Time to Save Environment

Environment degradation has attained such an extent where the hazardous consequences are right in front of our eyes.

This year the theme of World Environment Day is ecosystem restoration and here are some aspects which need to be considered (in India):

Agriculture is one of the major sources of income but, the excess use of pesticides and insecticides has to lead to decreased soil fertility as well as the chemicals have made their way to food plates and underground water.

Climate change has lead to an increase in the number of cyclones, storms and floods. It has also affected agriculture as frequent hailstorms and excess rain had lead to a decrease in crop yield.

India is ranked fourth in the worst climate-induced disaster-hit country in the world and has suffered several disasters such as floods, storms and cyclones in 2020 and 2021 till May.

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Water pollution is another alarming issue as the ongoing projects (and the older ones) hasn’t lead to any improvement in the quality of water bodies. The major rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari are gradually becoming dirtier.

Air pollution is increasing in most of the cities of India, especially those in the Indo-Gangetic plains. According to a recent study, there were twenty-two cities of India in the thirty most polluted cities of the world.

Out of the 6.67 million deaths due to air pollution in 2019, 1.67 million were in India.

Lancet Report

Human negligence, an increase in temperature, and a decrease in rainfall has lead to enormous forest fires, mostly in the regions of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Mizoram and Manipur.

Current Scenario
Instead of looking for solutions to the above issues, the government is busy planning to make money from natural resources. Recently, an online campaign has been initiated against the BJP lead government and the private firm, who wishes of setting a diamond mine in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh by cutting lacs of trees and by destroying the livelihood of tribal people of the Buxwaha forest.

Suggested Posts
Save Rivers
Indoor Air Pollution

When The Earth Lost its Biodiversity!!

It came into my mind that all of us has encountered some major events in our lives. Similarly, our Earth would have also gone through the events of same kind. Mass-extinction is one of those events. Have a Read!

Mass-extinction is also known as biotic crisis or extinction-level event. It is characterized by major loss of biodiversity. When the extinction rate of organisms outweighs the speciation rate of organisms, mass- extinction occurs. Till now, Earth has witnessed a total of five mass-extinction.

Reasons Behind Mass Extinction

1. Global cooling i.e. the time period of the ice age characterised by colder temperatures and glaciation.

2. Global warming i.e. rise in average temperature because of enormous emission of greenhouse gases.

3. Glaciation i.e. formation of glaciers or freezing of water bodies this, leading to destruction of aquatic life.

4. Fluctuations in Sea Level– In case of global warming the sea level rises while that in case of global cooling the sea level lowers down thus, adversely affecting the aquatic habitats.

5. Global Anoxia i.e. decrease in oxygen concentration in atmosphere may have caused extinction as organisms could not survive in absence of oxygen.

6. Volcanic Eruptions i.e. release of lava and a large amount of gases from a volcanic vent.

7. Entry of asteroid, comets, and Meteors on Earth.

8. Gamma Rays released from supernova event may be a reason for mass extinction as these rays can penetrate through cells and destroy them.

9. Disease– Genome to genome transmission of pathogenic diseases would have lead to extinction of a specific species. About 12% of species extinction has been caused by diseases.

The Five Mass Extinctions

1. Ordovician-Silurian Extinction
2. Late Devonian Extinction
3. Permian-Triassic Extinction
4. Triassic-Jurassic Extinction
5. Cretaceous Extinction

#Mass Extinction Time PeriodPercentage loss of Biodiversity Major Reason
1Ordovician-Silurian444 mya85%Global Cooling
2Late Devonian383-359 mya75%Volcanic Eruption
3Permian-Triassic252 mya96%Volcanic Eruption
4Triassic-Jurassic201 mya80%Global Warming
5Cretaceous-Paleogene66 mya76%Asteroid Impact
A Brief of the Mass Extinctions (mya-million years ago )

This was all about the five mass extinctions. But, let me remind you that, we are moving towards the sixth mass extinction and the reason would be us, the Homo sapiens.

There is a immediate need of environmental conservation to avoid such events in future.

Earlier the mass extinctions were due to the natural changes but, for the sixth mass extinction, our fatal activities such as deforestation, environmental pollution, burning of fossil fuels and many more are enough to welcome another one in 240 to 540 years.

