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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Zero Waste Stores - Why is it Important?

September 19, 2020 0


 Have you ever wondered, what will happen to all these packages that we get when we buy things like groceries? It seems convenient to have them in those packages, right? Easy to carry, store, and so on. But once the item inside these packages gets used, what do we do with them? Well, we discard them. We will put them into the waste bins and think these plastics will no longer cause harm. But, what happens later with these packages is a different story altogether. 


You see, of all the plastics and other packaging items that we use, only a little percent can be reused or recycled. Other waste packages are dumped into the landfills and left there. As the global population is hiking, the existing land gets used much faster to meet their needs. So to meet this growing need, we will be forced to inhabit near these landfills. This will lead to diseases, discomfort, and other bad impacts. 


So, what can we do? Simple, we have to change our shopping practice. Well, easy said than done right? But, who knows, if we could take a little effort and try, this new approach will become the new normal. So what new practice can we incorporate? The Zero Waste Method of living!!. With this method, we intend to use products that are degradable or create less to zero waste. To add a little cherry on top, this is a sustainable measure too. So...


                               




What is this Zero Waste Store? 


You see, a zero-waste store is now a growing trend in many parts of the world. What makes them different from other stores is their approach to product selling. In a normal store, you will find most of the products already packaged in plastics and are ready to take away. But in a Zero Waste Store, products aren't packed in plastics. they are displayed in jars or barrels in bulk quantities or uses eco-friendly packaging. The store supports sustainable shopping. So we are asked to bring our own sustainable and eco-friendly storage units to shop.



How is the shopping approach different in a Zero Waste Store?


When shopping in a Zero Waste Store, the consumer has to carry sustainable storage options with them. For example, glass jars for collecting cereals, or oils and so. As things are not packaged, they will be displayed in a bulk quantity in barrels and jars, from which the consumer can take the desired quantity of product. This reduces wastage of products, like that packet of cereals that you brought and forgot.



Won't the weights become a problem? 


You see, the containers that you carry like glass jars and so have a weight of their own. So, if you add products into it, then the weight of the jar will be added to the product weight and this could affect the price, right? Well, NO!! These stores have specialized weighing machines that can weigh the weight of the container and note it into the price tag. Thus once you fill up your product, you would only have to pay for the product weight rather than the whole weight of the container. 




How are these stores helpful to people? 


  • Reduced production of hazardous packages - As consumers bring in their own containers, the need to produce packages reduces. As the demand decreases, such productions will decrease and alternative methods will get promoted as they will be in high demand.

  • Minimal waste generation - As packaging gets eliminated, the amount of waste generated by the disposal of such items also decreases. Thus the amount of waste reaching the landfills will tremendously decrease as well.

  • Producers and consumers get directly connected - Products will be directed shifted from producers to the stores and thus both consumer and producer will be benefited. As the producer doesn't have to spend much on packaging costs, he could save on such expenses and get the correct benefit of his hard work. While consumers don't always have to pay for their packaging costs, they get to save money too.

  • Reuse of storage products and mindful shopping- As consumers get encouraged to bring their reusable storage units, the need for excessive production of packaging materials also will decrease. As people are carrying containers from their homes, they will be mindful of their shopping list thus reducing the tendency to fall for useless consumerism.

  • Provides a market for sustainable products - As these stores promote the supply of eco-friendly commodities, the need for such items will increase. This will open up more opportunities and jobs for people who can bring in such innovative sustainable product ideas.





I know, it is not easy to remember and carry these containers and this is all so new. These excuses will form a long road if we think so much. But, this is a much-needed change for the world. We can't afford to make more mistakes and forget that the earth that we live in can be exploited more. Is it is not okay anymore. We need to be responsible for our actions and be more mindful when committing to new ones. So, what have you decided?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

All you need to know about sustainable fashion..!

