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How Festival Trash is affecting Cities in India? Here is what Environmentalists have to say!

During Durga Puja and Ganesh Chaturthi, around 100,000 idols are immersed in the water bodies resulting in the release of substances like Plaster of Paris (PoP), lead, etc

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Lake polluted after Ganesh Chaturthi. Wikimedia Commons

October 07, 2016: Indian festivals have always been an integral part of our culture. They help us stay connected to our tradition. Every year, festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc. are celebrated with sumptuousness. People spend thousands of rupees on crackers, colours and lights to celebrate the festival of spreading light and leaving the dark behind but what they also do is, leave behind is a massive pile of garbage!

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According to a report by Delhi Government, levels of pollutants like Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen dioxide(NO2) are rising at an alarming rate. Last year, Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist working with the Delhi-based Social Action for Forest and Environment told IANS, “the rise in pollution levels after Diwali has been going up three-to-four times the normal levels. But it’s alarming to see the rise even before Diwali.”

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After Diwali, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), an agency under Ministry of Earth Sciences, declared the air quality in the capital “severe”, a category used to describe the highest level of pollution. The next day is not any better. The remains of all the crackers are strewn across the parks and streets.

The story is same during other festivals as well. The colours used to play Holi are made from substances like acids, mica, glass powder and alkalis which are responsible for skin complications and allergies. These chemicals get absorbed into the soil. Also, water containing these chemicals cannot be treated in a conventional way.

During Durga Puja and Ganesh Chaturthi, around 100,000 idols are immersed in the water bodies resulting in the release of substances like Plaster of Paris (PoP), lead, etc. Also, people leave behind flowers, food, etc. on the immersing site. The TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in increased by 100%and the heavy metal content is increased by 200 to 300%.

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During Eid, many people perform the sacrifice ritual at communal places which are left unclean. Also, the increase in affordability has increased the amount of food wasted during these festivals.

Through the past decade, government and NGO’s have been trying to raise awareness among people through campaigns and advertisements but every year the level of pollution during these festivals breaks the previous records. It seems like Festival and trash have become synonymous.

Everyone knows the solution but for some reason refuse to act upon them. Well, if this continues, soon there will be a time where we will not be able to move out of their houses without wearing a pollution mask.

 by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

2 COMMENTS

  1. No religion wants to live in a pollution. People where they are focusing on maintaining their tradition parallel to that they should also focus on Garbage issue which is very frequent after every festival in India. Whether we see our temples, mosques or any spiritual place they are clean or maintained properly. So why to scatter garbage here and there after festivals who have spitural essence. This is a high time people have to aware regarding this issue. If they will not listen the call of mother nature then, she knows how to maintain her. (Global warming, floods, droughts etc are some examples)…… All need to awake from deep ignorance.

  2. every festival india leads to pollution. especially diwali. wish people get smart and stop polluting the country and call it celebration. Not saying stop fireworks just saying limit it. instead of going crazy all night. a few minutes is good enough. and its also so unsafe. people are allowed to do fireworks anywhere. on streets. houses. etc. where others are disturbed and at risk of being attacking by one of these crackers. its just common sense be smart people

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Diwali 2017: 5 Fun things You can do this Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

How to celebrate Cracker -free Diwali? Here are 5 wonderful ways to make your Diwali joyful this year.

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Diwali 2017
Diwali 2017: Celebrate Cracker-free Diwali this year.
  • No crackers this Diwali? No problem.There are other ways to celebrate Diwali 2017 with the same excitement and joy.
  • The ban on crackers this year has given us a chance to celebrate Diwali 2017 in many other interesting ways with Family and friends.

There can so So much more than bursting crackers on Diwali. Here are 5 ways to enjoy Cracker-free Diwali 2017 

1.Prepare a Diwali Feast: Preparing Delicious Diwali Dishes and Sweets can be a good idea to enjoy Diwali this year. Show off your cooking skills and treat your family with mouthwatering food. Good food can add joy to any celebration, it is tried and tested formula to enjoy and bring smiles on the face of family and friends.

Phirni Diwali Dishes
Preparing Delicious and Sweets can be a good idea to enjoy Diwali this year. Wikimedia

2. Go Green: Some gardening skills can add to your joy this Diwali. Plant a sapling in your home and instead of giving any other gifts to your loved ones, gift a plant to them. This will not only add to the uniqueness of the gift but will encourage a pollution-free Diwali this year.

Also Read: Diwali 2017: Significance of the Diwali, Celebrations & Rituals, Date & Diwali Recipes

3. Try out the old tradition of Playing Cards on Diwali 2017: Playing Taash (cards) can be fun this Diwali with family and friends.Teen Patti is the most popular card game played on the festival of Diwali. You can also play monopoly if you are not sure of winning with cards.

4.Karaoke or Dance Party: Music is the best way to enjoy on every occasion. You can play Antakshari with your family or can throw a dance party on Diwali 2017. A karaoke night this Diwali can add your joy for sure.

5.Spread Happiness: Instead of spending money on crackers, help the underprivileged children in your neighborhood by buying them new clothes, sweets and Diyas. This year control pollution and spread happiness to truly enjoy the festival of lights.

-prepared by Pragya Mittal |Twitter @PragyaMittal05

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Get Your Home Festive Ready for Dussehra and Diwali!

Can't wait for Dussehra and Diwali? Neither can we! These tips will help you get your house festive-ready!

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From decorating the halls to hosting friends and family, use our tips and tricks for making your home ready for Diwali and Dussehra. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 9, 2017 : With Dussehra and Diwali round the corner, get your home festive ready with thorough cleaning, cushions in silk, chanderi or zari embroidered fabrics, fresh flowers and scented candles, suggest experts.

