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Articles in the ‘Eco-friendly Updates’ Category

Are GMO’S Eco-Friendly?

By Lavanya P on July 2nd, 2016

We all are hearing about GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms), the way they are posing threat to the human life, the authenticity of them, possible dangers, the bioethics and all the possible way Genetic engineering and the exploitation of Biotechnology can actually be the end of human life. Let’s have a detailed discussion on whether GMOs are worth all this or not!

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Now, before we even speak about GMO’s, we need to talk about genetic engineering because all GMO’s are the products of Genetic engineering. First question that pops up in the back of our minds, what exactly is genetic engineering? Because no matter how many times we come across the term, we still have our confusions about it. Genetic engineering, in simpler terms, is the creation, alteration or the modification of the genetic material of a plant or animal by the usage of certain means of vehicles. Easy enough?

But Genetic engineering is no easy thing to do, as we know, genes are the basic structure of life itself, we hear doubts about how ethically it is acceptable to change the life itself, some even calling it a blasphemy. But neither can we argue with scientists whose dream is to create a better world, a world free of poverty, a world free of pollution, a world free of any potential problems. The weapon they have is nothing but biotechnology, the biggest weapon of all, with which they created GMO’s.

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What are GMO’s and how are they created ?

GMO’s are the Genetically modified organisms. Be it plants, animals or microorganisms. The intent of genetic engineering is to correct the problem from the root, that is in case of humans and other biotic community is to aim the genes and alter them. And how are they modified? There are several methods. Using physical, chemical and biological methods, genes are transferred and being modified. The means of transfer we are using, have to be incorporated in the organism targeted and only if successful, genetic alteration can be made.

Why are we using GMO’S ?

Multiple reasons. The overexploitation of nature by man, depletion of ecosystems and the near-ending of the environmental balance has forced to open the doors of the biotechnology and then the genetic engineering came into the picture, changing everything and making modifications in human life rapidly. Let’s take a look at the times GMO’s saved us from sticky ends.

1.Reduction of greenhouse gases emission

Greenhouse gases are a potential threat to environment today. The gases emitted from various means cause the damage to environment and cause global warming. The effects of global warming had become so fatal lately that the measures which were implemented were also not successful. But we have an advantage there, with the help of biotechnology. The genetically modified crops helped us a lot in reducing these harmful gases and giving their own share, which is more than all the humans combined, helped us reduce the effect.

2.Pharma agents and Biofuels

This is another revolutionary discovery that has been a huge boon to mankind. The pharma industry has been using less chemicals these days, after GMO’s had made their kick-ass entry. The biofuels which are used now also had more share of biotic material and they are now used with the minimal damage to the environment and avoiding the byproducts of the harmful chemicals that have been employed in the pharma industry.

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3.Bioremediation

High time that we clean up the mess we have been making all these years. Polluting the land, water, air and everything within our reach since centuries. Now these GMO’s are helping us to clean up the pollutants with not pollutants(another really stupid idea of man) but with natural things, like using the crops and the microorganisms.

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4.Nutritional value

This is a  huge, huge appreciable front. Scientists had modified the crops with antioxidants, cancer-fighting agents, certain promoters of immunity and resistance to heart diseases and more, like peanuts and specific type of berries without allergens. Food products with high nutritional value that will help feed the under developed and malnutritioned people under the poverty line.

 

5.Plant protection

Yes, plant protection, after the GMO’s have been introduced, there is an immense decrease in the usage of pesticides, insecticides, and other insect and pest controlling measures. For instance, there is BT(bacillus thuringiensis) which drastically reduced the usage of all these materials. It has been criticized a lot but that’s another story!