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Continue reading “When The Earth Lost its Biodiversity!!”

Save Rivers!!

This post is all about the plight of most sacred and holiest river of the world “The Holy Ganges”.

The water resources are non-renewable, and we won’t get them again once we have totally degraded it.

Ganga: Overview

πŸ“ŒIt occupies about 26% of the landmass of the country.

πŸ“ŒIt’s course is about 2,525 km from Gangotri to the Bay of Bengal.

πŸ“ŒIt is the sixth most polluted river of the world.

Here’s a timeline for showing steps were taken (However, I don’t see the results) for cleaning Ganga:

πŸ“ŒNational Green Tribunal has many times questioned the authorities regarding insubstantial improvement in quality of Ganga water in the past six years since the beginning of Namami Gange.

πŸ“ŒAccording to the Central Pollution Control Board A large portion of Ganga river is not suitable for drinking.

Major Sources of Pollution

1. Domestic and Industrial Waste

About 3 billion litres of sewage and 260 million litres of industrial waste is daily disposed in river everyday.
(We use the rivers for water and after using it we pour down various kinds of wastes into it. Rivers don’t need to feed these people).

2. Agricultural Runoff

Use of fatal pesticides and herbicides in crop fields for agricultural purposes contribute in degrading quality of drinking water.

So, first we use water bodies to fulfill our daily needs and then, discharge harmful products into it. Did we forget the fact that again we would need that pure water, which we degraded by our actions.

3. Animal carcasses, half- burned and unburned human corpses.

So, the ashes of deads are emptied into holy river for peace of their souls. I don’t think doing will bring peace but, it will definitely put the future lives in danger when river water can no more be used for daily activities.

4. Mass bathing and ritualistic practices

In rivers large amount of garlands, worship ingredients are disposed into the rivers as a part of some rituals. Moreover, people go into those bodies to take bath in order to wash off their wrong deeds (as per a belief). These activities completely compromise the purity of water.

Effects of River Pollution

Some of the effects are given below:
1. Transmission of many water borne diseases like cholera, hepatitis, typhoid and amoebic dysentery.

2. River pollution is reason for about 80% of all health problems in India.

3. Loss of habitat of aquatic animals.

4. River water has lost its purification ability due to decreasing dissolved oxygen and.

5. Decreases light penetration into river puts the deep water organisms life into danger.

Solutions

I think that changing mindset is one of the best solutions for any problem. We are first considering a river Holy and as a way towards God (I believe that God is a feeling of goodness not someone for whom we build statues) and then, degrading that holiness through our activities. Isn’t this ironical?

1. Strict rules for the industries regarding waste disposal. Those who don’t follow should be imposed with high penalties.
2. An organization should be made to keep an eye on sewage disposal.
3. Initiating vigilance programs to make people, especially in the rural areas regarding cleanliness activities.
4. People should avoid the rituals compromising the purity of water.

However, many of the reserachers say that the river has lost its restoring ability, that’s worst for retrieval of the river.

Decode Proxy is all about addressing a environmental issue of your area and few solutions to eliminate the issue. I hope you will also contribute to it.

Have a Great Day Ahead.

Always love your life.

P.S.- Just attempted to raise a voice regarding environment degradation.. kindly suggest correction or improvement, if any.

Indoor Air Pollution

We mostly think the carbon emissions and the wastes from industries as the source of air pollution. But, most of our daily needs items are a cause of air pollution as they release many harmful chemicals into the air, belonging to a class of compounds called volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

VOCs are the vapors or gases released from certain solids or gases, mainly the derivatives of petroleum and other fossil products. It has been found out that the concentration of VOCs in indoor air is much higher than that in outdoor air. These compounds easily evaporate and so, they remain suspended in the air, react with other gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide etc forming many lung irritating fine particulates in air. They also form ozone. The same ozone layer of stratosphere which protects us from UV rays becomes poisonous at ground level as it reacts with other particulates and gives rise to harmful chemical smog. Thus, in all these ways VOCs come out to be deadly.

