Eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations

The Ganapati at Mrudula & Venugopal’s house looks like marble. These days, marble Ganapatis seem to be popular, with environmentally conscious people wanting to celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi festival without causing pollution.

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Elephant on the mind

The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is Time for Nature.

The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.

Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message: To care for ourselves we must care for nature. 

It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.


In India, on this World Environment Day, it’s ‘ELEPHANT’ on the mind.

Gopalaswamy Betta, Bandipur, May 2009

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Studying environment in the city

The most efficient place for children to study environment is the environment!

Received these two pages from my mother. Saved by one of mom’s teacher-colleagues, from The Instructor magazine of May 1967, it explains how teachers can teach children in urban areas, about the environment.

Today’s children will, at some time, control decisions affecting the future of their environment – the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat.

Given that the article is over 50 years old, these “children” would be those in the 55-65 age group… almost the generation of our parents. It is evident that some of decisions taken in the last 50-odd years (like the loss of lakes in Bangalore), have had a detrimental effect on our environment. While we are trying to take corrective action, we need to teach today’s children. Despite all the changes we’ve encountered, it is amazing how relevant the article is today.

Outdoor Science pg 1

Outdoor Science pg 2

Discouraging disposables at Lokhandwala Foundation School fun fair

At some point over the past few years, it is quite likely that you would have heard about the problems created by the ever increasing mounds of garbage in our neighbourhoods and/or the villages where our urban rubbish is being dumped. The harm to the environment, climate change, plastic cows, dead turtles, our health, contaminated water, flash floods …

Of course, with the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission a year ago, we are constantly reminded about keeping our neighbourhoods and country clean. Apart from not littering our public spaces, anyone with common sense would directly relate this to what we throw out each day, from each of our homes – things that we could actually have done without, and which would need to go through the recycling process to save them from ending up in landfills or some unsuspecting creature’s stomach.

But do we really? Disposable carry bags for example. (Pics: internet)
is this you with your plastic bags

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Environment Day blues

Random incidents that come to mind on June 5, World Environment Day

Our neighbours in Bangalore don’t like our trees. Rather, they don’t like the leaves from our trees. Also, when I tell them that about the trees’ oxygen, they say that they don’t like the oxygen either. They’ve chopped down every green or brown stem that dared set root in their compounds, and concreted every square foot of land. In fact, one of the houses has left no clearance on any side. They obviously don’t know that their lungs are dependent on our trees to keep up their oxygen levels. And they await Akrama-Sakrama.

Roadside trees in Mumbai are being pruned before the monsoons. This, so that the falling branches during the rains and windy hailstorms do not fall on people or vehicles. The cutters say that they try not to disturb birds nests, but if they’re in the way of their assigned task, they will have to go. After all, human lives and property are more valuable than the birds. Continue reading

Of garbage and plastic bag alternatives

Bangalore has come a long way since this message I had posted on the ZWM-Blr google group <> in Sept 2010, about biodegradable plastic bags.

“About one-and-a-half years ago (meaning in early 2009), at Brigade Millennium Mayflower, we decided to go with green-colour biodegradable garbage bags for chute-disposal of garbage.

After a few months, we discontinued buying the biodegradable bags because – Continue reading

Ganeshas and lakes

Eco-Ganesha kai hote? (What is Eco-Ganesha?) For sixty year old Savitri, who has lived all her life in a village in Maharashtra, the only Ganeshas she knows are the ones they make with the soil from the beds (and surroundings) of lakes and ponds in her village. Her first time in the city, Savitri is astounded by the size and the variety of Ganeshas she sees in the shops and Eco-Ganesha is a word that has got fixed in her memory forever.

Like many proud Marathas, Savitri says that the Ganesha festival itself originated during her ancestor Shivaji’s time, or so her grandmother told her. She is happy that the festival is celebrated so grandly in the city, but little does she know that many city dwellers are trying to emulate her and her village mates today.

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