Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Light Emitting Diode

Light Emitting Diodes or more popularly known as led, uses less voltage than any conventional lighting. Even less than the CFL lights. The use of low energy is ideal for anyone who wants to reduce their electricity bill, be it at home or office. Its also take less space, than the traditional light bulbs.

Even though I haven't seen any light fittings made from LED lights in the market, it won't be long we will see such LED light bulbs, which can be easily fixed in your homes or office, like the traditional light bulbs.

The downside to this is the price of LED lights. Its rather expensive than the traditional bulbs. But it should be offset by the cost savings you will get in your electricity bill.

And also it will have a positive impact on the environment, as less electricity is consumed and less fuel burned to generate electricity. Which means less CO2 is released in the environment, theoretically, but sure how it will work practically.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Paperless Office

The introduction of Personal Computers from the 80's inflamed the notion of a paperless office. It was envisaged that computers will one day eliminated the need for paper documents in the office, as documents can be stored in electronic format in the computer's hard drive. It was also envisaged that this will also have a positive impact on the environment, as less trees will have to be cut down to make paper.

Well, that is what was expected. But in reality, the paperless office still remains a dream. Personal Computers has increased the paper output than reducing it. With more access to computers and printers meant that people are taking more printouts than ever. We are still used to reading paper than reading from the computer screen. Therefore the need to take a printout, even a email. The internet has also played its part in increasing the paper output. Web pages are printed for easy reading. The cliche of old habits never die, rings true here.

Email has somewhat reduced the need to post letters, but we still print our emails, for filing etc.

The old habit of keeping paper documents as proof still remains, even though electronic documents are being accepted even as evidence in courts.

E-billing, a concept of paperless billing, is still not a success, as we would rather have a paper bill than a electronic bill (its alien to most of us). Well, the people who are in the bill printing business will be happy to hear this!

But we should not give up on the concept of paperless office either. There are solutions in the market for companies to go for a paperless office. Document Management software and Work flow management software, helps companies handle documents without actually using paper documents.

Document Management software archives electronic documents, such as your MS Office files, emails for storage and easy retrieval, so you don't need to take a printout and file it for future reference. The archived file can be access by anyone (who has the rights), as it is saved in a central location (network server). Electronic archiving documents is safer, as only authorized employees will have the access to the documents (with password authentication) . This is an added safety for you documents, which paper documents cannot provide.

Work flow management software, helps the flow of documents from one PC to another PC (automated) without the need to take printouts. The documents can be signed digitally (eliminating the need to take printouts for the documents to be signed by pen).

We also need to stress the importance of asking email recipients on preserving the environment by not taking a printout of the email they have received.

As a lst thought, I hope you won't take a printout to read this article!.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What happens to E-Waste?

This an Greenpeace video (http://www.greenpeace.org) I found in Youtube.

India has become a hub for recycling of electronic item. Electronic items such as Computer mother, copper wires are recycled in order to produce metals such as copper and even gold.

The recycling are done in haphazard way, with no regard to the safety and health of the workers, or the environment.

Greenpeace is also accusing the western nation (specially the USA) for dumping its waste in third world countries, violating international regulations (the Basel Convention) No wonder the Americans are skeptical and even denying the fact about Global warming!

Want to Save the world ? - Plant A Tree

Green House gases has been blamed for the cause of Global Warming, and mostly man made gases. Emissions from vehicles, factories, burning waste, farming etc, are increasing the level of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the earth's environment.

But, what can we do as a citizen, to stops these greenhouse gases from damaging our fragile environment?

Planting a tree can help in reducing greenhouse gases, as trees can soak up the harmful greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Cutting down trees or deforestation has been blamed for the increase in the level of CO2 in the environment, which has resulted in earth's temperature increasing.

Planting a tree will not only help in soaking up the greenhouse gases in the urban environment, but also provide shade in what scientists are calling urban heat islands.

But there rises another problem, by simply planting any tree, will you be able to reduce these greenhouse gases? The answer to that question is No. Some trees can even aggravate the situation, than reducing the gases.

According to an news item which I read at www.abcnews.go.com on the subject of "Wanna Save the World? Make Sure You Plant the Right Tree", not all trees are the same. There are trees which can contribute to air pollution by emitting volatile organic compounds (compounds containing carbon), such as isoprene, which help form ozone, a health hazard.

So, what trees do we need to plant. Researchers havecame up with a list of 31 species, including American basswood, dogwood, Eastern white pine, Eastern red cedar, gray birch, red maple and river birch. That combination, they found, would increase carbon sequestration by 86 percent, and reduce the emission of volatile compounds by 88 percent. (www.abcnews.go.com). But these plants were tested in the US and the results will be different in different regions. Further research needs to be done in finding out the best tree, which will suit a region.