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These are the cases we just used for letting know about how useful GMO’s are to environment and how many close shaves we have escaped because of them. And there is no denying, there are certain risks associated with the GMO’s too. Like the long term effects of these crops are unknown. Even though all the transgenic foods manufactured are tested by WHO, there are still nagging suspicions about them. Also, the discovery of the BT toxin in human fetal blood added fuel to the fire of the doubts about the toxin being forwarded to next generations. The scientists are arguing about how we should utilize them properly and not overuse and younger generation supports the idea and after all, dogs are selectively bred wolves and that’s that!

World Earth Day 2015

By admin on April 23rd, 2015

Did you have a date on 22nd April, Wednesday, with Planet Earth?

I am sure you have, for the sake of our very own Planet Earth. It was Earth Day and a very important day for the modern civilization. So important, that the very survival of the planet depends on it.

How did the World Earth Day come about?

World Earth Day is celebrated annually to enhance the environmental safety awareness and underline the importance of environmental protection measures. It was celebrated for the first time in 1970 and is today celebrated across 140+ countries.

John McConnell of San Francisco was an active environmentalist and had a futuristic vision. He actively took part in environmental movements at the time and proposed to have a remembrance day for environmental safety. He chose to celebrate the same on the spring equinox (21st March, 1970). However, another environmentalist and the then US Senator for Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson chose to celebrate the same on 22nd April, 1970. After a long outreach, it was decided that the event would be celebrated on both days for that year.

The underlying reason for such Earth Day celebration was the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill which resulted in massive pollution killing marine and plant life. The first ever Earth Day celebrations saw many college groups involving themselves to protest against the oils spill, toxic dumps, water and air pollution, use of pesticides, raw sewage, industrialization and many other issues.

Come 1990, Denis Hayes, the coordinator for Earth Day events decided to celebrate the Earth Day only on 22nd April every year and he proposed that a whole week of celebrations be underatken, calling it the Earth Week. So, a complete week is celebrated by addressing environmental issues wherein the campaign normally begins with planting new trees.

Why is Earth Day Celebrated?

enviro gadget

Earth Day is celebrated to remind the mankind of preserving natural resources which are being used commercially without a concern for the environment and the critical life balance that rules the planet. The results are acid rains and global warming which is already a threat to the environment. Reducing pollution, planting new trees, limiting deforestation, reducing energy consumption and having a smaller carbon foot print for individuals as well as businesses are the main objective of celebrating Earth Day.

Earth Day celebration include many events which may include, but not limited to:

  • Planting new trees wherever required.
  • Outdoor activities with family such as emptying the garbage on the street or building the dog house or identifying their role in the biological cycle.
  • Illuminate others and discourage them from using plastic to reduce soil and water pollution.
  • Teaching neighborhood kids about recycling.
  • Participate in cleaning up activities.
  • Taking part in discussions, and knowledge-gathering sessions that include seminars and activities which relate to environmental safety or conservation.
  • Motivate others by wearing earth, vegetation or sky (brown, green or blue] colored clothes.
  • Getting the message to others that every day is Earth Day and the care towards environment should be practiced daily and not annually.

In the recent past, every Earth Day was celebrated with a theme:

  • 2007 “Be kind to the earth – starting from saving resources”.
  • 2008 “Trees Please”.
  • 2009“How Do You Get Around”.
  • 2010 “Reduce”.
  • 2011“Clear the Air”.
  • 2012 “Mobilize the Earth”.
  • 2013“The Face of Climate Change”.
  • 2014“Green Cities”.
  • And this year, 2015, it would be “Water Wonderful World”.

Earth Day every year

Every year, the Earth Day is celebrated by almost everyone across the planet. A typical Earth Day celebration involves colleges and environmental organizations protesting and discussing issues of pollution control, planned industrialization, dealing with toxic wastes, ozone layer deterioration, controlling polluting businesses and many more. The major chunks of people are from colleges and people who like to create awareness on such issues.

The result of such celebrations is positive and as a result, many governments and groups have actually taken steps to curb pollution and improve the environment. The inspiration taken from Earth Day is very positive across all 141+ participating countries and this has resulted in concrete steps to curb global warming.

