Monday, February 9, 2009

Green Habits

How to save WATER

· Over 50% of water used in house takes place in the bathroom. Toilet uses around 27%, showers 17%, taps 8% and baths 2%
· While taking bath instead of filling the bathtub and take a lavish bath, we can take quick showers
· At start, water is not hot so we can collect cold water in bucket and use it to water plants or clean the floor or washroom.
· During shower while applying soap or shampoo, we can close the tap and avoid running water.
· While shaving , brushing teeth close the tap
· During hand wash or face wash as we apply soap and rub the hands or face we can close the tap
· If possible, replace tap filters and shower heads around the house with water flow reducer. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and cuts water consumption from 10- 15 liters to 2 liters. Water flow reducer on taps save 50-70 % of water
· For washing machine, every time checking the water level depend on load is necessary. Remember on average washing machine uses 40 gallons water per load!
· We can collect a week's laundry and then run washing machine instead of frequent cycles
· In kitchen while washing pot, we can close the tap while applying soap.
· While washing vegetable and fruits instead of washing them in running water, wash them in collected water in pot and then rinse
· While defrosting frozen meat or food don't use running water. Instead defrost overnight in fridge or use microwave or best is trying naturally defrosting it.
· if you need to throw ice cubes or ice formed in fridge drop them in house plant
· In gardens use organic mulching around them to help plants retain moister and reduce evaporation
· Instead of a hose, drip irrigation to water the garden. A hose can release up to 10 gallons of water/ minute. Keep on checking any leak in irrigation system.
· Try to use local plants to minimize the problem of extra watering and specific soil need.
· Water roots, not leaves. Watering leaves increases loss of water in evaporation.
· Use some waste water from kitchen, laundry to water the plants.
· wash your pet on lawns so that the grass get watered automatically
· Use brooms to clean balconies, driveway, and sidewalks instead of washing it off.
· Most important we can reduce the flow rate of water coming to our home at main control valve; it will automatically reduce the amount of running water.

Regularly check if any LEAK is there in any water pipe. If it is there repair it immediately. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons water /day and leaky faucets can waste up to 2,700 gallons water/ year!

How many gallons of water I alone can save?

· If we reduce shower time by 2 minutes 150 gallons water/month will be saved = 1800 gallons / year
· While shaving if one closes tap 100 gallons of water/ week will be saved=4800 gallons/year
· Regular tap use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. While brushing teeth, hand wash and face wash water saved will be approximately= 5000 gallon/year
· While washing dishes approximately water saved=5000 gallons/ year

Therefore, just by small change in habits one person can save minimum 16,600 gallons of water per year!

· Many people in UAE used A/Cs in winter. Therefore, if weather is good then we can avoid A/C and save some energy. It is even good for health
· During summer we can keep A/C control on 24 degrees centigrade instead of 20 degrees and save energy by avoiding over cooling
· While leaving home we need to check if A/C is off. Many people leave A/C on just to cool the house when nobody is at home!
· When A/C is on be sure that all windows and doors are closed properly. If the room is not properly sealed A/C will take more energy to cool
· Clean A/C vents and replace A/C filters to ensure A/C consumes less energy
· When we are working in one room lights in other rooms must be turned off
· During daytime use natural DAYLIGHT
· Try to use energy saver lights, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) where possible instead of incandescent lamps. We can use energy savers in lamps and mood-lighting also. CFLs use about one-quarter of the energy and last up to 10 times longer than regular incandescent lamps.
· Use task lighting; put your light where you need it most instead of brightening the whole room. Ex. table lamps, study lamps
· Make sure different switches for different lights instead of a single switch for multiple lights
· Dust light bulbs regularly. Dirty and greasy light bulbs can reduce light output by 10 %!
· Install dimmers in areas like dining room, bedroom. Light that is dimmed by 15% reduces energy consumption by 15%.
· Many people forget to switch off lights and exhaust in toilets.
· Unplug electronic devices and chargers when not in use. These devices use energy even if they are not in use but plugged in. It is estimated that in the average home, 40% of electricity is consumed while home electronic devices are turned off and just plugged in.
· Make sure you unplug your mobile charger when not in use. Only 5% of energy is used to charge the mobile, the rest is wasted leaving charger plugged in.
· Switching on and off very frequently consumes more energy. So if you are going to another room and coming back in 2-3 minutes then no need to switch lights off.
· If you are watching TV then other appliances like computers, CD players to be turned off. Don't turn on too many appliances at same time if you really don't need each one of them
· While washing clothes you can skip dryer cycle and can use solar energy to dry your clothes! 15% energy will be saved!
· Many times, we heat water and somehow keep it as it is and again heat it. so try to use hot water (bath or in kitchen wherever) immediately to avoid reheating
· Don't use water heater in summer. Water gets naturally heated in summers
· Regularly set your refrigerator temperature according to seasons. In winter, you don't need very low temperature in your fridge. Don't keep your fridge too cold
· Clean your fridge regularly and get rid of frost and ice formed. This frost and formed ice increases consumption of energy
· Keep the refrigerator full if possible. Surprisingly, it takes less energy to cool a full refrigerator or freezer than empty one. However, don’t over load your fridge.
· Never keep hot food directly in fridge, instead keep it to cool naturally and then keep in fridge
· Close the door of fridge properly ever time you use it. If door is not getting closed properly repair the fault immediately
· While going on vacation switch off all appliances and unplug the wires.
· If you are planning to buy new electronic appliance go for Energy Star rated one. They are energy efficient
· Switch your laptop to power saver mode
· LCD monitors are 66% more energy efficient than normal CRTs.
· Every day while going to/from your office or apartment, take stairs instead of elevators. You'll save energy and can control your belly as well!
Don't forget EARTH HOUR is on 29Th March! But you can actually keep following it throughout the year!!!