September 13, 2020 0

                 


Sustainable fashion as the name says the clothes which are Eco-friendly and made from old clothes. Fascinating isn't it !?. We all know that we are in midst of the environmental crisis working to conserve energy, fuel, water, etc.. Most of us aren't aware of waste which has been produced by the clothing industries. Do you know the fact that ' The clothing industries are the second largest polluting industries in the world than the oil and gas industry..!! '. In the case of India, it is the third-largest waste after plastic, paper, and compost. The clothing industry's production waste is so high !. While considering the case of the large scale industries which make about 2 lakh pieces a day they make 45 to 50 thousand meters of fabric wastages on a daily basis. And also 73-85 % of garment wastes go into landfills. A single t-shirt takes up to around 3000 liters of water as much as most of the adults would drink in 3 years. Lots and lots of chemical dyes are being used for making clothes. From all these things it’s been clearly understood that clothing industries are creating a very big problem in the world. 


 To fix these problems there is a solution to “ Sustainable Fashion ’’. As I have told earlier sustainable fashion relates to eco friendly. So, what makes an industry or company sustainable?. It all depends upon the materials, worker condition, quality. When coming to the materials,  it should be anything eco-friendly, recycled ones, avoiding excessive chemicals and water, etc. The workers should be getting security rights and a fair amount of wages. Last, not the least clothes should have good quality and long-lasting one. Several companies are there nowadays producing sustainable clothes. 

      

  Let’s take the case of ‘Doodlage’, a sustainable brand in India. This brand provides the perfect antidote to fast fashion by chic garments from scraps of waste cloth. It was found by Kriti Tula. Brands like these are trying to bring the concept of reuse in the fashion industry. They make clothes from the waste clothes and what all clothes are wasted by them are paneled together and make some yardages out of it and their waste is recycled or used for making bags. Thus that was the case of ‘Doodlage’. There are several brands like ‘ Latasita’ which makes clothes from the old and worn out sarees. Some of the brands use natural dyes for their clothes. 


     So these were the cases of the industries and all, now let’s think about how we can be a part of sustainable fashion or what we can do on a daily basis ?!. 





Buy the things you need 


Some of us are there just unnecessarily buying clothes. Overconsumption is being encouraged nowadays. But think again, is it good? Buy the necessary things your small help will do wonders.


Don’t buy similar styles  

 

Why buy similar styles again and again? Fashion is changing each and every moment. So by buying the same styles ain’t good right!


Choose quality not quantity


Buy those clothes which you know that you will wear for the next 5-6 years. It will be a very good option 


A hole huh? Get it mended!


If there is any small defect in the dress like a tiny hole don’t throw it away instead get them mended. 


Reuse, Reduce & Recycle 


We can borrow those dresses which we know that we will wear only once from relatives or friends. There are several videos on Instagram and YouTube about dressing one cloth in different ways and styles. You can make new trendy clothes.


Buy organic natural fibers 


Synthetic fibers are made from harmful petrochemicals and this ain’t good. We can replace these my buying those fibers which are been certified by GOTS ( Global Organic Textile Standard )


    We can also do our part in sustainable fashion through so many ways like this. But these sustainable fashion is a lifestyle choice. It requires us to think differently. It is also not easy to think differently suddenly. It requires time to step away from our current fashion and move onto sustainable fashion like any lifestyle change we will probably relapse along the way. Do think about the current conventional fashion and what all environmental and social costs they have caused. Think about the beautiful sustainable fashion alternatives.


Brain - What You Should Know About Memory!!

September 13, 2020 0





Have you ever felt like this? You are in a classroom, for example; Mathematics. The teacher introduced a new topic and you seem to have got it pretty well and done almost every question. But once you reached home or when you tried to work on that same topic the next day, you seem to have gone blank? Well, Don't Panic!! That's how our brains work. 

You see, when you learn something new your brain does some chemical reaction and store the data for a short time. And that's exactly why we term such as memory as short term memory. The problem with short term memory is that it's lost after a short time. But you can't always rely on such a memory. What if you have to remember some formulas, terms, equations, or codes? Then you might have to turn this memory into a long term memory. A long term memory stays with you for a long time.


