Time to spare a thought

Time to spare a thought

Earth Day is held  to remind people that we all share the same planet and need to take responsibility for what we use and how we use it.

Bangaloreans especially are faced with environmental challenges that seem to escalate on a daily basis. So how do we ensure that future generations won’t run out of the things we all need, like clean water, air, and soil?

Gayatri and Gautam Pandit live in the heart of the City. Watching precious rain water gushing uselessly down their driveway, they decided to act. “We contacted the Rainwater Harvesting Club and they immediately installed a system that enables us to store and use sufficient water to meet the needs of our five member family for over 21 days without any corporation water. Since we currently use only half our roof we plan to extend it further.”  The Pandits also have solar heating and feel that if rainwater harvesting is compulsorily implemented, the City will be free from water problems.
Frances Rao built her home in 1992 using local materials and a village artisan. A tiled roof, exposed clay bricks, a solar heating system, light and cross ventilation make her home more eco-friendly than most. “If everyone shared responsibility, like segregating garbage and conserving power and water, we would not have a crisis situation.”

Anurag,  an architect with a firm that specialises in ecological design called Biome, says, “Good design  responds to the local climate and locally available materials like stabilised mud blocks instead of  bricks. Substitute RCC slabs with vaults and domes for natural light and ventilation.  A ‘smart roof’ helps conserve rainwater and provides  space for solar panels.The City is facing a water crisis of epic proportions, both rainwater harvesting and water recycling are a must,”Kavya Srinivasan, a student, feels that Earth Day reminds people of their ecological responsibilities. “Although observing ‘Earth Hour’ in Bangalore is strange with our frequent power cuts, shutting off electricity voluntarily means awareness,” she says. “We know what we have to do — we just don’t do it. Walk or take a city bus whenever possible. Reduce use of paper towels and plastic cups. Unplug all home appliances when not in use. Reduce time in the shower and don’t waste water while shaving or brushing teeth. Stop junk mail and buy products made with recycled elements. We can make a huge difference in our own way.”

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