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Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival dedicated to the deity Surya(sun). It is celebrated on 14th January every year. It is a day the people of India and Nepal celebrate their harvest. It marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara Rashi (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. 

The festival is observed by flying kites in various parts of the country. But every year, news about deaths or injuries due to kites’ Manja surface in the newspaper. But the situation has become despair now because some section of people doesn’t understand how perilous it is and it should be stopped. 

Manja is a synthetic kite string coated with powdered glass, which has become a huge problem in society during the festival. The Chinese Manja (albeit locally made) has created a massive mess. In the zeal to cut other kites, the manufacturers have sharpened the Manjas to increase their sales. But instead of cutting other kites, it is slitting peoples’ throats. Even the glass-coated cotton manjas aren’t safe, and they too have caused casualties. 

The Manja is very dangerous for the birds in the say. In the year 2019 during the time of Makar Sankranti, an estimate cited by the Animal Welfare Board of India said that at least 2,000 birds are injured at the annual kite flying event in Ahmedabad of which 500 eventually died.

Taking these into consideration, in July 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned synthetic Manja in India. It commanded the authorities to book violators not only under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code but also invoke the Environment (Protection) Act, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and Wildlife (Protection) Act as the case would warrant. Multiple State governments have banned the Manja.

Festivals are about sharing love and bonding over Kaju katli, it should not be about causing harm to- humans and non-human animals. So, this Makar Sankranti doesn’t fly kites with glass-coated manja, instead, give your dreams and passions a flight.

Happy Makar Sankranti, you all. 

Lab-grown meat industries are on a rise for developing new ways of more sources of meat. It is also known as cultured meat. It is produced by in vitro cell culture of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals. It is a form of cellular agriculture .

Why is lab-grown meat on rise?

The cultured meat is on the rise because the world is becoming aware of the animal cruelty in the livestock industry and want their plate to be cruelty-free. Also, the world is slowly marching towards a healthier diet and have learned about the ill effects of consuming meat. Furthermore, the switch to cultured meat is to save the only earth- a life-sustaining planet, because the meat industry is the leading cause of increasing temperature, which is fueling climate change.

Is lab-grown meat sustainable?

The concept of lab-grown meat came into being because the adherents of cultured meat believed and argued that it provides a significant reduction of environmental impact. It also reduces the risk of infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

A study in 2011 found that cultured meat can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78-96% and require 7-45% less energy and 82-96% less water.

Although, recent studies have proven that lab-grown meat is not sustainable in long run. Other researchers have shown that with animal immune systems, their bodies are naturally able to protect them against infections. With cell culture meat having a nutrient-rich quality, I can cause bacteria to multiply faster than in animal cells.

In modern agriculture, animals contribute to recycling large amounts of plant waste that humans cannot consume, creating fertilizer for the land. Replacing animals out of the environment would create long-term environmental degradation if they are not in their ecosystems.

What is the future of lab-grown meat?

The meat consumption will double by 2050, and meat production is already close to the peak. According to Mark Post, “cows are very insufficient” with a “bioconversion rate” estimated at 15 percent. In other words, to produce 15 grams of meat, you need 100 grams of vegetable protein. The only way to produce meat sustainably is to increase the efficiency rate and cultured-meat is being considered as the solution. 

 

Planting Trees May Not Be Saving the World

The development is causing deforestation, and in return, corny capitalists promise compensatory afforestation. The world is being asked to plant trees in the hope, that this will save them from climate change and will reverse human-induced climate change.

The world and its citizens have become eco-conscious, and companies and governments cannot escape with compensatory afforestation. Planting trees is not straightforward because these companies and government claim to plant trees but mostly monocultures.

Monocultures are unfit for animal habitats because they don’t provide any diversity for the animal kingdom to grow. It doesn’t provide any plant diversity, and a single species of trees don’t provide shelter, food – to a variety of species and, hence close to no animal species live in such forests.

In monoculture forests, there are the same species of trees, and hence they all take the same amount of water, unlike in a diverse forest where all trees have a different requirement, and the water is used judicially. When the level of the water table goes down, it also degrades the soil.