How short and long term memory
are formed?


Short term memories are results of chemical reaction in the brain. While, Long term memory is a physical change in the number and structure of neurons. Short term memories being working memories stays for 18 to 30 seconds. As you learn something new, the older information get pushed back. Though long term memory stays long, it doesn't mean that the information will never be lost. Brain doesn't guarantee in holding on to any information forever.

How can you turn a short term memory into a long term memory?


Well. Practice, Practice. and more Practice!! You have to work on your topics and knowledge again and again for them to change into long term memory. It might look like a tiresome work but, it is rather very important. You have to dust up your brain, try to remember new things and learn to add or subtract information. Updating new information into your brain helps not only make the memory long term. It also help you to develop your associated skill in life.

Will your brain stop developing after some time?


No, your brain doesn't stop developing or changing after a certain age. Until a decade ago, it was believed , our brain won't develop further after our mid twenties. But now scientist have found an ability of brain that helps it to stay plastic throughout our life. This ability is termed as Neuroplasticity. With this ability, your brain can form new neuron connections and thus helping to grow and repair
the brain even after injuries. Though a young brain is more plastic than an adult brain, it doesn't mean adult brain can't change at all.

How can you promote Neuroplasticity of your brain?


  • Physical exercises - As this improves blood flow to your brain, it helps the brain to function in a much better way . It also promotes brain's ability to produce new neurons.
  • Learning new things - Any ability will get improved only when it is used. Like that, you have to learn new things to help your brain produce new neurons and thus produce a long term memory.
  • Observations and Brain exercises - Brain games, Yoga, meditation etc,. help promote brain growth . Not only that it helps us come out of the automatic way of living, which in turn make us dull and inactive.

So, it seems that they is no more excuses to think learning can't be part of your life. You can always take the driver seat of your life and take new directions as brain promote change. It can help you come out of a dull life, start over, change your mindset, bring in new knowledge at any point of life. What have you decided? What change are you going to bring? What new skills are you going to learn?


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Paper Pencils - A Eco Friendly Alternative For Wooden Pencil

September 05, 2020 0

Today, while I was reading a book, I got rattled by the sound of Ma scolding my brothers. Though she wasn't that loud; it was so unexpected for me, who was immersed in the world created by her book. Ma wouldn't simply scold anyone, that made me think, What have the boys done? And I asked her and she said, "you see this is the tenth pencil this week and that's not okay." I hummed in response to which she added, "They are just like you." That made me think, that's right, I have always lost my pencils before I used even half part of them. And I am certain, many of you can agree with me here.

Source - Pinterest


How You and I both are causing deforestation...


You see this might look silly to many of us, but if you give a little more thought, that is not the case. Most of these pencils that we use are made of wooden bodies. If they are made of a wooden body, that means trees have to be cut for them to be made. No one hasn't used or is using a pencil which implies many trees are cut annually to make them. We thus unknowingly becomes the reason for deforestation. Some people would say, Even if I stop using wooden pencils, will that stop trees from being cut? What else would I use? Those two are relevant questions.


Will 'you' opting, not to use wooden pencils save trees...?

If you would ask me this question, I would say Yes! But not so fast. You see, Bhoomi Eco's article suggests that every year 82,000 trees are cut in the world to make 14 billion pencils. That's a huge number. And that's also because there is such a growing demand for wooden pencils. When demand increases, the production also has to be increased and for that more and more resources will be exploited. So the root cause of this is demand itself and that is caused by people like us. Thus, it is also people like us who can bring down the demand for these wooden pencils which ultimately will decrease production and bring down the number of trees cut. 


Paper pencils could be your new friend... 