But planting a tree is only a short term solution, as trees will eventually die and rotting trees can release CO2 into the environment. Therefore planting trees will only buys us time, for us to reduce green gas emission. The less we emit greenhouse gases in to the environment, the less we to have a solution to absorb them. The saying "Prevention is better than cure" sums it up quite well.

source : www.abcnews.go.com (click on the link to read the full story on "Wanna Save the World? Make Sure You Plant the Right Tree"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deforestation and Global Warming

Deforestation has become the major reason for Global Warming, more than from vehicle emission. Trees are natural absorbent of CO2 which has been blamed for increase in global temperatures.

According toAllianz Knowledge (http://knowledge.allianz.com/), "one day of emissions from deforestation equals 12.5 million people flying from London to New York, is that forests absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it as carbon in the trees and the soil. Tropical forests alone store a quarter of all the carbon on land".

As the world's population grows, the demand for land for housing and farming, has increased. This has resulted in more forested land being turned into bare lands for housing and farming. Tress are being cut and burned, resulting in the CO2 emission. Stripped of its tree cover, the soil leaks CO2 and sometimes methane. Deforestation is a double blow to the climate, which loses a carbon sink and gains nothing but more greenhouse gases. (http://knowledge.allianz.com/).

Deforestation, has been blamed for lack of rainfall. Trees helps cloud formation. Further burning of trees can also prevent cloud formation as a result of soots from the burning trees. Deforestation is also blamed for soil erosion, which can lead to landslides during heavy rains.

Deforested land used for cattle farming can even cause further damages to the environment. Cattle farming has its fair share in releasing green house gases in the environment.

Governments needs to act to prevent more deforestation. Forests needs to be protected. The need to plant a tree for each tree felled is very important, if we are to preserve our forests and our environment. City planners need to look at making their city more greener. The solutions are there, but we need to act upon it.

Source : www.knowledge.allianz.com

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reuse or Recycle ?

Global Warming, climate change has resulted in the emphasis on reusing or recycling of resources at our offices and homes.

But which is better reuse or recycle?

Reusing and recycling are different from each other, even though bottom line is that, we are reusing the same resource. The difference here is that, in recycling there is a process involved before it can be reuse it.

The answer to the question of whether to reuse or recycle will depend on how we are going to use the end product. But there is a cost element in recycling and it maybe expensive to recycle than buying it new. Recycling papers is expensive than using new paper.

Furthermore, some recycle process can even harm the environment. Bleaching of paper to remove the ink, means harmful chemicals (ink) are released into the environment (unless they are properly disposed off - which is an additional cost). But the recycling process has to be done, if the paper is to be used for printing.

On the other hand, reusing won't cost a cent for the user, as there is no process involved. There are many ways office resources can be reused.
  • Use of fountain pens (only the ink needs to be refilled) instead of disposable plastic pens.
  • Use pens which has refills (if you think that using fountain pens are old fashioned or messy)
  • Use glass bottles instead of disposable water bottles. They last longer and are healthier than plastic.
  • Use natural indoor plants at your office instead the artificial plants. The natural plants will not only beautify (even though the artificial ones can also do the same) but also can purify your office environment (air).
Using a compost bin at home is one way of disposing you waste or reusing your waste. The waste is naturally converted as compost, which can be used for your garden.

Therefore if you have an option, where reuse is possible instead of recycling it, I suggest you reuse it. Think of reusing, the next time you purchase any item for you home or office. Its a small part you can do to protect our environment.

Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide

Photos from US spy satellites declassified by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer. The effects on the world's weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating.

This should silence the skeptics of Global Warming or at least something about. Global Warming is real. We need to act on it.

click here to read more about it. http://www.guardian.co.uk

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The mulching lawn mower

I read about this lawn mower while browsing on the subject of recycling. This lawn mower not only cut the grass but is designed so as to leave behind finely shredded grass clippings.

The traditional lawn mower on the other hand, leaves the clipped grass on the lawn. These clipped grass will have to be collected (probably in a plastic bag) and disposed off.

The mulching lawn mower eliminates the necessity for collecting and disposing the clipped grass. The grass clipping once shredded are small enough to be left in the ground itself, and will not harm the grass, which is the case if you leave the clipped grass using the traditional lawn mowers.

The mulched grass will also fertilize your lawn, saving the cost of fertilizing your lawn. Its also mean less work for you

Friday, July 24, 2009

Global Warming

Animation on Global Warming. Its a challenge. But we can achieve it.