Reduce Global Warming By Planting Trees

How does planting trees help the environment? Why planting trees is important to reduce global warming? According to the environmental protection agencies, planting trees is a must if we want to save our planet. It is not something that many of you do not know, however it is something that many of you have to keep reminding yourself. Trees not only remove harmful chemicals from the soil, but also help reduce the greenhouses leading to global warming. Go on and see how planting trees helps the environment.

Advantages of planting trees in reducing global warming

  1. An average size tree creates sufficient oxygen in one year to provide oxygen for a family of four.
  2. Planting trees in the right place around buildings and homes can cut air-conditioning costs up to 50 percent.
  3. Planting trees for the environment is good as they are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.
  4. If we plant 20 million trees, the earth will get with 260 million more tons of oxygen.
  5. Once acre of trees can remove up to 2.6 tons of Carbon Dioxide each year.
  6. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
  7. Trees keep in check the air and water pollution.
  8. Trees form a natural habitat of the animals and birds, as well as many endangered species.
  9. Planting trees means more wood and paper products which can be easily recycled.
  10. A newly planted whole forest, can change tones of atmospheric carbon into wood and other fibrous tissue, thus reducing global warming.

Think, Do and Share: 10 More Tips for Happy Earth

  1. Invest in your own coffee cup

If you start every morning with a steamy cup, a quick tabulation can show you that the waste is piling up. Invest in a reusable cup, which not only cuts down on waste, but keeps your beverage hot for a much longer time. Most coffee shops will happily fill your own cup, and many even offer you a discount in exchange!

  1. Batch errands

Feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with the errands? Take a few moments once a week to make a list of all the errands that need to get done, and see if you can batch them into one trip. Not only will you be saving fuel, but you might find yourself with much better time-management skills.

  1. Turn off lights

Always turn off incandescent bulbs when you leave a room. Fluorescent bulbs are more affected by the number of times it is switched on and off, so turn them off when you leave a room for 15 minutes or more. You’ll save energy on the bulb itself, but also on cooling costs, as lights contribute heat to a room.

  1. Greener lawn care

If you must water your lawn or plants, do it early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation. Have a few weeds? Spot treat them with vinegar instead of using chemicals.

  1. Picnic with your own dishes

Dumped plastic cups and plates or other disposable utensils are a common sight at the picnic places. They litter and and do not get destroyed easily. Next time, take your own utensils and do not hesitate to tell strangers to do the same – we share the same Earth.

  1. Recycle old cell phones

The average cell phone lasts around 18 months, which means 130 million phones will be retired each year. If they go into landfills, the phones and their batteries introduce toxic substances into our environment. There are plenty of reputable programs where you can recycle your phone, many which benefit noble causes.

  1. Maintain your vehicle

Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but you are creating less pollution and saving gas. A properly maintained vehicle, clean air filters, and inflated tires can greatly improve your vehicle’s performance. And it might not hurt to clean out the trunk—all that extra weight could be costing you at the pump.

  1. Recycle unwanted wire hangers

Wire hangers are generally made of steel, which is often not accepted by some recycling programs. So what do you do with them? Most dry cleaners will accept them back to reuse or recycle.

  1. Recycle aluminium and glass

Twenty recycled aluminium cans can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture one brand new one.

Every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from virgin materials.

  1. Telecommute

See if you can work out an arrangement with your employer that you work from home for some portion of the week and do most meetings over the phone or teleconferencing.  Not only will you save money and fuel, you will save precious time as well.

Think, Do and Share: 10 News Tips for Happy Earth

  1. Use both sides of paper

Set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). And when you are finished with your documents, do not forget to take them to the ‘recycling’ bin instead of waste bin. Have not created a ‘recycle bin’ in office, do it at once.

  1. Wrap creatively

You can reuse gift bags, bows and event paper, but you can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper that’s environmentally friendly and extra special for the recipient.

  1. Pet bottles are a mess

According to TERI report, nearly 90 per cent  of plastic water bottles are not recycled (as even regular kabadiwala refuses them), instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health.

  1. Brush without running water

You’ve heard this one before, but maybe you still do it or maybe you forgot to tell your children about it. An average household with running water supply could conserve up to five litres per day if they do not use running water while brushing says a TERI research.

