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Each year 22nd April or Earth Day as we know it brings with it a reminder to do better for our planet and takes responsibility for a greener and better future. With an increased consciousness towards our home, our planet thanks to pandemics, this 51st Earth Day comes with the opportunity for us to think about the choices we make which can help make the planet a better place to live. As per a recent YouGov report by Airbnb, an overwhelming 94 percent of Indians look at sustainable and responsible travel when they do leave their homes in 2021, with millennials and Gen Z fuelling this trend.
For those looking to make a difference through daily routines, a little goes a long way when it comes to planet Earth. In fact, one of the most monumental ways in which individuals can make a difference is by adopting sustainable practices in their own homes. So, if you’re looking for simple tips to make your home greener, these easy guidelines from expert Airbnb hosts are sure to inspire you.
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Shop local and use locally. While designing and getting his quaint and charming farm stay ready, Airbnb Host Honey, who hosts The Owl’s Nest in Dharamshala, made a special effort to use as much local material as possible, with very few exceptions. The minimized need for transportation helped keep the environmental impact to a bare minimum without compromising on the aesthetics or the modern comforts which we’ve grown used to.
Similarly, Airbnb Host, Sanjay, swears by local products. While designing his farm stay, Meena Bagh Ratnari in the gorgeous locales of Himachal Pradesh, he decided to use local products as much as possible. A lot of the furniture has been designed using locally sourced ‘waste’ wood. This discarded wood was picked up from the wood mills and is also known as reclaimed wood. While adding to the rustic look and feel of the home, reclaimed wood adds a certain warmth to the ambiance. Nestled in the lap of nature, Meena Bagh Ratnari is the perfect place for those who prefer luxury in serenity, surrounded by nature, tranquillity, and farm animals.
Meena Bagh Ratnari. An Apple Orchard Farmstay.
Go sustainable from the ground up if possible?
When talking about the need to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, Honey said, “For me, the transformation into a sustainable being living a sustainable lifestyle had to be more than refusing plastic straws at fancy vegan eateries or refusing plastic bags at overpriced organic produce stores. It had to be ‘Real’ with visible positive impact and ‘Local’ enough to bring about a change, however small and however slow, in my community.” This is why it is important that if you are building a new home, sustainable practices need to be a part of the plan from the very beginning.
Airbnb Host Rupam, who hosts La Belle Vie Naukuchiatal in Nainital has used stone from the surroundings to build walls of the home which adds to the natural aesthetics of the home. Water harvesting and solar energy are also something that can be included at the time of planning itself. This not only saves the bills but is also a great way to contribute to nature. Joe, who hosts Striking Penthouse With Private Plunge Pool in Goa, recommends adopting upcycling practices during construction as well to create very little wastage.
La Belle Vie Naukuchiatal
Reuse, recycle, reduce!
Both Joe and Sanjay believe in garbage segregation as a small yet crucial step towards sustainable living. Sanjay encourages composting as well and has specially dedicated composting bays where guests are educated on the benefit and ease of composting.?
Each of us can make a huge difference in contributing to the planet, through our daily practices, which is why Rupam encourages guests to reduce waste, save electricity and water as much as possible. One can even choose to be sustainable while doing the interiors of their home. Honey has reused and upcycled a majority of the furniture, fixtures, doors, and windows at his beautiful home.
Chic Luxury Cottage
Choose sustainable travel
As per a recent YouGov report by Airbnb, an overwhelming 94 percent of respondents would look at sustainable travel when they do leave their homes in 2021. This comes out strongly amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, with Indians becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and wanting to give back to local communities. This not only provides a boost to the communities and their members ï¿½ thus redistributing the economic impact of travel ï¿½ but is also sometimes more affordable. This is also a model of travel that Airbnb has supported ï¿½ travel as a way of fostering meaningful connections and regenerating communities. (IANS/JC)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)