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Gaurav Gupta

Director - Finance and Operations, Skillment Edu Private Limited

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Do you have a small idea to make this world Green? Mention if you already use it.

My big greening idea is really small. I want to help households in reducing its carbon footprint. Simply by using more efficient lighting, cooling and windows. Budget all of this from ones annual energy spend.

The small acts I use to have a greener presence is to recycle every scrap of paper, even envelops that come in post.

Plus, I never travel to a place if the work can be done over the internet, like banking / shopping / meetings.

Curious for more small ideas that can have a large impact.

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    Jun 4 2012: Tree lovers bear with me on this one. I get paper bags when shop. I always ask for paper. The reason I do this however is because paper bags are food too. Food for worms that is. About once a month I take all the paper bags I have saved and shred them. I then mix them into my compost. In the compost pile the paper sheds act in two ways 1) They hold moisture in and speed up the breakdown process 2) they encourage earth worms to eat, grow, flourish etc. Earth worm castings are just about the best ingredient for an organic garden on this planet.
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      Jun 4 2012: YES!!! Compost is a WONDERFUL thing!!!
    • Jun 4 2012: Hi Adam,
      I think you have been misinformed about the most "green" action for your case scenario.
      It is better to re-use materials. The embodied energy spent in making your paper bags that you shred is wasted.
      To be more "green" I would suggest buying some cotton or hemp bags and using indefinitely. Or at least until over worn and torn up. Then the cotton/hemp can be used for patching clothes, for rags, or composted if necessary.
      Continually obtaining paper bags is wasteful and contributes to logging - even if 100% recycled since the recycled paper would be better used to replace virgin paper elsewhere.

      I honestly can't remember the last time I used a store-supplied bag... I always use my rucksack.
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        Jun 4 2012: Dear Enrico,
        The question is..."Do you have a small idea to make this world Green? Mention if you already use it".

        Adam apparently chooses paper over plastic, which seems to be accepted as a step in the right direction, and he DOES re-use materials. His idea is not "misinformed" at all.

        You offer another good idea...thanks:>) BTW, I'm sure you know there is also a cost to producing cotton and hemp bags. I use canvas bags which have been passed out for free at conferences, meetings, etc.:>) They last FOREVER!!!
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          Jun 4 2012: I really like that idea I hate moving my compost across the yard.
        • Jun 4 2012: I agree Collen, a canvas bag-for-life really does seem to last for life!
          Though I dont really want to get into semantics, shredding paper and feeding to worms is disposal (composting). Though home composting is appropriate for involuntarily consumed paper (junk mail, etc), my point is that one can easily go beyond the "paper or plastic" question and intentionally consume neither.

          Adam, I am sure that you try to be very sustainable and my comment was meant with the best intentions.

          :)
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        Jun 4 2012: I am not sure you realize how much earth worms love shredded paper bags.
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          Jun 4 2012: It's important to keep those earth worms healthy and content Adam. I LOVE digging into the compost...it is so...earthy!

          Here's another idea, which I started doing a few years ago. I call it "on site composting".

          I lay black plastic between the vegetable plants (recycled bags that potting soil comes in, and I re-use them every year), and all summer, pile compostable matter on the plastic. The sun, on the black plastic generates heat, which facilitates composting, and it serves as mulch while it is composting. At the beginning of the next season, I simply pick up the plastic, the composted material drops into the earth and is worked into the soil. The worms seem happy with the process, and so am I! It saves the old body from moving material around too many times:>)
        • Jun 4 2012: I suspect your worms "like" the shredding about as much as dried old tree leaves.
          Or about as much as finely chopped cellulosic vegetable waste.

          None of my wormeries have needed paper...

          Any cellulose will do.
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        Jun 4 2012: Enrico,
        I had a conversation with the worms just the other day...they are really very "flexible"...LOL:>)

        Adam,
        That's why I started "on site composting"...I didn't like carrying things around the yard too many times:>)
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        Jun 4 2012: I totally agree Enrico....there are many different levels of awareness. I like encouraging every effort to be aware of our environment, because many times, people believe their small efforts do not make a difference, so they don't make the effort.