In 2015 Earth Day has been organised by various groups and businesses in various countries. On the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, the agenda is to get economic growth to join hands with sustainability. And, there is ample chance and hope that the world leaders will unite for mother earth and pass the climate change treaty that would be binding on all participating countries.

Quotable quotes on Earth Day:

  • Charles A. Lindbergh“Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values…. God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.”
  • Rabindranath Tagore “Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
  • Barry Commoner“Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.”
  • Greg Dworkin“One billion people in 175 countries will mark Earth Day. That puts tea parties in perspective, doesn’t it?”
  • Jackie Speier“Every day is Earth Day, and I vote we start investing in a secure climate future right now.”

On this Earth day, let us all unite and take a stand – “We shall divest from using fossil fuels and spend our hard earned money on renewable energy solutions, environmentally friendly gadgets and finally take a step towards ridding the planet of unwanted waste, toxins and pollution”.

Are all of you with us? Let us all unite and show the world that we stand against pollution and mindless destruction of the environment and are committed to create a cleaner and ecologically balanced planet, together.

By the way, we are inviting all to send in their posts ([email protected]) related to Earth Day, we would be glad to publish them.

Harmful Effects of using Heavy Detergents

By Anny on May 9th, 2013

Being Eco-friendly means that you choose to stay in harmony with nature, in all your activities. Often, we tend to focus more on widely publicized ways to reduce pollution, and conserve energy. But, in our daily routine, there are many such instances where we tend to unknowingly pollute the environment,and disturb the ecological balance. Here’s a look on how commonly used detergents can cause damage to the environment.

Harmful effects of using Heavy Detergents

We all use detergents in our daily life, with a standard washing machine cycle requiring at least 60 liters of water under standard washing conditions. The water from the machine is often let into drainage pipes, where it mixes with drain water and ends up in treatment plants. Often, these treatment plants let out the water into large water bodies such as lakes, rivers and seas, where the water would still have harmful phosphates which usually are not filtered in treatment plants. These phosphates are very harmful for marine life, as they promote the growth of rouge algae, which cause a decrease in the oxygen content in the water, and also release toxins. Eventually this damages the ecosystems in the water bodies, and slowly makes them unfit for a healthy marine life.

Phosphates are mainly used in detergents to soften the water, so that the detergent can act much better. Apart from phosphates, there are also fragrances which are added to give the detergent a pleasantsmell. This fragrances are often derived from petroleum bye-products, and other harmful chemicals,and do effect the marine life. Detergents also contain chlorine, PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) and other harmfulchemicals which are potentially dangerous to human and marine life. The main drawback is that suchtoxic chemicals, though in very minute proportions often dissolve in water, and are very difficult to befiltered. When such water is let into other water bodies, the dissolved impurities make their way in thewater, and as time passes, the level of such toxins reaches a very high proportion, making it very harmful for marine life.

One alternative is to use Eco-friendly and non-polluting detergents in for our daily needs. You can do your part by checking for Eco-friendly detergents while shopping and ensure that your product does not contain phosphates and other such toxic chemicals as active ingredients. Since detergents are something we all use on a daily basis, it’s highly recommended to look for a safe variety amongst the numerous options in the market.

Elis and Kreese – Contemporary Design Using Recycled Fire Hose

By Anny on May 7th, 2013

Elis and Kresse are a designer duo who create innovative accessories from recycled fire hoses in Britain. They source this hoses from various fire brigades and after they have been retired and set to be disposed, and process it into an unique material that is used to create belts, bags and many more accessories. What’s more- these accessories which have been made from a robust and durable source are very easy to maintain, and can be cleaned with any Eco-friendly furniture polish. These accessories are not heavy, and are of the same weight as any other similar accessory made from leather etc.