Monocultures deeply impact the local communities who need the forests for water, food, fodder, and shelter, etc. Many times, local communities are forced to sell forests to industries that only grow monocultures.

Monocultures are not forests and don’t attract rainfall, they don’t provide food, they are not home to animal species, they don’t allow any biodiversity.

They are not an addition to already existing forests. All of them cut existing forests to grow commercially viable trees. Forests are not mere oxygen mechanisms, but they are an ecosystem that nurtures life.

The best way to save the Earth and to keep it green- is to not destroy the remaining biodiversity and forests of the earth.

Below I am going to add an video of SADGURU, Who will walk you through that Our environment is Our Life::

 

How Can Planting Trees Help to Reduce Climate Change & Reduce Global Warming

A lot of people decide to enrich their gardens by planting trees. Most of them do it for beauty or to offer extra shade in the summer months.

There are however, more benefits from trees than you might imagine. Except for refreshing, bonding us with nature and its calming impact, trees do a lot when it comes to the climate.

 

🌳 Reducing Climate Change

Although people are good at something, they build up excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Harmful CO2 leads to climate change, the greatest threat currently facing the planet. Trees, however are helping to fight it. They consume CO2 by extracting it from the air and storing it while releasing oxygen.

Annually, an acre of trees consumes an amount of carbon dioxide compared to driving your car 26 000 miles. Trees are our important attributes for survival; only one tree can provide enough oxygen for four humans.

 

🌳 Purifying Air

Have you ever felt the feeling of “cleaner air” in the woods or by the sea? Oh, you were right, because it is well known that trees purify the air.

They consume pollutant gases, such as nitrogen oxides, ozone, ammonia and sulfur dioxide. Trees also absorb odors and act as a barrier as little particles are caught in the leaves.

A mature acre of trees will provide oxygen to 18 people every year.

 

You Should Not Missed


How can save the bees are helpful to the environment

Top 10 Climate change documentaries available in free


 

🌳 Cooling Down the Streets

Every year, we listen to the disturbing news of global warming. For example, the average temperature in New Delhi has risen by 6F in 50 years, and the average global temperature has risen by 1.4F.

This occurs as the coverage of the tree decreases. Removing trees and replacing them with heat absorbing concrete roads and buildings allows cities a lot warmer. Trees cool cities by up to 10 F by providing shade and releasing water.

 

🌳 Natural Air Conditioning

Did you know that strategically spaced trees around your home will substantially reduce the need for air conditioning?

Not only will this make your wallet thicker, it will also reduce carbon dioxide and pollution from power plants. Architects and environmentalists sat together to come up with a brilliant idea – green roofs.

Green roofs are a perfect way to bring plants into your home and offer environmental benefits to your neighborhood while saving money on cooling bills.

 

🌳 Saving Water

With the exception of cooling, trees also help to conserve water. Due to the shade they offer, the water would slowly evaporate from low vegetation.

Trees require about 15 gallons of water a week to live, and they release about 200-450 gallons of water a day.

 

🌳 Preventing Water Pollution

Stormwater can be full of phosphorus and nitrogen contaminants. Without plants, the stormwater runs through the oceans and waters without being filtered out.

Trees split the rainfall and allow the water to penetrate the earth and settle into the soil. They also avoid the contamination of oceans by stormwater. With the exception of trees, green infrastructure such as a green roof will help calm stormwater effects.

 

🌳 Reinforcing Soil

Trees are one of the strongest agricultural partners. They work positively in a variety of ways: they minimize soil erosion, increase fertility, and help soil moisture.

Fallen tree leaves lower the soil temperature and keep the soil from losing too much moisture. Decaying leaves that fall to the ground turn into nutrients for tree growth and encourage the production of microorganisms.

 

🤔 Final Thoughts

There are also environmental advantages of planting a tree. Strategically planting trees around your home can have enormous environmental benefits.

Not only can you help restore the quality of life in your community, contribute to the environment and help combat climate change, but you will also set an example. So planting a beautiful tree is always a good idea.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you miss the buzzing sound in your garden or the community park, do you feel the flowers have lesser bees sucking nectar now, if yes, then continue reading this article to know why the population of bees have declined?