        Awareness is the first step, and once we start with small steps, it's really fun to move forward...in my humble opinion:>)
    • Jun 9 2012: Adam, you are spot on. At Lane Cover River National Park Sydney Australia (top camping spot) in the cabins they provide paper bags for you to put food scraps, you then ace these PAPER bags in a special bin and they are fed to the worms. YES they love the paper and the craps inside.
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    Jun 3 2012: All lights in my home are CFLs, I've had my attic fully insulated so as not to lose heat in the winter; I shop farmers markets when I can. Another thing - I unplug anything that has phantom power when I leave the house - TVs, microwave, etc. My comptuer is on a powerstrip, so that turns off the monitor, CPU, speakers, printer when not in use. My electric bill shows my average bill is about $30 less/month than my neighbors. It does go up in the summer (I have to use a dehumidifier in the basement in the summer or mold grows from the damp), but it is still relatively low. No A/C - just fans when I'm home, and open windows. Every little bit helps.
  • Jun 1 2012: Four things:
    1) Don't buy anything that cannot be recycled. It will change your life.
    2) If you must buy something packaged in non-recyclable materials, & most of us must due to the way everything is packaged, contact the manufacturer & insist on minimal & recyclable packaging.
    3) Recycle every single thing you can. Think small, like caps on milk cartons, medications, etc. Stash them & donate to a local scrapbox. If your community doesn't have one, start one.
    4) Commit to contacting your state & federal legislators: NO manufactured products that cannot be recycled. Congress has totally failed to address this.

    Yup, I really do these.
  • Jun 4 2012: Don't drive anywhere.

    I have a bicycle. If the distance is more than 10km then try public transport.

    OK, may be you have to drive: use a motorbike if you aren't planning to carry other people with you EVERY time.

    If you need a passenger car then use a natural gas fueled hybrid electric, it consumes minimal fossil fuel resources per transport mile compared to similar propulsion methods for the same class vehicle:
    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/10001_well_to_wheels_gge_petroleum_use.pdf
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    May 31 2012: In my school we learned about taking action. We looked at a website called Action Tracker. Anyone can submit an action under a category, for example, Travel Better, Include Everyone, Use Your Money for Good, etc. The URL is:
    http://www.actiontracker.org.uk/actions/categories/
    Hope this helps!
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      Jun 2 2012: That is VERY COOL Griffin!!!
      I will try to bring that idea to the regional project review committee I serve on, and to developers:>)
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    Jun 2 2012: 1) I do not call this a project. but I always try to use both sides of a A4 paper & I don't trash it unless both sides of it is not used

    2. Even though my own city is not very clean but I always take my cloth bag while I go for buying food items. Just to avoid plastic bags.
  • Jun 1 2012: Great idea !!!!!!!!!!!! as u said to share a small idea...that's very simple and hard as well " EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US (humans) MUST TREAT EVERY TREE AS OUR OWN FAMILY MEMBER OR LIKE OUR OWN CHILD "..as we all try to expand our race by letting our successors into this beautiful world,in the like way we all should try to expand the growth of trees or at least should try to stop cutting them... .that's all..hope it will work
  • Jun 8 2012: Eat less meat :)
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    Jun 4 2012: I save eggshells with the tops cut off, filled with seed compost, to plant seeds in. (The egg-boxes can be used as seed trays to keep the seeded shells upright on a window-sill).

    When the seeds have grown on a bit in the shell, I plant the whole thing out in the soil in their final position. The roots will push their way out of the shell into the soil. Also eggshells act as a good soil conditioner.
  • Jun 4 2012: If you have an obsolete item, ANYTHING, then don't junk it...