The duo have been instrumental in recycling almost 155 tons of fire hose waste. They also use recycled materials such as coffee sacks, lens boxes, used newspapers etc for packaging .The finishing materials is also made from recycled materials such as used office furniture, waste parachute silk etc. This makes the whole concept and their creations very Eco-friendly as the choose to recycle waste and constructively use in their design.

Elis and Kreese- Contemporary Design Using Recycled Fire Hose
You can check their website for their range of accessories such as bags, totes, belts, straps, wallets, iPhone and Blackberry cases, cufflinks( You can personalize them to) and may more. Their creations are also retailed across major stores in many countries. You can check their site to view their retailers at a place near you. You can also order from their website and have it shipped to your address.

 
They also are committed to improving the society and have partnered with “Remploy”-which is a social firm offering employment to people with disabilities. 50 % of the profits from products made with recycled fire hose are donated that to Fire Fighters charity. Do check out this unique and impressive range at the below line.
http://www.fire-hose.co.uk/

Eco-Green Resins-Sustainable Resins for the Eco-Conscious

By Anny on May 5th, 2013

Resins are compounds that are used to patch, fill and join surfaces and contain a high degree of adhesive properties that enable them to form a solid patch upon drying. World over they are used in industries, construction, automobiles etc. Within your home-you would be using a resin to fix a leaking pipe or join your broken furniture.  Resins are also used in the manufacture of polymers and plastics and are also used in varnishes.

Eco-Green Resins-Sustainable Resins for the Eco-Conscious

Resins are primarily sourced from natural sources such as the sap of certain trees which form a solid mass upon drying. However, within the last century, there has been an increased production of chemical resins which are called as synthetic resins. Not only are they more easy to manufacture, but are also more sturdy then natural resins and can be used on a vast variety of surfaces. However, as with any chemical product, particular art hose engineered for a special need, there is always a danger of the pollution it causes while being used or produced. Also, the product can be at time harmful to heath.

Let’s look at some Eco-friendly alternatives for resins. Eco-green resins is a manufacturer of Eco-friendly resin and putty which is deemed as a green resin solution for a variety of needs. Eco Green Resins, LLC based in Nevada was founded by Arthur Katzakian, Craig Katzakian and Brandon Newell. Their products are used in diverse applications such as for desalination of salt water, household and industrial uses and many more.

Their flagship product Eco-green resin is sourced from vegetable oils and natural sources, and does not contain any harmful chemical constituents. It has 43% bio-content and comes with minimal shrinkage in normal uses. It can be used for Composites, Coatings and also as an adhesive and a sealant. It does not contain substantial amounts of VOC’s and is virtuallynon-toxic.

Do also check out Magic Fixer repair putty which is an epoxy system that can bind metal, plastics, cardboard, glass, wood and other such materials. The putty can be used in your house to fix broken pipes, furniture, crockery etc and can also be used in industrial uses and in automobiles.

 

You can purchase them online from their site in handy containers beginning from 24 oz kits. Free shipping is offered within USA. Over seas customers can directly contact them for orders outside USA.

Eco-Friendly paints from Mythic Paints

By Anny on May 3rd, 2013

Paints do make our indoor spaces more vibrant, and also protect us against mildew and other sorts of organisms that inhabit our wall spaces. However, little do we know that that many chemicals present in paints, thinners, solvents are in fact harmful for our health. They are known to cause a lot of respiratory problems and some of them are carcinogenic as well. In our quest to find sustainable and safe alternates which can be used in our everyday life, let’s take a look some paint ranges that are safe for you as well as the environment. Common harmful chemicals in some paints are asbestos, lead, mercury, CFC’s, formaldehyde etc. There has been an increased focus in developing nontoxic varieties of paints which do not contain these chemical sand are deemed to be safe for you. There are a whole lot of such chemicals which are emitted from a painted surface-together classified as VOC’s. VOC’s emitted by high solvent containing paints have been linked to a variety of health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation; dizziness; liver, kidney and central nervous system damage and even cancer.

