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Northeast India’s video documentation hub coaching youth in conservation

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Kolkata: Digitally archiving wildlife and environment is a key resource in conservation, says environmental filmmaker Rita Banerji, who kick-started northeast India’s first youth and community based video documentation centre in Tezpur, Assam.

The Green Hub centre in Tezpur trains as many as 20 youths in video documentation, editing and photography to aid in recording the environment, wildlife, biodiversity Aand communities in northeast India.

“The first batch of students is now making short films and videos and a digital archive is being created. We offer a two-and-a-half month fellowship for which youngsters from remote and marginalised communities are selected. Experts in conservation coach them.”

“They can get into conservation through video documentation,” Banerji told IANS over the phone on Thursday.

Banerji, who won the Panda Award (Green Oscar) in 2010, alongwith co-director Shilpi Sharma for the film “The Wild Meat Trail”, said recording existing and disappearing biodiversity helps keep track and provides valuable information to stakeholders like NGOs and scientists who engage in conservation.

“Everybody who is working on ground has a camera and when they shoot wildlife they have a lot of footage lying around so the aim was how can we make use of those and make them openly accessible to the community so that they can protect their resources,” explained Banerji.

The Delhi-based filmmaker, who now divides her time between the national capital and the northeast, wishes to branch out to other regions, like the Odisha coast, for the video documentation hub.

Odisha coast has one of world’s largest nesting sites for the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles and is also Banerji’s focus areas.

“Turtle Diaries: The Olive Ridley Turtle” by Banerji, which won the ‘Film for Children’ award at the just-concluded eighth CMS Vatavaran festival, captures a stunning mass nesting event and shows how communities are assisting in conservation locally.

“The biggest threat to the turtles and wildlife in the coastal region is the disappearance of beaches due to development projects,” added Banerji.

(IANS)

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5 Simple Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

Adopting just one of these fixes can bring about a huge change to your life that goes far beyond your home

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Mother Nature and your monthly budget will thank you for your effort. Pixabay

Water is one of the most abundant substances on earth, but that doesn’t mean it’s free or endless. Not only can practicing simple water conservation techniques help the planet out in the long run, but they can also put more money back in your pocket. Here are five water-saving techniques that you can do every day from the comfort of your home.

Repair Any Leaks or Running Toilets

Even a slightly leaking or constantly running toilet can waste up to 2 gallons of water a minute. In a month’s time, that number can climb to a grand total of 6,000 gallons of water lost and an increase of about $70 to your water bill. Repairing just one seeping flapper could save you hundreds of dollars over the next few years.

ALSO READ: 5 Traditional Water Conservation Methods In India

Turn off the Ice Maker

Most people don’t consume 4 pounds of ice a day, which is what the average refrigerator can produce in 24 hours. Investing in refillable ice trays can help you save gallons of water per week. You also won’t be spooked when the fridge drops ice into a plastic bin late at night.

Don’t Overwater Your Plants, and Embrace Watering Bulbs

Knowing the exact watering needs of both your house and garden plants can be pleasantly welcoming. Buying and using watering bulbs can take the guesswork out of watering your plants while also making sure you don’t overdo it.

Wash Your Clothes and Dishes in Larger Loads

When possible, do your laundry in larger loads as opposed to doing several smaller loads throughout the week. Most washing machines use the same cycle lengths and nearly 75 percent of the same amount of water in all load sizes. By simply eliminating small laundry loads for single larger loads, you can save time, money, and water in one fell swoop. Also, check that you’re only running the dishwasher on a full load to maximize your home’s efficiency.

ALSO READ: Worlds Day for Water: 5 water conservation ways that are ideal for Indian conditions

Wash up and Brush Your Teeth Without Running the Water

Leaving the tap running while cleaning your teeth and scrubbing your face is a common source of water waste in almost every household. If you were to turn off the faucet while doing either of those activities, you could save dozens of gallons of water daily. On average, brushing your teeth with the water running uses 4 gallons of water, while showering uses roughly 17. Turn the water off in between washing and rinsing can cut those numbers in half.

Water conservation, especially in the home, is a win-win situation for your wallet, our planet, and your spare time. Adopting just one of these fixes can bring about a huge change to your life that goes far beyond your home. Mother Nature and your monthly budget will thank you for your effort.