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.
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.
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.
As if the coronavirus wasn’t enough, India grappled with scorching temperatures and the worst locusts invasion in decades as authorities prepared for the end of a monthslong lockdown despite recording thousands of new infections every day as per the Latest news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This triple disaster drew biblical comparisons and forced officials to try to balance the competing demands of simultaneous public health crises: protection from eviscerating heat but also social distancing in newly reopened parks and markets.
The heat wave threatens to compound challenges of containing the virus, which has started spreading more quickly and broadly since the government began easing restrictions of one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns earlier this month.
“The world will not get a chance to breathe anymore. The ferocity of crises are increasing, and they’re not going to be spaced out,” said Sunita Narain of New Delhi’s Center for Science and Environment.
When her 6-year-old son woke up with a parched throat and a fever, housekeeper Kalista Ekka wanted to bring him to the hospital. But facing a deluge of COVID-19 patients, the doctor advised Ekka to keep him at home despite boiling temperatures in the family’s two-room apartment in a low-income neighborhood in South Delhi.
“The fan only makes it hotter but we can’t open the window because it has no screen,” and thus no defense against malaria and dengue-carrying mosquitoes, Ekka said.
In a nearby upmarket enclave crowded with walkers and joggers every morning and at dusk — some with face coverings, some without — neighbors debated the merits of masks in an online forum.
In the heat, “it is very dangerous to work out with a mask. So a Catch-22 situation,” said Asmita Singh.
Temperatures soared to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.6 degrees Celsius) in the capital New Delhi this week, marking the warmest May day in 18 years, and 122 F (50 C) in the desert state of Rajasthan, after the world’s hottest April on record.
India suffers from severe water shortages and tens of millions lack running water and air conditioning, leaving many to seek relief under shady trees in public parks and stepwells, the ancient structures used to harvest rainwater.
Though many people continued wearing masks properly, others pushed them onto chins, or had foregone them altogether.
Cyclone Amphan, a massive super storm that crossed the unusually warm Bay of Bengal last week, sucked up huge amounts of moisture, leaving dry, hot winds to form a heat wave over parts of central and northern India.
At the same time, swarms of desert locusts have devastated crops in India’s heartland, threatening an already vulnerable region that is struggling with the economic cost of the lockdown.
Exasperated farmers have been banging plates, whistling or throwing stones to try to drive the locusts away, and sometimes even lighting fires to smoke them out. The swarms appeared poised to head from Rajasthan north to Delhi, but on Wednesday a change in wind direction sent them southward toward the state of Madhya Pradesh instead.
K.L. Gurjar, a top official of India’s Locust Warning Organization, said his 50-person team was scrambling to stop the swarms before breeding can take place during India’s monsoons, which begin in July. Otherwise, he said, the locusts could destroy India’s summer crops.
Meanwhile, India reported another record single-day jump of more than 6,500 coronavirus cases on Thursday, pushing up the total to 158,333 confirmed cases and 4,531 deaths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is preparing a new set of guidelines to be issued this weekend, possibly extending the lockdown in worst-hit areas while promoting economic activity elsewhere, with unemployment surging to 25%.
The sudden halt to the Indian economy when the lockdown began March 25 has been devastating for daily laborers and migrant workers, who fled cities on foot for their family homes in the countryside.
The government started running special trains for the migrants, but deaths on the rails because of starvation or dehydration have been reported. Others immediately put into quarantine centers upon their arrival in home districts have tested positive for COVID-19, adding to the burden of severely strained rural health systems.
To jump start the economy, Modi’s environment ministry has moved to lower liabilities for industrial polluters and given private players the right to explore for coal and mine it. Cheap oil will fuel recovery efforts worldwide.
Indian environmental journalist Joydeep Gupta said that the perfect storm of pandemic, heat and locusts show India must go green. He said the government should implement policies to safeguard biodiversity and offer incentives for green energy to reduce greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Instead, “the government is promoting the same sectors of the industry that have caused the multiple crises in the first place,” he said.
But Narain said other government initiatives that expand federal agriculture employment, cash transfer and food ration programs help India deal more effectively with its threats.
“It’s building coping abilities of the very poor to be able to deal with stress after stress after stress,” she said. (VOA)
Across India, fasting is generally linked with religious beliefs, and people fast before or during traditional rituals. On the other hand, fasting also has many health benefits and some of its pitfalls.
Many times, people ignore their bodily conditions and choose to fast. For instance, women who are breastfeeding or are pregnant must not fast. Also, people with Type 1 Diabetes who are on medication and people who have had a history with an eating disorder should consult a health specialist before altering a dietary pattern.
Fast can be done in various patterns: the ’16:8′ pattern involves 14 to 16 hours of fasting and eating between the 8 hours. Another fasting method is 5:2, that is fasting for alternate two days in a week.
There are various types of fasting methods that you can follow considering your health condition, as says Shikha Mahajan, holistic nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium:
Intermittent fasting or IF includes reducing calorie intake for an interval of time so that the person fasts for the other hours. This kind of fasting allows restricting the calorie intake and results in weight loss. Time-Restricted Fasting is also similar to IF.
Water fasting is a way of fasting where the individual only takes water and the intake of food is restricted for a duration of time. This kind of fasting should only be preferred under medical supervision. Sometimes doctors prescribe this kind of fasting to cure various health issues. There is a major drawback of this fasting. Since it is very difficult for a body to survive only on water. Therefore, it can cause many adverse effects on the body.
Fasting Mimicking Diet
This is the diet that tricks the body to think it is fasting. The individual is allowed to eat but only the diet which includes plant-based food, low in carbs and calories, and high in fat.
Here are some pros of fasting. Fasting helps to boost immunity. It naturally increases energy and will help you to feel more alert and focused throughout the day. It helps you attain a leaner, harder physique as fasting kills body fat dead.
There are cons of fasting too. The desire to binge after fasting is the biggest problem people face with fasting. Sometimes people tend to overeat during the non-fasting duration. This can lead to health issues like hormonal imbalances, increase in stress and migraines.
Occasional lightheadedness is the major problem faced during fasting, To negate this con, you can start with shorter fasting periods first. Always remember fasting or changing your dietary pattern can make a big change to your body functioning, its metabolism and psyche.
Before opting for any kind of fast, consult a health expert and consider your health background. (IANS)
Come April, and the summer heat is only going to get more intense. Avoiding excessive water loss and dehydration is essential especially in the summers , says an expert.
“The human body is made up of 60 percent of water and as the temperature warms up this water loss can increase many folds. There is loss of not only water but also electrolytes from the body due excessive sweating. It may lead to fatigue, weakness, sunken eyes, decreased urine or dark colored urine, muscle pains, etc. In severe cases it may lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, or heat rash,” said Dr R K Bhel, Director, Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali.
It is crucial to drink plenty of fluids during hot and humid months. Fluids can be in form of plain water, fruit juices, coconut water or the good old nimboo paani or lemonade.
Hence, it becomes important to maintain water and electrolyte balance through proper hydration. As our water reserves go down, our body automatically sends a signal to the brain making us feel thirsty.
It is also a wise idea to stay indoors specially during the peak summer afternoons to minimize sweat loss.
In case of severe dehydration, one must go for Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) as it contains sodium, glucose, potassium and chloride which helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body, he suggests.