    FREECYCLE it!!

    and get stuff you need from freecycle too - keep the system working!
  • Jun 4 2012: Communicate with or join your local Transition Town Movement.
    Actually communicate with any local environmental group...

    if that is too much to ask: find out where your local social enterprises are and support them

    If that is still too much to ask, then I reckon you don't care enough about the environment or society to have even visited this thread anyway...
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    Jun 3 2012: I try very hard to only use green cleaning products. For example, I only use laundry detergent that is EPA approved for the environment. Its a small change in my life and when we have a bunch of little changes we get to have a big change!
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    Jun 2 2012: GARDENS:>)
    http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )

    Recycle, reuse, renovate, reconstruct, restore.....BE AWARE of our environment (which sustains us) and the impact we have on it in every single moment!

    I totally agree with you Gaurav...many small steps can make a large impact:>)
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    Jun 1 2012: All new houses should be built with a water tank in the ground under the floor. The water in this tank will maintain a temperature of around 20 degrees celsius all year round unless you live somewhere very cold. When piped through radiators it will heat your house in winter and cool it in summer.
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    R H 20+

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    May 31 2012: I try to eat locally grown foods as much as possible, not only for their organic content and local economic benefit, but also to cut down on transportation. I try to eat healthy foods and not drink or smoke too much so I stay healthy and stay out of hospitals and not contribute to pharmaceutical waste and medical economic exploitation. I ride my bicycle or walk as much as possible - i get exercise and enjoy it too. I play a sport (golf) that doesn't use petroleum fuel to enjoy, or kill wildlife (although there is much debate in golf about pesticides and land use). The community I live in has a recycling program and I participate. I dispose of all household (and car) waste in proper recepticles. And I live in a very small home and don't consume alot of utilities. These are some of the day-to-day things I think about and do.
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      Jun 2 2012: R H, Could you please tell me more about the community recycling program.

      In India we have private recycling agents, these are really mom and pop size operations, they would collect recyclable waste (but this would be durable consumer goods or old newspapers etc), and pay a price to the household by weight.

      Through a hub and spoke model this reaches factories in some way. However, there is no control on how this waste is handled. Which is a big area of concern, still the net result is worth applauding.

      I want to understand how does the community recycling system works. Please help!
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        R H 20+

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        Jun 3 2012: I must get more details for you. Will advise...
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        R H 20+

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        Jun 4 2012: Alright, I have some details for you: I called our community public works dept and this is what I was told: We have two different color coded recepticles for trash, 0ne is for general trash (the bigger dumpster) and the other(s) for recyclables. We contract out garbage removal services to a private company. They pick up the waste and the reclyclables in separate areas in the truck that removes them and takes them to a dump, for the gargbage, and processing area for the recyclables which are then sorted into the various grades of recyclability. These sorted recyclables are then transported/sold/picked-up to a processing plant which converts the recyclables into raw material, which is then used/sold. Some communities have their own 'in-house' systems, but we contract ours out. There is an international association that has much information and is very open to sharing. The website is: http://www.swana.org
        Thank you for inquiring. I now know how it works too! Good luck with your new venture.
        • Jun 9 2012: RH Every council in Australia has reversed you bin selection, The small one is for weekly rubbish and the large one of for fortnightly recycling. it works well.
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      Jun 2 2012: About household waste recycling, we had a great idea presented by a bureaucrat from Andhra Pradesh during TED@Bangalore last month.

      They have a system in which waste is collected from households every morning, by hand pulled carts and it is separated into colored bins, recyclable and composting waste, right at the time that it is collected.

      Again, this cart meets a bigger truck, that meets a bigger truck capable of carrying 30 Tonnes of waste. At the dumping site, they place the waste in composting heaps rather than just dump them.

      The recyclable waste never reaches a dumping site, it leaves for processing plants right after collection.
  • May 31 2012: Get solar panels and a rain water tank, thats a dam good start. By an old car thats reliable and efficent, eg Toyota Corolla and have it tuned properly. (it saves by not being replaced with a new one) Buy a small cc motorcycle for picking up bread etc. Renovate good furniture.

    Buy better stuff that lasts rather than cheap stuff that fails early. eg I bought my stereo 30 years ago before CD's, Its still better than most of the newer stuff you buy today (by sound quality).
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      Jun 3 2012: John - I actually tried to get solar panels for my home. I was told by two different companies that it wouldn't be cost efficient for me because I use so little already. The cost of the system would be more than I'm paying now for electricity and I couldn't afford the increase.