Mythic paints is one manufacture of non-toxic paints which comes in a myriad of colors which can suit every taste and decor. They are also certified to be safe from VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and have a broad range of paints, emulsions, primer, exterior and interior paints,

You can choose from flat, Egg-shell, semi-gloss sheens which are as good as any other paint ranges in the market.

The range was developed in association with University of Southern Mississippi.Southern Diversified Products owns Mythic paints and is headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

These paints are durable, stainresistant and the surface they are applied can be easily cleansed.

You can buy their paintsonline from their site,and  can also check the availability of a retailer near your location. If you order from their site, they do not charge you any shipping charge within continental USA. Mythic paint products cover approximately 350-400 square foot per gallon. Using these paints in your interior is one way you can increase your chances of getting an LEED certification for your home.

Link:www.mythicpaint.com

Eco-Concepts USA- Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

By Anny on May 1st, 2013

Eco Concepts USA is a green sea certified company that manufactures Eco-friendly cleaning solutions for a broad range of verticals ranging from domestic, industrial and marine cleaning requirements.  It’s also certified by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program for its safer detergent stewardship initiative. The firm and its range of products are also certified by PETA and the carpet and rug institute.

The company is located in Miami Florida and its products are available with major retailer apart from an online purchase through their website. Their products are free from caustic cleaning agents, abrasives and ozone depleting chemicals You get to choose from low toxic and readily bio-degradable products made from renewable resources .any minimal dyes used are FDA certified.

Eco-Concepts USA- Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Do check out their stain removal spray and a wide range of janitorial cleaning products which include

1)      Carpet pre-spray:It safely removes all kinds of stains from carpet and upholstery. The CPS is safe to use on most carpets and fabrics, and will not affect most dyes and colors.

2)      Carpet extractioncleaner: The cleaner is formulated to remove oil, grease, tough dirt stainsand soil from carpets.

4)      Graffiti remover: The Graffiti Remover removes unwanted graffiti from a host of surfaces and renders the surface clean as before. It’s safe and environmental friendly.

5)      Rest room tile and grout cleaner:This is safe and effective against a number of flooring surfaces.

6)      Glass and window cleaner: The Glass & Window Cleaner is vinegar based and doesn’t contain stinking ammonia based compounds. It helps you easily remove many tough stains, smears, soot, water spots etc from glass and mirrors and leaves your surface sparkling clean.

7)      The High Performance Cleaner & Degreaser (HPCD) is a heavy duty surface cleaner that can wipe out the toughest of stains including tire marks, It can also be used along with mops and other cleaning equipment and is one of the most powerful surface cleaner in their range.

You can buy them from http://www.greencleans.com/

Clean Attitude-The eStore for Eco-Friendly Baby, Body Care and Household products from Bio Spectra

By Anny on April 19th, 2013

Bio Spectra” is a Canadian company devoted to producing Eco-friendly personal care products for domestic use. All their products are made from 100% natural ingredients for a safer and healthier planet. The range has been certified with by the “Eco Logo” certification from the Canadian government for maintaining the highest standards in Eco-friendly product manufacturing cycles. The range is also backed by a focus on tree plantation so as to offset any greenhouse emission during the process, making the product range carbon-neutral. All their products are free from toxic chemicals ingredients and are completely safe for domestic use. Their ranges of products are sold worldwide under the” Attitude” label and can also be purchased from their website (CleanAttitude.com). You can check out the list of stores by country from their site.

Clean Attitude

The range is free from Ethylated ingredients commonly found in personal care products which are deemed to be carcinogenic. These products are often added in low dilutions which are shown as harmless for humans.  However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer does classify products having 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide as carcinogenic and hence are harmful for users. The “Attitude “range is certified to be safe from such ingredients and the results are also verified by an independent laboratory. You can buy with a complete trust that the products are safe for you as well as for the environment

The Attitude range has products for Babies which include diapers, fabric care products, lotions, shampoos as well as handy wipes. These are made from natural ingredients which are 100% safe for your baby. Household products include dish, fabric and hand care products, surface clears and purifiers.  You can also shop from a broad category of personal care products which include soaps, body care lotions, conditioners, deodorants etc.

