 kilos a day!!! I have been doling out to all and sundry, I have juiced and souped and jammed and jellied, my next step will be taking it to the veggie shop and selling it!!! We planted too few lettuce plants, we should have staggered them, so now we have run out! The cauliflower got waterlogged and rotted! We only have one good okra plant so I get 2 or 3 okras a week!! By the time I cut them and make okra fry, we get a mouthful each!! 
But nothing can beat the thrill of picking your own freshly grown veggies however tiny or measly it is. Its an indescribable feeling. Every morning I head upstairs and see what is ready to harvest – all I need is a straw hat and I’ll be like Ina Garten.. 🙂 We have a long long way to go before we are completely self sufficient, but its good to know that at least part of what I am putting in my mouth is organic and pesticide free! The last time I made this salad – pic below – it took less than 5 minutes for the lettuce to get from plant to table and the taste was amazingly fresh!
I hope I have inspired you all to go organic! If you are lucky enough to live in Chennai or Bangalore or any other big city, you can get organic at the market. But if you still want to experience the thrill of growing your own vegetables hydroponically, e mail me (Kaminiandraga@gmail.com) and my husband and I will happily share info with you! And for those really interested, here is an inspiring read!
Bon Appetit!
Thank you Kamini, for sharing such an informative post on the Green Crusader.