      I jokingly say that in October, my car will be able to drive itself. I have a 1997 Saturn that still gets about 30 MPG in the city and about 36 when I drive long distance. Most of the time, it is a 6 mile round trip to the train station to go to work. We need more mass transit for people - 30 minutes of peace and quiet and reading time in the morning and after work is wonderful.
      • Jun 9 2012: Deborah, the solar cost in a home is expensive because of electricians and the inverter. I have a solar panel which i connect to an AGM battery. I charge my laptop and engel fridge off battery (12volt). I am about top get a new house and i will be putting in LED lights which i will also run off my AGM battery. I can also take my battery and solar panel and fridge when i go camping which is about 1/2 the year, and power my house OFF. If you stick to solar panel and battery you do NOT need electirician nor a $1,000 inverter. Agree about peace and quiet to from work. When i lived in Sydney years ago i always rented within a 30 minute walk to work, i loved it especially as i was on IT shift work. Probably too expensive to do that nowadays without sharing, but thats another story.
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    Jun 13 2012: Really that's all you want?
  • Jun 12 2012: I had an idea today about growing some fern trees on the side of my house..but instead planting them in pots so come winter time they could be used a x mas trees with out having to cut anything down and every year the xmas trees would get better and beter
  • Jun 9 2012: Dear sir
    i would like to share an experience that we held last year here in Jordan and allow me to speak about it from a narrow field of view.Last year in Jordan university hospital we collected all the papers that medical students used as sheets and notes that they are not using anymore as well as any waste paper that the clinical departments in Jordan University hospital would like to recycle for 5 days and we sent them for recycling.We were really shocked about the enormous amount of paper collected especially when the last semester ended.I am inclined to believe that such an initiative if we can share it with all the universities and faculties not only within the medical school will really help in making the world more green...
  • Jun 9 2012: I am buying a house in snowy mtns in Australia. I will be putting my old car (when rego runs out) in backyard. This will be my day lounge, so i do not have to heat house. Old cars in backyards get warm very quickly, i will still be able to use its two batteries to charge laptop,(solar panel on roof of car) and i will make a cuppa using a billy which you simply put a few leaves around and light.

    From the car i will have a view over the valley below, much better than sitting by a gas heater and watching garbage on tv.
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    Jun 6 2012: Hey,I was surprised that you never travel to a place if can be done on the internet!
    at least I can't do that.
    In China,I hope it can be less throwaway chopsticks,less sanitary cups and so on.
    In some cities,I hope the garbage recycling should classified in sorts!
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    Jun 6 2012: The problem here in Greenville NC is the humidity along with the heat. Luckily I have a lot of trees around me providing shade.

    Good idea Peter. Thats also a good reason to go to work during the day, they have theirs on as well.
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    Jun 6 2012: Placed all my electrical devices on power strips, which I have turned off when not using. Use fluorescent light bulbs. Turn on lights only in the room that I am in. And going to see if I can make it though the summer without turning on the AC. Probably the best thing I did to save energy, stop watching so much TV, only turn it one once or twice a week.
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      Jun 6 2012: Hey I live in Newcastle Australia, thats a whole three degrees closer to the equator than greenville and I don't even own an AC. Just go to the mall. They have their AC running anyway. May as well use it.
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    Jun 5 2012: Faith in what? As time goes by more and more people will lose the notion of "intact" environment.
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        Jun 6 2012: cool ... thank you very much. I am new to this site and still confused. I appreciate your practical hint.
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    Jun 4 2012: The Easter Islander probably didn't believe that they were were carving their last sculpture when they did. So if we cannot make the big changes there is really no point tackling the minuscule issues.
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        Jun 4 2012: Good one Griffin!
        Reminds me...

        The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it"
        (Chinese Proverb)

        A person who does not want to participate in the care of our environment is depriving him/herself of a lot of pleasure....in my humble perception:>)
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      Jun 4 2012: Come on man have a little faith!
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    Jun 3 2012: Well ... more energy could be saved by scrapping navies all together