Tag Archives: India

Zed posts – The weekly environmental beat


• On BMW smart energy strategies

BMW recently convened a group of transportation, electric vehicle (EV) and energy thought leaders in Silicon Valley to participate in a dialogue with their senior executives about sustainability, energy and mobility services.

greenbiz.com: Christine Hertzog – how-bmw-driving-smart-energy-strategies

BMW’s guiding view is that sustainability along the entire value chain is inseparable from their corporate self-image. The company has been systematically reducing energy use in facilities through energy-efficient materials, products, and processes; and in vehicles through use of regenerative energy technologies.

1• On green burglary

Is it ok for an unauthorized person to pick up your recyclables? Do you give your recyclables to scavengers when they come begging, or do you put them off?

greencrusador.com: Author – what-is-green-burglary-what-can-we-do-about-it/

Residential neighborhoods have become targets for recyclables by “Green Burglars” when placed beside the house or at curb side. Once the recyclables are placed in a recycle container provided by a designated recycle collector, the contents becomes the property of the designated recycle collector.

zed 1• On Carbon Barometer

A quick look at the aims and benefits of the Bombay Stock Exchange Carbonex.

Times of India: Ahona Ghosh – bse-carbonex

The index is supported by the British high commission and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a UK-based non-profit organisation is the data partner for BSE. It includes all constituents of a BSE Benchmark Index, which is currently the BSE 100.

light• On Behavioural Science increasing Energy Efficiency

How consumer behaviour to different sales tactics can provide an insight on effective communication on the benefits of Energy Efficiency (EE) and raise awareness to attract more customers.

greenconduct.com: Sam Shrank – behavioral-science-can-increase-energy-efficiency-adoption/

For all the surveys demonstrating consumers’ stated interest in reducing energy consumption and spend, EE is rarely top of mind. Utilities struggle to get consumers to pay attention. If the customer won’t come to them, perhaps it is time for utilities to go to their customers. By combining EE measures with offerings that have higher intrinsic appeal and shifting marketing focus from saving energy to the benefits of the other measure, utilizing a concept known as goal substitution, utilities can attract more customers.

zed 2• On using algae for power and shade

Germany to use living algae for power and shade in a sustainable building, which would also feature the world’s first bio-reactor façade.

ecomagination.com: Ysabel Yates – zero-energy-building-uses-living-algae-for-power-and-shade

The bioreactor facade is made up of glass panels that act like giant Petri dishes to grow the algae. The algae can then power the building by both capturing solar thermal heat and creating biomass that is harvested for energy.

ZED Posts will be a weekly compilation of interesting news, reads and other serendipitous discoveries we made online. Have similar environmental stories to share? Email us at zed@zed.in, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.  

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Auto sector slams diesel tax

Diesel is considered relatively cleaner when advanced emissions control systems are used, with 10 ppm (parts per million) sulphur content. But the diesel sulphur level in India is as high as 350 ppm which is much higher than the global benchmark. The diesel vehicles, cars included, are adding to the burden of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and ozone .

Yet the automobile industry is against any proposal that would impose an additional tax on diesel cars. Their stand? Diesel is more energy-saving, more fuel-efficient than petrol and when compared to other industries, the contribution of cars and diesel to pollution is ‘very low’. What do you think?


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No Role Models?

When did you last lament about no role models in India beyond those cardboard heroes from the film world? Here’s a story that you perhaps missed. Shyam Benegal was offered by the Vedanta group who have been behind the major mining disasters in central and eastern India. He said yes to making the Creating Happiness campaign. He then got an open letter from a vigilant activist who was prompted to write after reading of Benegal’s yes in print. Shyam took an instant call. He turned down the offer. What’s more, when he got to hearing of another counterculture organisation wanting to make a film on Faking Happiness, he volunteered to make it for them! That’s a role model — and from the film industry.

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We’d be better off not planting trees-III: The reasons for resistance

English: An emerging Tamarind tree seedling. T...

Image via Wikipedia

I think it is a combination of resistance from managers and a lack of certainty on what it can mean if a manager lower down the hierarchy took that decision to make the change at one hotel, when the company’s HQ is based elsewhere in India or the world. Now who would want to incur the wrath of senior management at the corporate headquarters with a decision taken locally? Continue reading

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Power & water crisis-II: Get your home in order, will you?

English: Sameura dam, Kochi Prefecture, Japan ...

Image via Wikipedia

Pause and think for a while

Most of us can say, “How can what I use at my house make such a big difference to the government or whoever supplies me power and water?” Another legitimate response could be, “I pay my taxes anyway – income tax, property tax, development cess, and other such levies. I should be entitled to these things from the government.” Continue reading

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What media says about ZED way of living…

Patterns of Light


From outside, the Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL) office in the plush Sadashiva Nagar in Bangalore looks like any other building. But once you step inside, you realise that it is pleasantly different. A part of the premises is lit up and powered by wind energy, while a large number of flowerpots and a staircase, work as makeshift air-conditioners. And a machine that resembles a water dispenser converts moisture in the air into clean drinking water…

Click here to read the rest of the story.




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Need to kill 10,000 sq km of forests and rich lands

Savandurga hillside forest, Bangalore, India

Image via Wikipedia

The six sectors occupied in 2009 about 0.7 million hectares [or 7000 sq km]. This included land leased out to mine coal, bauxite, limestone, and iron ore.

But this might be a gross underestimation because in the past, industry has acquired far more than what is required for power production facilities. Golf courses are not uncommon in industry premises and golf turf consumes 30 liters per square foot of grass. Continue reading

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India will draw coal four times more than now

Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper by David J...

Image via Wikipedia

Demand from the key six big sectors will grow fourfold to two billion tons by 2030. Home production of coal by that time will be about 1.5 billion tons. Demand at two billion.

Business as usual will have India import about 500 million tons of coal to meet requirements of just the six sectors. Even in low carbon coal need will be about 1.5 billion tons in 2030, thrice the current level of production.

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Drain starch water for low-carb rice

White Rice

Image via Wikipedia

To some of you the TV campaign for a rice called Arise must still be fresh in the mind. The company that promoted it was Marico and it claimed a 20% reduction in carbohydrates with this rice variety. The claim was based on just one study and a nutrient analysis. Nutritional claims have to be substantiated with data. It was not in this case. Marico said Arise has been studied in some of India’s premier institutes that confirm it is healthier than other white polished rice. When asked if it would not be simpler to reduce carbohydrates by draining starch water from the cooked rice. An official said in-home techniques will not consistently lead to desired benefits. Continue reading

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