Well, the pencil is one such stationery that is not only made of wood but by plastic and other materials and these materials also have a great downside while affecting nature very badly. Also, we can not just stop using pencils as the users range from students to artists and many many more. So stopping their use is not the right way, rather we should opt to more sustainable and eco-friendly options that are where paper pencils are ideal. They are made by reusing newspapers and other papers which are once used and thrown. These papers would have otherwise landed in landfills which would pollute the land further. Also, the treatment that these pencils go through make them biodegradable.
Source - amazon

How are paper pencils made..?

The pencils are made by rolling by rolling machines by using picked reusable paper and are then adhered to the lead using good quality glue that is coated many times. The glue is chosen not only for its good quality and eco-friendly nature but also for its good cushioning effect so that the lead doesn't break even if the pencil is dropped. Another important quality is waterproof nature. We don't want the paper getting soggy due to rain or water now do we? Even paper is picked, quality checked papers of newspaper and other papers are used to ensure the good quality of the paper. But if you plan on making them at home by DIY method any paper and normal paper glue would work as well.

source - amazon

Why should you opt for them..?

Paper pencils are good replacements for traditional wooden and plastic pencils for many reasons.

1. Lightweight

2. Eco-friendly and biodegradable

3. Long-lasting

4. Easy to sharpen

5. Zero pollution 

6. Budget-friendly

You should also keep in mind that you are indirectly helping nature to be more healthy and also our future generations by being sustainable.

Paper pencils have now much high demand and thus leading to better designs and variety. Don't forget to check out the seed pencil!! Whereat the end of the pencil, you will receive a seed which you can grow and be part of the eco-friendly campaign. 

Source - twitter

C O N C L U S I O N

With a growing high number of students all around the world, a pencil is a such stationery that is used a lot. While the use is not just by students but by all people of all walks of life, the demand that this stationary has in the global market is very high. The most commonly used pencils are made of wood and plastic which adds to more pollution and harm to nature and ultimately to mankind.
 
The high demand leads to high production which later leads to more trees being cut is not a simple issue and the best solution to it is the inverse process. We need to decrease the demand which indeed will reduce production and ultimately reduce deforestation and its aftereffects. But that is a rather easy said than done statement, right? Well not any longer, here is where we have the eco-friendly, friendly, and sustainable option of paper pencils. Made using good quality used paper and glue the production follows the Three R Principle. Known of its lightweight, easy to sharpen and long-lasting properties the pencils are now loved by many students around the globe. What parents love about them is the budget-friendly nature. Plus as these are made mostly by small scale business and disabled people, it could also be a chance for you to help such people

Even DIY projects on paper pencils have flooded YouTube, if you wish to make your stash of pencils, you know where to find them

If you feel like owning one of these or even gifting your child to incorporate these qualities in them. Check out the products below!!


Friday, September 4, 2020

My Mother's Passion Fruit Garden - A Immune Booster Straight From Our Kitchen Garden

September 04, 2020 0

Last year during this time, we have just moved back to Ma's old house which was kind of a big mess back then. Though nothing much has been revived so far, one big and beautiful change that Ma has bought to it was the garden surrounding the house. Vegetables, fruits, and flowers have now got their respective place and care out of the fertile land and Ma. She takes care of them as if they are her children, she talks to them, scolds them, plays with them and it is her kind of self-relaxation platform. Well, this corona induced vacation, made me spend a good amount of time there amidst her garden and the things I learned are so mind-blowing that now I kinda wish if I could have a garden of my own back in my hostel area.


One of the best places that I love to spend my time here is in her passion fruit garden. I remember how she planted them last year after growing seedlings out of some seeds she collected from somewhere. She with my father was so careful while cleaning the lands, picking the weeds, and plowing it so that the seedlings get the apt environment to grow in. After planting them, they would add organic fertilizers like compost and cow dung from our cow farm. Though I had to leave for my education by this time, when I came back and inquired about this beautiful garden, everyone was kinda excited! Everyone had something to share about how it grew and how they joined Ma and my father to grow and nurture them. I was lucky to have come back during the time of harvest that when I and Ma went to pluck them she told me the story behind how she grew this beautiful and powerful immune booster.