VOC’s major sources are petroleum and other fossil products but, they are also released by a wide number of daily household products, briefly discussed as follows:

The chemical vapors of formaldehyde (mutagen and carcinogen), benzene (which is carcinogen) and trichloroethylene are released by household cleaners and paints.

The sweet smelling perfumes and deodorants also emit many lung irritating particulates.

The newly formed furnitures and cabinet.

Combustion of fuel, woods and coals produce major of VOCs.

Some other sources are shampoo, hairspray, air fresheners, cleaning sprays, laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer.

So, want a clean indoor air?? Say Yes to Plants!!! Here’s how they help!!!

Plants purify the indoor air through a mechanism called phytoremediation, in which the VOC’s are utilized by the plant tissues and roots and transported to the microorganisms present in the soil and in association with plant roots to be metabolized.
Plants also remove harmful ozone from the ground air.
These plants have greater ability to use the sunlight for their metabolism as they belong to the tropical rainforest, where they have to compete for the sunlight among the forest canopy.

Although all the plants have ability of air purification but the few plants, mostly herbs very effective in purification of indoor air are listed below with their scientific names:

Dwarf banana- Musa cavendishii.
Chrysanthemum- Chrysantheium morifolium

Bamboo palm- Chamaedorea seifrizii.
Weeping fig- Ficus benjamina.
English ivy- Hedera helix.
Peace lily- Spathiphyllum.
Species of philodendron- Philodendron sp.
Aloe vera- Aloe barbadensis.

The research of NASA scientists suggested that about 15-18 medium size plants for a house of 1800 to 2000 square ft is efficient for removing indoor air pollutants. Moreover, if the lower leaves of plants are removed, making the soil more exposed to air improve the purification process.

Besides these herbs, we can also opt for the herbal environment friendly and chemicals free products for daily needs. Now a days herbal products are much preferred.

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Coexistence of Humans and Nature

Today I am with an amazing article on the relation between nature and human beings instead of some pictures…

When I randomly ask you about the most fascinating thing of your life, it will not be a social media post or any movie (I am not against them I mean to say reality is more amazing than the virtual world) but, it will surely be something related to nature like, when you first hiked a mountain, when you first saw a waterfall, snow-covered peaks, the beautiful sea waves and many more…so, we all have felt close to nature atleast a time or several many times or everytime…

Even the psychological studies have proved that human beings are really close to nature and the natural environment in which they live has a lot to do with human psychology.

So, they called the branch dealing with this as environmental psychology or ecopsychology…

This branch was introduced on the basis of a research publication by Proshansky and group in 1958 at the University of New York.

As per the need of time when nature’s extreme exploitation by humans has led to change in climatic conditions, loss of habitats of rare and extinct animals, ecosystem imbalance, ecopsychology can be a medium towards sustainable development. It will lead to a healthy relationship between nature and human.

πŸ“Œ When we will step out of our homes and see the wonders of nature, we will desire to protect them too…

πŸ“Œ We will appreciate the beautiful things nature has to give…

πŸ“Œ When we will look at the trees, we will develop a lot of gratitude as they keep our surroundings so peaceful…

πŸ“Œ When it rains, we all love that pleasant petrichor smell and the sounds of raindrops falling around that will urge us to be more environment friendly to keep favourable climatic conditions…

πŸ“Œ When we spend time outside, we are more aware of what we see, what we hear, what we smell and what we feel thus, enhancing our senses…

πŸ“Œ A study of cognitive benefits of nature concluded that the people walking in a natural environment had a better memory than that of those in urban areas (Berman, Jonides, Kaplan, 2008).

πŸ“Œ Research has shown that people who practice forest bathing have optimum nervous system functions, well-balanced heart conditions and reduced bowel disorders.

πŸ“Œ Engaging oneself in outdoor areas reduces eyesight disorders such as hypermetropia and myopia…

πŸ“Œ The greenery around gives freshness and calmness.

πŸ“Œ Even many of the hospitals treat patients in a natural environment for better recovery rates.

πŸ“Œ When the chemically prepared medicines have failed to treat a disease, Indian Ayurveda system has discovered the cure to many ailments, which is totally based on natural products and meditation.

Lastly, I would like to say that nature has a lot to give, we should learn to conserve.

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