Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines gifting ideas...

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and as most of us might have done, I was also busy in selecting gift for my valentine. I have recently got married and this is my first Valentine’s Day after marriage, also last year on Valentine’s Day, I had met my wife for the first time. So Valentine’s Day holds double importance for me.

As you know, on Valentine’s Day, the gifts are for all the loved ones and so I was thinking who else is left. That’s when I received a newsletter from Greenpeace and I realized whom I have missed. Yes, you guessed it right…Our Mother Nature…Our Planet earth. We all love it. Don’t we? In fact, we need to love it if we love ourselves. But looking at the current state of affairs about Earth, I feel we need to do more than just loving our planet. We need to stand up and get involved in acts which prove that yes we actually care about our planet. In simple words, we have to be selfish because until our planet is protected and cared, our human race is in unprotected and in great danger for sure. These thoughts pumped up my adrenaline and so I decided to gift her as generously as possible.

I compiled a list of all the things that can be done to make this a 14th Feb a “Green” Valentine’s Day. Some of them are my own thoughts; some are results of my efforts on Google.

Usage of recycled paper:

a. As Notepads
We all use notepads for various purposes like keeping notes, listing out tasks for the day, rough work etc. I feel we should use Recycled paper here as the notepad will be used only by one person and so the quality of paper least matters, it will most probably be referred once it if full and then it will spent its life in the desk. By using recycled paper, we are saving virgin paper and thus tress. Secondly we are helping the Recycling Industry( I swear I don’t own one :)

b. In the secondary tray in printers
I feel we should have a tray in printer and Xerox/Copying machine of recycled paper. Employees taking printouts like tickets, phone bills, Xerox for credit card application etc can use the recycled paper instead of the virgin paper as the quality doesn’t really matter.

Clean clutter

a. Recycle old stationery
I have been recently moved a new place and on opening the drawer found a bunch of old papers. I believe most of us take print outs of MoM (minutes of meeting), extract of an article from a book, webpage mostly to understand the stuff better. But the printouts are not useful after certain time. We/Organizations should initiate a week long drive of say ‘Clean Drawer’ or something and ask people to dump the waste papers they have. I am sure we would be able to recycle a major bunch of paper.

b. I happened to relocate last year and while doing so ran a drive to remove all the clutter. To my surprise, I had materials like plastic and glass bottles, old utensils, some iron stuff,at least a bag full of old clothes etc.. one of the best ways of going green is I sold the old stuff at a recycling store and to my surprise the clutter was worth couple of thousands( to be precise 3k) and gave away the old clothes to this NGO.

c. Recycle e-Waste
Get all the electronic stuff which is not useful anymore and call the recycling guys. You might also make some money. Its always a better deal to make some money out of things which are lying useful and dumped in the backyard. Listed below are the links of some of the organizations involved in or/and aceepting recycling e-waste.

d. Recycle old phones
Recycle old phones, yes, everybody from India must have seen this ad featuring Shah Rukh Khan. It’s a Nokia initiative where you can give away any brand phone and Nokia will plant a tree for each phone donated.

Computer Usage

a. ShutDown
Most of the people, especially in IT companies have completely forgotten that there is an option of SHUTDOWN in their computer. The only option known is Clt+Alt+Del. The worst part is that bringing it to the notice to the defaulters mostly ends upon deaf ears or the advice ends up in a joke. In my previous organization, it was made mandatory by company to shut down the system while leaving, if somebody fails to do so, the security/maintenance people will shutdown the system at night. In case somebody had got some applications/programs running, they used to put a note on the comp.

b. Power Saving Mode
The other thing to do is to keep the system in Power saving mode such that the monitor (which consumes the maximum power) and CPU go in Standby mode if system is left untouched for Specific time. In my previous organization, what they did was that the power saving mode settings were pushed along with the other application updated on each and every computer and you know it works. For people who wants to learn how to enable Power saving setting, please check this link

I feel if we cannot mandate shutting down of computer, we can make the power saving mode to be default for sure.

c. Avoid screensavers
Yeah, I like those nice colourful fishes floating across my screen, the fancy Aquarium screen saver and many more of such kind. But it’s a sheer wastage of power. Want to know the technical facts…click here

d. Use Eco Font
The usage of this Eco font saves upto 20% ink. Quite an interesting stuff. I am sure we all can use this wherever applicable and save some money for ourselves.

Switch from Incandescent bulb to CFL.
Check this Greenpeace link for more details…

Mobile Usage
Many of us unconsciously forget to switch off our Mobile chargers. I found this article and it says, there is some electricity always wasted because of this act. I no longer keep my charger switched ON.

Stop Food wastage
Apart from the two issues of Electricity wastage, Paper wastage, there is one more issue which needs to be addressed and it’s “Food Wastage”.

The kind of food wastage happening is quite alarming. Office canteens are one of the common places where this virus has spread to a great extent. I try to stop people around me from wasting but it needs to be addressed on a larger scale. I don’t have any other immediate ideas to tackle this issue and inputs from you all are always welcome.

Stop Water Wastage
Guys, please while brushing teeth, shaving there’s no rule to keep the water tap running. I am sure there are many more activities where we keep the tap running though its not needed. I happen to come across a news paper article wherein a person was killed because of water. Check this blog of mine.

Plant tress wherever possible
People might say, I don’t have enough space around my house to plant trees. No problem, you could still contribute. Have balcony gardens, have plants near the stair case, near the window, literally anywhere and everywhere where you can have a plant and like to have a plant. To know more, follow the links…

For Some other tips of green living, visit this site

After I finished compiling the list, no this list is not finished, I expect many more ideas from you all. Anyways, after penning down these points, I felt what an heck!!!!…there’s nothing new in all this points. This is all I know. Isn’t that your reaction also?

Yeah actually, we just need to dust out the some of the fundamentals of life and being human.

By the way, gardening with one’s Valentine can also be quite romantic. Isn’t it?

Best regards of Valentines Day to you all...

Have a great time guys...

siddharth joshi A thinking soul

Writing to clear my mind...

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