Bio Plastics

By Anny on April 15th, 2013

We all use plastics in our daily life in a vast number of ways such as in household appliances, wrappers, containers etc. One advantage of plastics is that it can be easily manufactured and molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.  Discarded plastics container scan again be recycled and made into a new product. However, most of the left-over and discarded plastic waste often ends up in a landfill or is incarcerated which gives a lot of noxious fumes that pollute the atmosphere.

Bio Plastics

Plastic waste has been deemed to be one of the most polluting of all waste materials as it synthetic nature does not allow it to degrade into the soil. There has been a focus on alternatives to using plastics, and one such alternate is the usage of bio-plastics-which are derived from biological sources and are degradable.

Bio plastics are commonly made from natural substances such as corn, vegetable fats etc. They are two different broad applications in using bio-plastics. One is to create a bio-degradable form of plastic which easily disintegrates and does not cause environmental pollution. The other is to create plastic polymers from a natural source-thereby decreasing our dependence on petrochemicals and chemical sources of plastics.

Some examples of bio plastics are as below.

PLA – Derived fromcane sugar .It can be made into foils, molds, cups and bottles. PLA can be easily processed and is similar to conventional plastics.

Cellulose based plastics-derivedfrom common cellulose. Ex-Cellulose acetate

Thermoplastic Starch: This is one of the most widely used bio-plastic and is derived from natural starch and similar substances. They are often blended with other variety of bio-plastics and have diverse uses.

Bio Plastics

Renewable polyethylene: PET is one the most widely used variety of plastics, and also is one of the most polluting materials in recent times. Ethanol derived from natural sources can be made into PET, as ethanol is one of the building blocks of PET. Natural ethanol can be derived from a large number of sources such as sugarcane, corn etc. Sourcing the basic material from a natural source would significantly decrease the amount of pollution and the carbon footprint in making commercial ethanol.

AirDye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

By Anny on April 13th, 2013

We all line in a colorful and vibrant world, with our clothing and interiors designed in a myriad of colors. The fact that almost all of the fabrics need to be dyed with the appropriate colors is something we all would quite agree with. As we get to become more conscious of our environment, there has been a spurt in the usage of natural fabrics and dyes. However, as we move towards optimizing our daily activities and reducing our dependence on natural resources and prevent over-usage wherever possible, let’s ponder to how much water would dyeing a fabric consume?

Air Dye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

On an average, each fabric goes through several stages of dyeing, with an estimated 5-15 gallons of water required to dye a regular fabric with a single color. Considering the fact that water is scarcely available in our planet, with a vast majority of people without access to drinking water, it would quite be useful if we have a mechanism by which we can reduce the water consumption in dyeing of fabrics, or omit it all together. One such relevant way of saving water is by the revolutionary AirDye technology which eliminates the need for water while dyeing fabrics.

Going by an example from the water saver calculator on their site, a regular tee-shirt would cost 7.75 gallons of water when dried using traditional dyeing methods.

 

Air Dye is a technology from Colorep®, Inc. which is a California based company dealing with sustainable technologies for human life. The technology used air instead of water to apply dye on a surface, which can be a fabric or interiors. This does not damage the fabric and color etches into the fabric as good as any conventional form of dyeing. It also reduces waste and consumes up to 85% lesser energy when compared to conventional dyeing methods. It is already in use by brands as varied as Patagonia, Hunter Douglas, Julie Apple as well as renowned fashion house Costello Tagliapietra. Air Dye technology also suits print to order fabric dyeing and can be an asset to the fashion and apparel industry.

Air Dye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

To know more, access the below link.

http://airdye.com/