IT ALL STARTED AS A RELAXATION REGIME...


When we came back to Ma's house, everyone was in a very bad state of mind, all of us wanted to start fresh. I wanted to leave the place and go study far away from where I could start all over again. But neither my father nor my ma could do that, they had to stay back as my brothers had to continue their schooling and due to many other reasons. My father always loved the idea of starting a farm and the whole organic route, so he started building a shed and working around that for generating income as well as to relax his mind. But unfortunately, Ma had no choice as she was the house maker, she had to wake up early in the morning and all she had to work on was kitchen and house chores but none of these helped her to relax and be in peace with her mind. That's when she decided to get incorporated with gardening just like her mother. She started to work on the land around the house to make a kitchen garden of her own. Thus what once started as a small kitchen garden now has many varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.


HOW PASSION FRUIT FOUND ITS WAY TO OUR GARDEN...


Ma was brought up in a big south Indian family that owned a lot of agricultural land and farms. Farming wasn't something new to both my parents, though the only exposure to this sector for my father was during his vacation, my mother was brought around this. She learned a lot about growing crops, nurturing them, and even had many good contacts with people who used to work in her family house back then. This knowledge and contacts did help her a lot to bring up the garden and farm like how it is now. Ma collected the seeds of passion fruit and many other plants from her family members and then grew them up in her garden. Finding the seeds wasn't that hard as her late Uncle had already got such plants grown around his house.



GROWING THE PASSION FRUIT PLANT...


You see Barter system still prevails in between neighbors and families in India, though it is now an act of love and affection rather than trade. I have grown up seeing this barter system flourish a good bond between people. Ma would have some vegetable ready to harvest in her garden, after collecting them she would take a little part of it to neighbors and families nearby and when she come back she would have another five varieties of vegetables and fruits. This helps these housewives cook a meal of the day without depending on the market. It's not just vegetables and fruits that get exchanged even seeds, seedlings, and young crop are also exchanged along with the share of knowledge regarding how to grow them. 


When Ma brought the seeds of passion fruit from her late Uncle's house; she was quite sure of how to grow it too (You see this is where the above mentioned Barter System comes into play). After fixing the seedlings into the fertile soil, Ma would water the seedling adequately every morning and evening. Since my father owned the shed, he was in charge of fertilizing. He added cow dung and let it grow peacefully and organically. Once the seedling grows and is ready to climb, Ma and my father fixed firm support and let it grow up the support. Once it gets fixed to the support and starts to grow more cow dung is added. One thing that should be kept in mind is that the root of passion fruit should be kept damp and in shade, to ensure that cow dung mixed with dry leaves was put above the roots. Later as the plants climbed above the support, the net was made by my father using ropes by tying them in a crisscross manner, and then the plant was let to grow. Periodic watering, organic fertilization, and ensuring that the root was kept in damp and shade helped the plant to thrive, after 7 months of constant caring, the plant started to flower and on the eighth month, the climber was filled with fruits. Not only did my family enjoy it but so did my neighbors and relatives. I mean, what more of a great gift can you give someone now than a freshly harvested bucket of organic passion fruit?



WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT PASSION FRUIT?...


Passion fruit is a treasure house of immunity boosters as it is filled with Vitamin C, beta-Cryptoxanthin, and alpha-carotene. Not only is the fruit so beneficial but so is its leaves as they are used in many home remedies. It is even filled with Vitamin B complexes like riboflavin and niacin, helping to control thyroid functions and also with antioxidants. Plus it is a rich source of fiber. The list of its specialty goes on. Though I fell in love with its delightfully sweet and sour taste, these facts do help as well.


Well, you see a small relaxation regimen brought a smile on many faces...


So, COVID induced quarantine did give us all a little bit to more time to invest in our hobbies and passion. Well, I am curious. What is your quarantine hobby?