How to save FUEL
· If we pressure cook some items instead of boiling like rice, dals, potato then less gas (fuel) will be used
· The gas flow rate can be reduced at control valve so as to reduce the use
· Try to minimize the use of your vehicle. If we walk regularly, then fuel will be saved and in addition, Gym fees will be saved too!
· Instead of using your own vehicle, public transport can be used whenever possible.
· While going to office try to share vehicle give lifts, so that no of cars will be less on road. Fuel will be saved and you can help reduce Traffic too!
· Long walk is better than Long Drive. Experience it! (Don't forget sunscreen, water bottle, cap, goggle, appropriate clothes....if it's summer morning or evening)

How to save PAPER

· At your home keep a separate garbage bag for papers and put them in shredder or recyclers
· try to use less tissue papers
· In kitchen, you can use napkins instead of kitchen tissue papers.
· Instead of daily news papers you can buy it on weekend and everyday you can read newspaper online
· The papers which are used at one side the other side is blank. These papers can be used as rough papers.
· Before throwing envelops, invitation cards, grocery bills, receipts, post-its you can use the back side (if it's empty) for shopping and grocery list!
· If you are throwing old diaries, notebooks take out all blank pages. Those can be used.


How to save PLASTIC
· Say no to carry bags at supermarket!
· At some applications, plastic bags are unavoidable, that time try to avoid unnecessary bags.
· Fruits and vegetable bags from supermarket or those unavoidable carry bags can be used as garbage bags. We can avoid black trash bags.
· Jute bags, Cotton bags, Paper bags are in vogue! Then why we need synthetic fiber bags, leather bags and Plastic Bags?
· If you are going for any plastic bottle, Tiffin box etc go for 5 grade or above plastic. (5 is written in recycle triangle). So that you can keep reusing that plastic safely for food.Instead of disposable plastic item use another options. Ex. instead of plastic glasses go for earthen or thermacol glass


· Never dispose waste or garbage in toilets. It chokes the drainage pipeline and extra water is used for flushing.
· Make separate garbage bins for plastic, glass, tins/cans, paper and biodegradable wastes
· Recycle papers, glass, tins/cans.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Leading a Green Living

Now a days the weather is changing drastically. Any one can observe this change in weather and even a kid can tell that the reason is 'Global Warming'!
These days we talk a lot about global warming and some enthusiastics even debate about it. In fact on large scale, governments, environmental institutions and scientists are taking big efforts to minimize it. However, if everybody around will do something to prevent or minimize global warming then the results will definitely be 100% better.

As soon as we read some bad news related to global warming, we do take some efforts to save some energy here and there; but then after a while, many of us think, 'what difference I alone can make by saving little water or paper?’ and this approach keeps us away from leading a green life.

Another approach, which affects green living adversely is the tendancy to show off. People actually like to show how rich they are by consuming unnecessary energy! They use thousands of lights in their houses and switch them on, all at the same time just in the name of creating the mood! Walking on roads affects their status so badly that they take their vehicle to nearby grocery just to buy some small things. Long drive is considered enjoyment when options like trekking, sports activities etc are still available. People keep changing their mobiles and electronic gadgets just to be in vogue! In addition, shopping for fun is the new religion.

Instead of all this why not to show off HOW GREEN I AM!

Why to get shy while saving some things and spending the resources lesser?

We can get all the statistics on the internet showing how many trees would be saved if we take care to recycle the used papers or how much fuel can be saved if each one of us takes a walk to nearby shops or cafes.

Why our laziness is overpowering green living when we need it most?

We just have to make small changes in our attitude, to lead a green life, just small changes!

1. Think Before Throw!
Before throwing anything (food, plastic, clothes, papers …anything) one can think can I use it somewhere else? Is any use of this thing still remaining? If NOT, then how can I recycle it? Is there any recycling station available?
Managing our garbage is not very big task. How we create some space in our home for new electronic gadget in same way we need to give space to different bins for different recyclable matter.

2. Save Resources!
Another change in approach is whenever we are using any resource (water, gas, fuel, electricity etc) we just need to take a few seconds to think how much less I can consume this to fulfill my requirements.
Then we will find out on our own how to save water, electricity, or even petrol. Moreover, we can reduce our bills. Isn’t it good as now recession is threatening each one of us?

Even though green buildings, green cars, green appliances and many more green things are hitting the market; if we don’t learn how to LIVE green, these green things will just remain a fad.
So… GO GREEN! Secure the future of generations to come!