On World Environment Day, we decided to look beyond trees to investigate the seemingly harmless pollutants that are also threatening our environs..
Have you noticed the increasingly sweltering summers? CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) have long been identified as the incorrigible culprits. These trouble-mongers are compounds released by several air conditioners, select deodorants and refrigerators, and monstrously affect our ozone layer.
We are familiar with terms like the Greenhouse effect and global warming, but little do we know that this is what is leading to the scorching summer.
A simple way would be to buy ozone-friendly appliances and contribute to a change. Something that can contribute to the conservation of our environment are hour meters. These little devices record the usage of big machinery and therefore tell us when this piece of machinery needs maintenance. This maintenance tends to mean checking or replacing parts of the machinery, but either way, this is better than the machinery being left to break and therefore have to be replaced completely. This broken piece of machinery then contributes to the waste on earth that we see so often as the majority of the time it cannot be recycled; our world can really benefit from using an hour meter.
Neeti Sukkhu strongly believes that baby steps are the only way to a greener future.
“Not everyone has the time or inclination to go around ‘composting or cleaning rivers’, so I like making a small difference in my own way. I’ve simply used an ozone-friendly microwave and perfumes instead of most CFC-ridden deodorants,” she says.
Rishal Advani a resident of Kalyani Nagar draws our attention to a horrific waste disposal incident. “While stuck in noon traffic near Kalyani Veg one afternoon, I witnessed a van leaving McDonalds, dump a few large garbage bags worth of waste over the bridge and into the water below. Such a blatant transgression with garbage disposal came as a surprise from such a known brand. It was the darkest form of blasphemy,” he exclaims also lamenting on the lack of options when it comes to e-waste management.
Indeed, it is the era of smartphones and innumerable gadgets where every household periodically churns out redundant electronics. Be it a dead Ipod, a virus-ridden pen-drive or an old laptop; electronic waste must be discarded responsibly.
While incineration leads to the release of harmful toxins, hasty dumping just lets the waste seep underground to poison our groundwater.
Currently, the only solution for MNC’s and corporates are Government approved e-waste recyclers. An end-user solution is lacking, which probably leads us to believe that the change must be introduced at the design stage for gadgets. This would then make disposal easier and in an environment-friendly way.
Generator waste is another pertinent concern today. Since routine power-cuts are a norm, most apartment buildings, malls, hospitals and even offices have standby generators.
The average diesel genset leads to the production of over 35 pounds nitrogen oxides (NOx) hourly.
So in addition to air and noise pollution, citizens and residents are exposed to harmful emissions from their basement generator. The city needs more stringent emission rules to put an end to slow poisoning with every lungful.
While believing in stricter emission rules, Leena Bhati recommends ‘handkerchief gardens’ as a great green solution for people living in stuffy old apartments. “I’ve opted for shade-loving creepers and plants like cacti and rose succulents that need only fortnightly watering.
As they say- ‘You can bury any number of headaches in a garden’,” she grins.
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