Bees are flying insects and close relatives of ants and wasps. Bees are social insects and live in colonies. The beehive consists of a single queen, a few hundred drones, and thousands of worker bees and are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet.

 

Why Are Bees Important?

They play a vital role in the ecosystem and are an indicator of a healthy environment. But, for a few years, the population of bees and other pollinators are dwindling in abundance in many parts of the world.

Save the bees

There are diverse reasons as to why the population of bees is declining rapidly; this shrinking population poses a huge risk to agriculture and biodiversity because bees are one of the major pollinators of the Earth and are estimated to pollinate the majority of flowering plants around the world.  

Bees are decisive to our existence and we must work harder to protect and preserve them.

Pollination:

The bees are the vital pollinators, they pollinate almost 80% of the world’s crops, fruits, and flowers. The process of pollination is the transfer of pollen to a stigma, ovule, flower, or plant to allow fertilization.

pollination diagram of bees

The bees pollinate when they visit a plant species to collect nectar, the pollen from stigma, the male reproductive part of flower, sticks and get trapped in bees hair and when the same bee lands on another plant, the pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, the female reproductive part of the flower, resulting in fertilization.

The bees are important for pollination because they pollinate many crops and support the agriculture industries of many countries, and bees are the reason we have a variety of diet and nutrients on our plates. They account for a third of the $3 trillion worth of agricultural products sold each year.

The bees pollinate a variety of crops such as almonds, apples, cauliflowers, lettuce, onions, pumpkins, radishes, etc. They also pollinate alfalfa, clover, and lupins: which is fodder for cattle, hence support the dairy and meat industry too.

 

Wildlife habitats and biodiversity:

The bees build homes for many species and make biodiversity through the process of pollination.

Wildlife habitats and biodiversity of bees

The role of bees has helped in the growth of tropical forests, savannah woodlands, and temperate deciduous forests. The growth of forests has further helped in making an ecosystem that allows diverse species to co-exist.

 

Food source:

Honey, which bees produce to feed their colonies, is used by bees in the winter season and is also a great value to human beings and a few other insects. Since, prehistoric times honey has been used in meals, baking, and drinks, and are widely used for its medicinal value too.

Bees are also a part of the food chain; at least 24 species of bird, including the blackbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, and startling, prey on bees. Many spiders and insects, like dragonflies and praying mantises, eat bees as well.

honey bees food source

Honey bees are very important for the survival of a healthy functioning ecosystem because they are the reasons, we have a diversification of food crops, which feed the billions of people in the world and play a massive role in building the economy of the country.

The bees also provide honey to humans and other insects and birds.

Finally, they help in the growth of wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

 

Why Are the Bees Dying?

Monoculture:

It is the practice of producing a single crop in a given area. Monoculture is not natural hence is not healthy for the environment.

This practice of monoculture farming has negative impacts on the lives of bees because they don’t get the required nutrients from a single standing crop.

Monoculture farming

Similar types of crops adversely affect the health of bees because the source of nutrients shrinks and leads to a weak immune system in the bees.

Furthermore, pests find monoculture easy prey because they get an abundant identical food source to attack; the farmers use pesticides to protect their crops from pest attacks and these pesticides are very harmful to the bees.

 

Pesticides:

Pesticides such as neonicotinoids are applied to crops to control and kill the pests that plague them. The problem is, they also harm bees.

Lethal pesticides and pollutants act upon a bee’s central nervous system. This can cause all sorts of behavioral and systemic issues relating to navigation, feeding, and more.

pesticides affects on bees

Eventually, it can kill them. Seeds, coated in such substances grow into plants that will continue to poison bees and other wildlife as they grow.

 

Habitat loss:

Monoculture is the leading cause of habitat, loss of the bees, followed by the massive destruction of forests around the world.

The habitat is lost to resource extraction and human settlement too. Many bees are negatively affected when large areas of habitat are broken up into smaller, isolated patches because these habitat fragments are not large and diverse enough to meet the requirements of all the bees.

 

Honey Hunting:

Honey bees worldwide is exploited for their honey and other products.

