Friday, March 21, 2008

green ur life

Get ancient forests out of your paper.

Environmental options are available for a dizzying array of products including mailing labels, tissue products, bags and coated papers. 100 post-consumer, processed chlorine-free paper is widely available and is the best choice for all paper use.

The Markets Initiative (a coalition of environmental groups including Greenpeace) has created an online database of eco-friendly paper for all your paper needs.

You can also look for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper. FSC certified paper contains virgin fibre sourced from logging operations that have met strict standards for social and environmental responsibility.

Sadly, corporations like Kimberly-Clark also use ancient forests in disposable tissue products like toilet paper. As a result, many businesses are choosing to stop buying Kimberly-Clark products until they change their destructive practices. Encourage your workplace to join Greenpeace's Forest Friendly 500 campaign and do the right thing for ancient forests.

And make sure all the tissue products at your workplace contain high post-consumer recycled content. For some tips on green paper buying from Greenpeace, visit
Green your office equipment.

Start by making sure that all your office equipment is energy efficient. The federal ENERGY STAR program has certified a full range of office equipment including photocopiers, printers, computers and fax machines. For more information from Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on additional green certifications for computers, visit: For a ranking of electronics manufacturers from Greenpeace International, visit the Greenpeace Guide to Green Electronics.

Make sure you are doing the right thing when you're done with electronics, which usually contain a variety of toxic chemicals and are classified as hazardous waste. If your equipment's still in good shape, visit Industry Canada's 'Computers for Schools' website to find out how to recycle your surplus IT equipment to schools, public libraries and not-for-profits.

Some retailers will also take back electronics when you're done with them. Visit Electronic Products Stewardship Canada for some links to the recycling programs of a variety of manufacturers.

If your workplace doesn't currently recycle electronics, try creating an inhouse program. Use the resources listed here and contact your municipality for additional advice.
Eat and drink responsibly.

If you're lucky, wherever you work, there's coffee. Make sure it's fair trade, organic coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) - it's all widely available right now. Also choose organic cream, organic milk and fair trade sugar.

If there's a cafeteria where you work - or if you have food at meetings and special events - create a responsible procurement policy. The best choice - local, GE-free, organic food you can trace straight back to the farmer. For more information on sourcing organic food in Canada, visit the Canadian Organic Growers. Your workplace can also consider Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which allows you to invest in a farmer's annual crop. The dividends: farm fresh food, as soon as it's ripe. To find a local CSA, try an internet search or ask at your local food co-op.

If you're planning a special event at work, try to construct a 'hundred-mile menu' - a meal assembled from ingredients found within a hundred-mile radius of your home. But don't stop at food. Consider locally-grown, organic flowers (make sure to ask about labour conditions if they're not fair trade certified) and local organic wine.

For a whole book full of green tips, check out the fabulous Greenpeace Living Guide.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

green bulidings in india

‘A Green building should create delight when entered, serenity and health when
occupied and regret when departed’ – Perhaps this is one of the most inspiring
definitions of a Green building, articulated in the book ‘Natural Capitalism’.
The concept of green buildings is not as nascent as we think it is. For example, our
own ancestors worshipped the five elements of nature - Earth as ‘Prithvi, Water as
“Jal’, Agni as ‘Energy’, Air as ‘Vayu’, and Sky as ‘Akash’.
Today through the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Leadership) green
building rating system, we are rediscovering the Indian ethos.
The Green building movement has gained tremendous momentum during the past
3-4 years, since the CII- Godrej GBC embarked on achieving the prestigious LEED
rating for its own centre at Hyderabad. The Platinum rating awarded for this building
sparked off considerable enthusiasm in the country.
From a humble beginning of 20,000 sq.ft of green footprint in the country in the year
2003, to a staggering 10 million sq.ft expected by end 2008, green buildings are well
poised to reach scalar heights. Today a variety of green building projects are coming
up in the country – residential complexes, exhibition centers, hospitals,
educational institutions, laboratories, IT parks, airports, government buildings
and corporate offices
Fig 1

Monday, March 17, 2008

green power in india

In February 2007, Greenpower will work with its partners WWF India, Gram Swaraj and Greenpower India to install 15 additional Rural Energy Units in villages surrounding Similipal Tiger Reserve. The new units will supplement those already installed by Greenpower in the winter of 2005 and the autumn of 2006.