  1. Take a shorter shower

Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten litres of water. If everyone in the country saved just one litre from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from natural sources.

  1. Plant a tree

It’s good for the air, the land, can shade your house and save on cooling (plant on the west side of your home), and they can also improve the value of your property.

Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a tree every year for each member.

  1. Use vehicles sensibly

Try avoiding useless drives, turn off the engine in red signals and us less-powered vehicles that emit less pollution. A lot have been said about the vehicular pollution, we all just do our bit towards controlling it.

  1. Buy recycled

Toys, bicycles, playing equipment, and other age and size-specific items that are quickly outgrown should be shared or can be bought second hand too. Most of those things use plastic that does not decompose and metals that are a natural resource.

  1. Buy local

Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers’ markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.

  1. Adjust your air conditioners often

Adjust your AC one or two degree higher in the summer than usual, it will will save about 10 per cent on your energy use, but will not affect the cooling much.

Think, Do and Share: 10 Tips for the week

‘Go green’ is the simplest idea to be planted in your everyday life, it does not mean you will have to change your life or lifestyle.

Simple things can make a difference. The contents of this list might not be new, but they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things take root.

  1. Check lights at your home

If every household in the country replaced regular light bulbs with one of those new compact LEDs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing roughly a million cars from the road, so say various credible organizations.

  1. At work, often turn off computers

By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save nearly 40 watt-hours per day.  If you do not want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work,

  1. Do not pre-heat the oven

Unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort, do not pre-heat the oven. Just turn it on when you put the dish in. Also, when checking on your food, look through the oven window instead of opening the door.

  1. Recycle glass

Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 per cent and related water pollution by 50 per cent. If it is not recycled, it can take a million years to decompose.

  1. Diaper with a conscience

By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers, adding over a million tons of waste in the landfills each year. Whether you choose cloth or a more environmentally-friendly disposable, you are making a choice that has a much gentler impact on our planet. Yes, there are NGOs that collect recyclable waste and have found solution to recycle diaper and sanitary pads, find one in your area.

  1. Hang dry

Do you use an automatic drying washing machine? Try using it less as it consumers a lot of extra energy and its dryer adds to global warming. Get a clothesline or rack, like it used to be in olden days to dry your clothes by the air under the sunshine. Your wardrobe will maintain colour and fit, and you will also save money.

  1. Go vegetarian, sometimes

One less meat-based meal a will help the planet and your diet. In case you do not already know, it requires about three times the water to wash chicken and five times for red meat as compared to washing vegetables. Moreover, a section of society also questions the conditions in which animals and birds are reared to eat

  1. Move from hot to warm

Many of you could be so used to switching on the water heater/geysers and let them on till the water is completely hot. However, you do not really need so much hot water and you end up mixing cold water in the heated water. Why not bath when water is just warm, before the geyser cuts of? You will save electricity and some water too.

  1. Use one less paper napkin

As per Global reporting Initiative, on an average around 3-4 paper napkins (either in toilet or on dinner table) are used by an employee in a corporate office using paper towels. A similar amount is used in hotels, cafes and some homes too. However, if everyone in the office could use their washable handkerchief/hand towel, it will make a great difference to the paper consumption and add life to the planet.

Once victim of gender discrimination, Girisha now leads community initiatives

Born to a daily-wage earner with uncertainties of getting regular meals in a gender biased community, being able to pass tenth grade was an achievement in itself for Girisha. And that probably would have been her last achievement too as her father would not have been able to afford higher education and nor would her community accept seeing a girl going for higher studies.

Thankfully, the youth leaders of Hamari Pari initiative met Girisha and found out the potential in this enthusiastic girl. They enrolled her as a community youth leader under the programme and made her the leader of the community. After a few orientation sessions, Girisha transformed into a leader who now encourages many girls like her to come out, play and learn. She now encourages girls to study, become strong enough to live an independent life and break the stereotypical gender bias.

“Prior to joining this programme, I was quiet and reserved and used to feel nervous while interacting with people. I did not even have little courage to speak to my immediate neighbours. Thanks to the friends from the Hamari Pari programme who showed me the courage and confidence that I had hidden somewhere inside me. I do not fear anyone anymore. They even sensitized the whole community and made them understand the significance of gender parity.