Dipti Das, Design Head at interior design and decor online platform HomeLane and interior designer Pramitha Roche, have shared ideas on how you can decorate your home tastefully for Dussehra and Diwali :

  •  Use traditional hand-crafted fabrics and prints. Silks, chanderi, fabrics with batik or block prints and zari embroidery are all the rage. You can also add some traditional carpets.
  •  Use copper and brass crockery when guests come calling.
  • Add mirrors with embellished or copper-toned frames to add a little bling to your interiors.
  •  Instead of painting the whole house, use one prominent wall and paint it with a pretty motif or adorn it with a decal or wall hanging to add to the festive spirit.
  •  Good lighting can easily set the right mood. Light up your home in layers with some ornate lighting fixtures and lamps.
  •  Highlight a wall by painting it in cheerful earthy warm hues like solar yellow, rustic red and emerald green.
  •  Fresh flowers and scented candles are ideal for those who want to keep the decor understated.
  •  Ensure your towels, napkins, table runner and door mats are in the same vibrant shade to keep symmetry going.
  • Bring out the prized centrepieces for your coffee table and dining table. (IANS)

 

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Americans Are Believed To Throw Away One-Third of The Available Food. How Then Are They Dealing With It? Read On To Know What Is Happening at The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

If an increasing number of people subscribe to the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle way of life, a lot of the world's problem of waste generation will be solved. Read in to know what America is already doing!

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  • One-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted
  • Treatment plants are now using food waste to convert energy
  • The move also cuts on emission of harmful gasses into the atmosphere

Brooklyn, August 7, 2017 : Americans are believed to throw away about one-third of the available food. However, what we see as trash is also seen as a business opportunity by a few. A facility known as the New Town Creek waste Water Treatment plant is using wasted food from Brooklyn and turning it into electricity, completely justifying the concept of the 3-C’s we have all studied about in school.

If an increasing number of people around the world subscribe to the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle way of life, a lot of the world’s problem of waste generation will be addressed, and eventually solved.

But presently, the concept seems too vague and utopian. So what are we doing right about NOW?

Mechanisms have been developed to convert all the waste produced into clean energy and some other usable product. Now if you ask me how that is contributing to a better society, I’d like to tell you that heaps and mountain-full of landfills are slowly becoming a thing of the past. And in the longer run, the practice is also going to reduce enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emission.

For a number of years now, New York’s fourteen waste-water treatment plants have been processing the city’s raw sewage into clean water, fertilizers and methane, which forms the main component of natural gas. Eventually, New York authorities realized that huge amounts of other organic wastes sent to landfills can also be converted to energy.

Pam Elarado of the New York Bureau of Waste Water Treatment told VOA news that the food waste is similar to the sewage generated at a waste-water treatment plant.

For the same purpose, in the eight egg-shaped digesters at the New Town Creek Waste Water Treatment plant, the bacteria slowly break down the so called bio-slurry into a more stable material, useful in the gas.

Newtown Creek Waste Water plant, operational since 2010, is the largest sewage treatment facility operated by the New York City Department of environmental protection.

The plant is instilled with digester eggs that convert food waste into methane gas.
The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, as seen from atop the Pulaski Bridge, Brooklyn. Wikimedia

The plant overlooks conversion of organic waste from kitchens, homes, hotels, and food-factories into cleaner energy and compost.

Frank Lonear told VOA news that the tank currently is capable of holding about three million gallons of a combination of bio-sewage which comes from waste-water and also food waste. “It sits here on an average of about 30 days for the bacteria to break it down to create methane gas”, he said.

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The plant currently is capable of processing about 60 tonnes of food waste daily but plans to increase the capacity to 250 tonnes. The daily production of methane is about 85,000 cubic meters which needs additional treatment to be turned into natural gas.

If all the food waste being processed at the plant was instead just dumped at a landfill, it still would have provided methane in the process of rotting and decomposition. However in such a condition, all the released gas would have sparked directly into the atmosphere thus, contributing to climate change. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, after all

In such a scenario, this practice of anaerobic conversion is diverting food waste from landfills, cutting down on harmful emissions and also creating a few jobs.

According to reports, New York embraced the practice of food-waste conversion very quickly. Sarah Schiwal, a resident of Brooklyn swears by the practice and said, “It is so simple and it cuts down on our trash. I can’t understand by anybody wouldn’t want it”, as told to VOA news.

ALSO READ: Wasting Food is like being “Carbon Criminal,” Campaigns to be Initiated soon against it, says Environment Minister of India

If you’re wondering that the plant contributes only scientifically to the city, then you’re mistaken. The egg shaped digesters are illuminated at night time and provide a rather aesthetic and pleasing cityscape along the Brooklyn waterfront.

Newtown creek wastewater digestive plant in among the largest such plants in New York.
Anaerobic conversion takes place in huge egg-shaped digesters that are also illuminated at night to beautify the surrounding areas (representational image). Pixabay

While it cannot be denied that these plants are solving a great deal of the problem, the fact remains that the root cause of the problem is still not being addressed. Consumers continue to throw away a staggering amount of food, which needs to be taken into account and kept under check.

At present, wastage from food makes up the largest share of the constitution of landfills and Americans are believed to throw away about one-third of the available food. While on one hand it is important to devise ways to prevent food waste, it is also important to keep the food from being wasted. Keeping the waste out of landfills and producing clean energy in its place can go a long way for mankind to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.


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