The consequences are honey hunting kills bees, it may for some bee species and in some areas represent a non-sustainable depletion of honeybee colonies and habitat, and honey hunters may cause forest fires.

 

Parasites and diseases:

The bees are dying at an alarming rate due to parasitic attacks. Varroa mites, a parasite that kills bees by sucking their blood; when the mite attacks the bee, they are succumbing to illness and disease and eventually die.

 

Climate Change:

The major reason for bee decline is global warming. Some wild bees can only survive in a narrow range of temperatures. As their habitats get warmer, the places where they can live grow smaller.

For example, some bees might be forced to live at higher altitudes, where it’s cooler, reducing the space they have to live in.


YOU CAN ALSO READ: HOW CAN PLANTING TREES HELP TO REDUCE CLIMATE CHANGE & REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING


 

The Impact of Bee Extinction on the Ecosystem 

The bees are an integral part of the ecosystem, so losing an important element of our nature can collapse the whole ecosystem. The impact of bee extinction will be enormous and varied for all the species.

Crops and Plants:

There are numerous plants and crops which are pollinated by the bees; butterflies, birds, and other animals also transfer pollens but bees do this effectively because they jump from one plant to another to collect nectar.

Moreover, there are a lot of plant species that are pollinated by a certain type of bees, so losing the population of that distinct bee means losing that plant species too. If bees went extinct, there would be an immense reduction in the production of crops.

bees_chart_neonicotinoids

 

Animals:

The herbivores depend on plants for their survival; many cattle consume alfalfa, clover, and lupins, and bees are the major pollinators of these plants.

So, if there is a decline in cattle fodder, the meat and dairy industry will be affected. Furthermore, the whole food web is interconnected, which means a reduction in the population of any species will affect the whole animal kingdom.

bee pooling

 

Humans:

If there will be fewer crops in the field, it will impact the survival of the human population because food shortage will result in world hunger and famine.

The bees also influence the clothing industry because they pollinate cotton, which is the major raw material required by the clothing sector.

 

What Can We Do to Save the Bees?

Grow bee-friendly plants: In this step, we all can make a garden and plant it with beautiful and bee-friendly plants like sunflower, mustard, safflower, carrot, onion, etc. These attract bees and provides the bees with a variety of nutrients.

If you are a farmer or a gardener opt-out of using harmful and lethal pesticides, instead use organic products and composts. Write to the farming organization to stop using the pesticides which are deadly for the bee.

Host a fundraiser or donate and support your local beekeepers and organizations because they work hard to nurture the bees and the local community.

Sign petitions to the government and the concerned authorities to ban the pesticides which are unhealthy for the survival of bees.

Link to the petition CLICK ME

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Must-Watch Documentaries on Climate Change You Should Not Miss

We all are witnessing climate change and curiously ask ourselves, what is the reason behind this. We wonder what can be done to restore the health of our planet.

Movies and documentaries are a great source to learn, and they provide a plethora of information. So here are ten documentaries that will amplify your sphere of knowledge about climate change.

Some documentaries will showcase the chief reason behind climate shift; some will introduce individual and collective actions to save the only habitable planet we have.

A few documentaries will highlight the role of world organizations working for the environment, and it will give you an insight into their policies and groundwork. These documentaries are a must-watch; they are comprehensive and will enhance your awareness and consciousness about climate change and solutions to combat it.

 

1. Kiss the Ground (2020)

Director: Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Joshua Tickell

Platform: Netflix

A recent Netflix documentary, beautifully narrated by Woody Harrelson, provides a cure for climate change, a cure that is right below our feet, and it is the soil.

The films explore how the healing and regeneration of soil can reverse climate change. It throws light on carbon sequestration which, is naturally done by the healthy soil. This film has depicted the ill side of monoculture and has shown regenerative agriculture as the solution.

Furthermore, the documentary also suggests some individual actions we all can take like, eating more plant-based, composting our organic waste. It is a must-watch film to be informed about how to keep soil healthy because we all depend on agriculture in some way or the other.

 

 

2. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)

Director: Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

Platform: Netflix

If you still believe that the chief reason for the destruction of the environment is vehicular emissions, industrial pollution: then this film is an eye-opener because it reveals the dominant reason behind the declining health of the environment. It divulges animal agriculture as the prime reason for deteriorating.