“With just a few months of enrolling for Hamari Pari, I have this positive hope. I am starting my education again, will soon enrol for higher studies and pursue my dream of becoming an engineer.”

Hamari Pari Alla, a short story of a little change –

Insignificant social status, family’s financial compulsions with father Atchuta Rao being a daily-wage earner and three younger siblings to be taken care of, 18-year-old Alla  Sravani’s life in  Asivanipallem in Viskhapatanam can be imagined as depressing. However, unlike many girls who are brought up hopelessly in her situation, Alla has an interesting story to tell. She is the ‘youth leader’ of her community and is already seen as a role model for many young girls within the community for confidence and positivity.

Not that Alla was born with some extraordinary luck or had hit some treasure that changed her life. It was just that she had met some good friends  who helped her in overcoming the stress that she was living under, encouraged her to fight her challenging life and guided her as well as her family in deciding a right life path for her.  They helped in building the girl’s confidence through sports and motivated her to continue school.

These friends of Alla are the volunteers or grassroots workers of Magic Bus, a non-government organization that is one of the implementing partners of Hamari Pari programme that aims to empower lakhs of girls like Alla across India.

“…  I used to feel nervous all the time and mostly remained quiet. I always used to worry about the consistent financial crisis that my family has been going through and that made me think that I have a bleak future.

“Hamari Pari programme showed me the silver lining and now I realize that all that I need to change my life is the right guidance and the belief that I am no different and I am certainly not underprivileged.  I’ll always be grateful to Hero MotoCorp for reaching out to girls like me, as a youth leader, I will also make sure that more girls like me enrol in the programme that promises as better future to us all,” says Alla.

Alla has recently completed her schooling and is looking forward to joining a skill development programme that could give her financial freedom as well as the exposure to grow as an independent individual. Moreover, apart from being the beneficiary of the project, Alla is also the community youth leader of the Hamari Pari programme and engages with young girls to ensure that they are inspired and motivated to fight the odds and live a dignified life.

Can empowered girl end poverty?

Millennium Development Goals have made gender equality and women empowerment the third top priority in ending world poverty. One of their focuses in improving gender equality is through education. ‘In many countries, gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government,” according to the United Nations. The organization has also established the fact that while 50 per cent of the world’s population is women, their representation in many fields has been far less than equal.

As for India, although the incidents of discrimination are steadily lowering in urban parts of India, many rural women continue to be oppressed and news of brutal attacks to socio-economic inequality to forced early marriage and withdrawal from school continue to flow from across the country. Hence, there are multiple areas that need to be addressed to meet the MDGs and successfully achieve equality between boys and girls to see a prosperous country.

Even the World Bank has made gender equality the top priority in their plan to end world poverty. They stress that if girls are educated and healthy, they have a chance to become influential leaders in their countries. Yet, in many countries women continue to earn less than their male counterparts. Since many women are a directly involved with much of the world’s agriculture, World Bank mentions the impact women can have with improving hunger.  The World Bank says, ‘… if women worldwide had equal access to productive resources, 100-150 million fewer people would go hungry every day.

Unfortunately, in remote corners of the country, girls are limited to housework and do not get a chance to be seen as equal. However, if they were given a chance to chase their dreams, the country will get more entrepreneurs, more scientists, more doctors, more engineers… professionals who can help make a difference in the world. By oppressing the girl, the country oppresses itself from its full potential.

Five reasons why we need to empower our girls

Every year the United Nation Foundation and its partner and associated organizations celebrate International Day of the Girl and the extraordinary power of girls in our world. In 2015, the theme of the Day was ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030,’ which highlighted the importance of girls to achieving the global goals for sustainable development.

The message the UN gave was that ‘to reach our global goals, we have to reach girls and it underlined five reasons why empowering adolescent girls matters to all of us. Here are those reasons. 

  1. It’s her right

Fundamentally, this is a human rights issue. Discrimination has no place in the 21st century, and every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community.

  1. Empowered girls mean healthier families.

When girls are educated, healthy, and empowered, families are healthier. According to UNESCO, 2.1 million children under age of five were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in girls’ education. And closing the gap in the unmet need for family planning for the 225 million girls and women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy but aren’t using modern contraception would reduce maternal deaths by 67 per cent and newborn deaths by 77 per cent.