By utilizing biogas technology, each unit will reduce timber demand by about 1500 metric tones per unit per year. This is an excellent means of preserving vegetation and sustaining biodiversity. Additionally, the units provide a cheap and reliable source of energy for the villages in which they are installed.

green power in india

Sunday, March 16, 2008


A five-month-long Associated Press investigation has found pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas from Southern California to New York City, which provide water to 41 million Americans. In Philadelphia, the 56 drugs found in the drinking water included "medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems," according to the AP coverage. Only Albuquerque, N.M., Austin, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Va. had clear results. That's good news for them, although it's unclear how many drugs they may have tested for.

And it's not only medications given to people that are a concern. Cattle receive a slow-release anabolic steroid to help them bulk up like weightlifters. Ten percent of that steroid passes through the animal and can wind up in waterways where downstream fish, such as fathead minnows in Nebraska, show increased steroid levels and physical changes.

So what can you do? Bottled water isn't the answer, because steps generally aren't taken to remove pharmaceuticals from it either. Expensive reverse osmosis filters may help remove drugs, but given that this is a long-term rather than an immediate threat, working to keep pharmaceutical drugs from reaching waterways is our best bet. When disposing of drugs, avoid flushing them down the toilet unless specifically directed to by your physician. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Pharmacists Association recommend the following disposal methods:

Pour pills into a plastic bag before crushing to prevent airborne particles.
Pour liquid medications into a plastic bag. (Birth control patches may be folded over and disposed of in the garbage.)
Mix kitty litter or coffee grounds in the plastic bag containing the medication.
Seal the plastic bag to reduce the risk of potential poisoning.
Place sealed plastic bag in household trash for disposal.
Remove and destroy all identifying personal information (on the prescription label) from the medication container.
Recycle empty medication container as allowed in the local recycling area or throw it in the trash.

Remember: Don't hold onto excess pills once you're finished taking them.


A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also known as a compact fluorescent light bulb (or less commonly as a compact fluorescent tube [CFT]) is a type of fluorescent lamp. Many CFLs are designed to replace an incandescent lamp and can fit in the existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescents.

Compared to general standard incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use less power and have a longer rated life. In the United States, a CFL can save over 30 USD in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime compared to an incandescent lamp and save 2000 times their own weight in greenhouse gases. The purchase price of a CFL is higher than that of an incandescent lamp of the same luminous output, but this cost is recovered in energy savings and replacement costs over the bulb's lifetime. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain mercury; this complicates the disposal of fluorescent lamps and causes a health risk when they are broken.

CFLs radiate a different light spectrum from that of incandescent lamps. Improved phosphor formulations have improved the subjective color of the light emitted by CFLs such that the best 'soft white' CFLs available in 2007 are subjectively similar in color to standard incandescent lamps.

Modern CFLs typically have a lifespan of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, whereas incandescent lamps are usually manufactured to have a lifespan of 750 hours or 1,000 hours.[9] These lifetimes are quoted according to IEC60969,[10] which specifies that "life to 50% of failures shall be not less than value declared by the manufacturer". Some incandescent bulbs claim long rated lifespans of 20,000 hours [11] with reduced light output (approximately 500 versus 800 lumens). [12] The lifetime of any lamp depends on many factors including operating voltage, manufacturing defects, exposure to voltage spikes, mechanical shock, frequency of cycling on and off and ambient operating temperature, among other factors. The life of a CFL is significantly shorter if it is only turned on for a few minutes at a time: In the case of a 5-minute on/off cycle the lifespan of a CFL can be up to 85% shorter, reducing its lifespan to the level of an incandescent lamp.[13][14][15] The US Energy Star program says to leave them on at least 15 minutes at a time to mitigate this problem.

CFLs give less light later in their life than they do at the start. The light output depreciation is exponential, with the fastest losses being soon after the lamp was new. By the middle to end of their lives, CFLs can be expected to produce 70-80% of their original light output. (An Incandescent lamp which gives 93% or less of its initial light output at 75% of its rated life is regarded as unsatisfactory, when tested according to IEC Publication 60064. Light loss is due to filament evaporation and bulb blackening. ) The response of the human eye to light is logarithmic: Each f-number (or photographic 'f-stop') reduction represents a halving in actual light, but is subjectively quite a small change.A 20-30% reduction over many thousands of hours represents a change of about half an f-stop, which is barely noticeable in everyday life.