It also questions the policies of a few well recognized environmental groups. This Netflix documentary will leave you with a thought-provoking question about animal agriculture and your contribution to the livestock industry.

 

3. Chasing Corals (2017)

Director: Jeff Orlowski

Platform: Netflix

We all have been mesmerized by the magnificent beauty of coral reefs and have dreamed about visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

The documentary, Chasing Corals- has shown the harsh reality that coral reefs are disappearing because of coral bleaching and is disrupting the ocean life and altering the fish communities. This documentary has revealed the underwater mystery to the world and has motivated the viewers to take action to save the corals.

 

4. Ice on Fire (2019)

Director: Leila Conners

Platform: Hotstar

The documentary is narrated by actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. It draws attention to the fact that the Arctic is melting and releasing methane gas which, is creating havoc on the planet.

But this HBO documentary provides some excellent solution for altering climate change and stabilize the Earth.

This film also focuses on carbon dioxide sequestration either underground or in some new materials and underlines the use of renewable energy. This movie is an excellent source to be informed about the solutions to mitigate climate change and demand these agendas to be fulfilled by the government.

 

5. Climate Refugees (2010)

Director: Michael P. Nash

This documentary highlights how human-induced climate change is going to render marginalized people becoming refugees because they will lose their land to a catastrophe like extreme floods, droughts, sea level rising.

Michael P. Nash has also highlighted the intersection between overpopulation and lack of resources and climate change. Furthermore, the documentary also elucidates the national security of countries that are running out of food and water due to droughts and climate change.

 

6. The True Cost (2016)

Director: Andrew Morgen

Platform: Netflix

This movie illustrates the environmental impact of fast fashion. It also sheds light on the poverty and oppression of the labor in this industry.

Furthermore, the documentary illuminates the problem of genetically modified cotton grown in India that requires more pesticides which, leads to further degradation of the environment.

Andrew Morgen has shown the hostility of the fashion industry that is a chief reason behind the depletion of the world’s resources and how most of the clothes end up in landfills.

It is a wholesome film which will make you aware of the ecological and human impact of fast fashion and will drive you towards slow fashion which, is more sustainable and need of the hour.

 

7. Our Planet (2019)

Director: Sophie Lanfear

Platform: Netflix

It is a masterpiece documentary series by Sir David Attenborough, which-consists of eight episodes.

Each episode explores the different ecosystems of the world and reflects the human impact on biodiversity.

The eight episodes will introduce to various species in the wild and will leave you awestruck about how diverse, magical, and beautiful our blue planet is.

Each episode also returns to how we can individually and collectively combat the permanent degradation and reverse the degradation of Earth.

 

8. The Ivory Game (2016)

Director: Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani

Platform: Netflix

The film unravels the corrupt global network of ivory trafficking, exposing poachers and dealers. This industry is leading to the extinction of African elephants.

The animal rights thriller documentary portrays the horrific side of poaching and contemplates what would happen in a world without elephants.

It exhibits world politics and how a single person: the president of China, can change the whole game because China still deals with ivory products. This documentary will make you think about the state of animals in our society and their declining population to satisfy the desire of a few greedy humans.

 

9. Virunga (2014)

Director: Orlando Von Einsiedel

Platform: Netflix

An Oscar-nominated documentary depicts the true story of the rangers risking their lives to save Africa’s most precious national park and its endangered gorillas.

The movie will take you through the political turmoil in Congo and the fight over the natural resources in the resource-rich region of Africa. It introduces the issue of oil drilling in Virunga’s lake despite strict regulations to protect the national park.

 

10. Mission Blue (2014)

Director: Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens

Platform: Netflix

This documentary follows the oceanographer Sylvia Earle’s campaign to save the world’s ocean from threats such as overfishing and toxic waste.

The documentary will give you a perception of our dying oceans and give you an insight into organizations advocating for hope spots, designated government-protected oceanic zones, where nature can recover and can be preserved from excess human impact.

 

After watching any documentary, you can connect to their website to gain further details about their project and mission.