  1. Empowered girls are key to breaking the cycle of poverty

Research from the Brookings Institution has found that every additional year of school increases a girls’ eventual wages by an average of 12 per cent – earnings she invests back into her family. Empowered, educated girls have healthier, better educated children and higher wages – helping to break the cycle of poverty.

  1. Empowered girls strengthen economies

According to a new Brookings report, “Increasing the number of women completing secondary education by just 1 percent could increase a country’s economic growth by 0.3 per cent.” Additionally, a report just released by the McKinsey Global Institute found that if women’s level of participation in the labour market was the same as men’s it would add up to $28 trillion to annual global GDP in 2025.

  1. It is our duty

Investing in girls is one of the smartest things we can do to promote a healthier, more prosperous world. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Every girl has the right to be in charge of her future and her fate, and we have the collective obligation to protect her rights and promote her wellbeing.

Six facts we must know and act upon

Although great efforts are being made through campaigns – some even starting from the Prime Minister’s office and go down to the panchayat level – it seems a lot more id yet to be done and each conscious individual has to play a significant role in ensuring the success of such campaigns.

Each one of us has to understand the root cause of the evil of discrimination and why or why should the practice be discouraged. Here are a few facts that we all must know.

  1. Although we all know that, educated women play a key role in the social and economic development of the country. In Asia, India has the ‘lowest’ rates of female literacy. Surely something we need to do something about considering the world is looking at India as the Asia’s superpower.
  1. Educating a woman uplifts her life as well as the quality of her life and her entire family. An educated woman supports the education of her children especially the girl child and imbibes right attitude and morals. She ensures independent and progressive outlook of her children. Hence, it only makes sense to empower the women to call India a progressive nation.
  1. The key question is why most women in India are not educated? The answer is attributed to the fact the country has a biased outlook towards the education of women. A section of society has conventional mindset and sees girl child as a liability. Another contributing factor is the rapid growth of the population. Most Indian households have a number of children whose needs are much higher than their earning capacity. This leads to the neglect of the girl’s education and boys get to go to school.
  1. Educating an Indian woman creates a vital opportunity for the social and economic development of India. An educated Indian woman will yield a positive impact in the Indian society by contributing positively to the economy of both the country and the society.
  1. An educated woman reduces the chances of her child not living beyond the age of five – the issue that the country has been fighting for decades.

An educated woman increases the chances of controlling the population explosion – the major obstacle holding the country’s growth – as an educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and understands the importance of having a small family that she can manage well.

Empowering the girl, strengthening the nation’s foundation

Empowering girls at the grassroots is the need of the hour and none of need to understand the reason for the same. One may simply so a Google search on the subject and can find out the odds that little girls across the country are facing in terms of opportunity to grow, status among community and not to mention the cases of violence against them.

If one had to list out the reasons, there have been terrible wrongdoings by a section of the society that are holding Indian girls back and keeping half of the country’s girls’ population in the dark. While we take pride in being progressive and forward going nation, we cannot afford to ignore problems that grapple the country internally, losing cultural values being one of them.

It is to be noted that our girls can be empowered only through the stubborn insistence of decision makers at the top as well as initiatives of responsible citizenry including corporate groups – Hamari Pari is one such initiative. Great efforts are also being made by credible national and international organizations including the United Nations that have carved out the ideals of equality and are implementing many programmes from which the Indian women across the country can take hope.

While many girls are already exploring the possibility of education, have sense of ownership, and freedom to make their own decisions, the overarching cultural change seems to be quite far as many lives are yet to be touched and many conventional minds are yet to be changed.

Emmaline Pankhurst once said that freeing a woman is freeing a half of the human race because they represent a half of the world’s population. The process of reestablishing the cultural values has to begin at home, at every Indian home, when the girl is in her infancy. While mothers need to understand that their sons and daughters are equal, fathers have to become role models for their sons when it comes to breaking the gender biases. Each individual, a social organization, a business entity has to understand that girls do not need to be  treated any better than everyone else neither do they need special attention, they just need to be  considered equal – the fundamental rights as well as the duties of  both genders are the same.

Nellie McClung’s advise – education to a woman means educating the family, the whole community – has been well understood by the world and needs no further explanation as the impact of the same is now visible across societies do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender.