Indoor air pollution-1

Indoor Air Quality

By Dr Shashi K | Mar 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Indoor air quality is mostly an undervalued asset as there is very little awareness about its correlation with overall health and well-being. Outdoor quality contributes to it to some extent, but many indoor air pollutants are not really suspected as cause of pollution that can be harmful to humans. Biological, chemical and particle pollution can create significant distress to all humans especially most vulnerable sections of the society just as newly born babies and old people. 

Labour Care = The Human Factor

By Dr. Shashi K | APR 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Our urban scene anywhere in India appears like a permanent construction site. All along the construction sites, the lesser privileged live in temporary accommodations. Most of these people are the victims of the vagaries of the weather or early victims of climate change related droughts who come to cities for some opportunities. Labor care therefore is one of the most important considerations that we as a construction firm are completely committed to.

Which Electric Vehicles Are Available In India

Diesel, Petrol, or Electric Vehicle: How Can I Decide Which Is Best For Me?

By Dr Shashi K | Apr 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

Electric vehicle has been a human fancy for a long time. However, never before the urgency to have electric vehicles as mainstream vehicle had been more than in recent times. This is particularly significant as electric vehicles are clean energy vehicles and something that can help wean us away from our fossil fuel addiction. Electric vehicles are also non-polluting and will propel urban ecosystems to become cleaner and better.

Why Should We Use Star Rated Appliances?

By Dr. Shashi K | Mar 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

A higher star rated appliance will assure you save money for the life of the appliance. A monthly saving of just 200 units would put Rs.1,700 in your pocket at current electricity rates. Over ten years this means Rs.2,04,000 and over 25 years this means Rs. 5,10,000, factor in this cost when you buy a new appliance. While earlier it was difficult to understand the energy efficiency quotient of appliances, now the star ratings helps us understand the potential of savings directly.

Star rated
Why is it important for everyone to know about Biodiversity-1

Biodiversity Loss and What We Can Do About It?

By Dr Shashi K | Mar 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

We are losing some of our unique ecological niches because of the direct and indirect disturbances that we humans create in our ecosystem. As a result of the changes in land use, pollution, global warming, and physical destruction of ecosystems, species are getting extinct. Although extinction of species is a natural Darwinian process, the rate at which the species are getting extinct now is unprecedented. It is entirely possible to stop the accelerated loss of biodiversity by making changes in our life-style. And it’s all……… worth it.    

Why Is Renewable Energy Important? Types of Renewables

By Dr. Shashi K | Mar 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Nothing, perhaps nothing else that matters so much is more appropriately named than how energy is classified. Embedded in the name of renewables is the core of what renewable energy delivers. It is the form of energy that can be renewed endlessly as it makes use of the resources that are a part and parcel of the Earth’s natural system, be it oceans and tides, water, wind, sunlight and even accessible heat energy stored in the Earth.

Why is renewable energy important-1

Indoor Air Quality

By Dr Shashi K | Mar 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Indoor air quality is mostly an undervalued asset as there is very little awareness about its correlation with overall health and well-being. Outdoor quality contributes to it to some extent, but many indoor air pollutants are not really suspected as cause of pollution that can be harmful to humans. Biological, chemical and particle pollution can create significant distress to all humans especially most vulnerable sections of the society just as newly born babies and old people. 

Organic Gardening - Vertical, Terrace, and Regular Gardens

By Dr. Shashi K | Feb 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Gardening offers some less visible, but equally sustaining benefits - whether it is a vertical garden, a kitchen garden, a backyard garden or a roof-top garden. Home gardening helps close the loop from organic waste to compost to growing vegetables. It not only helps in reducing the heat gain on the roof/terrace and other areas at home but also contributes to enriched soil and reduced landfill waste. Besides, eating fresh fruits and vegetables immediately after harvesting assures high level of nutrition and satisfaction.

What is the relevance of vertical gardens in today’s society
Conventional Water Treatment-1

What is Wrong with the Conventional Water Treatment Options: What are the Alternatives?

By Dr Shashi K | Feb 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Waste water treatment has traditionally been the responsibility of municipal corporations, but due to water scarcity it is now mandatory for industrial and residential developments to treat sewage before releasing it. Conventional treatment of grey water requires oxygenation, which is energy consuming and generates large amounts of sludge that needs responsible disposing. On the other hand, a plant-based system (Phytorid) is a tried and tested technology that achieves the same results at minimal cost without expending energy or using harmful chemicals.

Is Solar PV A Feasible Solution For Our Power Needs?

By Dr. Shashi K | Feb 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Reduce or eliminate energy bills. Earn tax credits and rebates. Start savings from Day 1. Help the environment and help us all. Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels at home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. For a country with abundant sunshine and poor connectivity, using solar power to generate electricity clearly appears to be the way to go!

solar power panel
Wounded earth air pollution

Wounded Earth - Effects of Air Pollution

By Dr Shashi K | Feb 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Air pollution is not merely a threat to our health but a reminder that our most celebrated technological achievements are in fact environmental failures. Be it automobiles or jet planes or power plants, they are all guzzling down precious fossil fuels. Some ways to reduce pollution include energy conservation, switching to renewables, and following the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Organic Outlets in the City of Hyderabad

By Seetha Anand | Nov 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

In the last decade or so, there has been a rise in the number of organic stores and farmers bazaars in the city of Hyderabad. This has been the trend world over and the twin cities have caught up on it too. Today there are many players in the market.

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Vegan Options in the City of Hyderabad

By Seetha Anand | Nov 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Veganism is slowly but surely catching up in the city of Hyderabad. A vegan diet means no dairy, eggs, honey, meat, poultry or fish -- abstinence from all animal products. People turn vegans for reasons of health, prevention of animal cruelty and for environmental protection.

Vanishing Greens

Apr 18, 2019 11:08:54 AM / by Dr Shashi K

Deforestation leads to even less carbon dioxide being absorbed, aside from ecological damage.

Forests – Lungs of Earth

Forests – lungs of earth 

While forests definitely serve humans in so many ways from providing shade to food, fodder, medicine, timber and providing good quality air, but thinking that this is the only objective it is serving is undermining the importance of forests.

That they help in watershed protection, preventing soil erosion and therefore help during flooding and rainfall is again oriented towards serving humanity.

The real powerful role that all the forests in the world are collectively playing is storing carbon dioxide released by processes either natural or man-made.

That is something that is conducive for life as it exists today on the Earth.

After oceans, forests are the world’s largest storehouses of carbon. And hence Forests are rightly called as the “lungs of the earth”.


What is Deforestation?

What is Deforestation

Forests could be considered a kind of generous gift that helped in survival of so many species.

Getting rid of the natural forests on a massive scale driven by whatsoever motives is called deforestation.

Invariably, the trees once felled get replaced by plantation, farm lands or other urban use. If we were replacing the forests with more and similar trees in a systematic way, it may have worked.

The worst victims of the deforestation are tree species and other animal species that depend on these forests.

More than half of all plant and land animal species in the world live in tropical forests.

As per United Nations, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) approximately 18 million acres of forest land is lost each year. It is estimated that at the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rain forest could completely vanish in a span of 100 years(NG, 2019). 

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What Are The Causes Of Deforestation?

What are the causes of Deforestation

Well, most of the deforestation is driven by human greed and then there are some natural factors such as wildfires.

Even though wildfires on its own can help in regeneration of forests if these are left to recover, but more often than not, these lands becomes targets for grazing.

So even though sometimes the factor can be natural, it is often related with human intervention.

Even in today’s world, one of the prime drivers for felling trees is fuel wood use.

Another driver is illegal logging. Illegal logging is mostly for meeting human demands of housing, timber, paper, furniture or clearing land.

This land could be for potential pasture grounds for livestock or for cultivation of palm oil and soy plantations for animal feed.

The scale of illegal logging is so immense that by some estimates it accounts for 50-90% of all forestry activities in key producer tropical forests, such as in Amazon, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and it also accounts for 15-30% of all wood traded globally(WWF, 2019).

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What Are The Effects Of Deforestation?

What are the effects of Deforestation

Deforestation has negative impact on the environment in more than one way.

It leads to extinctions, temperature increase & climate change, desertification and disrupted livelihoods.

Temperature increase & Climate change: Forest canopy maintains microclimate by blocking sun’s direct radiation. As soon as the canopy is lost, the radiation balance shifts as local microclimate shifts owing to more heat on that location.

Lack of forest impacts the local fauna and then further exposure to heat can be disruptive for the fauna and flora.

Local temperature variation is one thing but overall reduction of carbon absorption because of felling of trees leads to global warming.

This excess carbon dioxide traps more heat from the sun’s radiation through the greenhouse gas effect.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the deforestation contributes close to 20% of the overall greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.

While forests have been working as sinks before human interventions, unfortunately deforestation is one of the leading causes of global warming now, thus contributing to climate change.

Extinction: It may be a shocking discovery for most people to know that what we think is the diversity of species that we know about is indeed very few species dominating a large part of Earth’s landmass.

About 70% Earth’s land animals and plants are found in forests. Steady decline in number of species have the potential to wipe out the entire ecosystem niches, this may lead to massive species extinctions (NG, 2019).

Desertification: As mentioned above forests create a local microclimate and this helps in soil moisture retention as well.

Evapotranspiration through the trees helps in the water cycle of the atmosphere. Losing the forest and direct heat on the land pushes the land to become dry.

Slowly, the land may stop supporting vegetations and that perpetuates desertification.

Disrupted livelihoods: Whether it is south east Asian forests, or South American or African, number of forest dwellers in our world are huge.

Disrupting the livelihoods of millions of people by cutting the forests leads to other socio-economic issues such as migration, urbanization and conflicts. 

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Efforts to Control Deforestation

· At an individual level, plant as many trees and maintain those trees as possible.

· Make choices that assure that you are not perpetuating illegal logging, so look for FSC certified or wood from sustainably managed forests.

· Make community efforts for mass afforestation projects, offset your carbon through afforestation projects especially in tropical rainforest areas which are known as biodiversity hotspots.

  • It may also be important to know the managed and maintained national forests and their extent.
  • Join advocacy groups that help in enforcing law that helps afforestation efforts or reduces deforestation activities. Offset your personal carbon through afforestation projects.
  • Using less paper, or recycled paper and buying sustainably sourced products,
  • Consumer awareness on certified forestry products from wood to gums and resins helps create positive impacts on the forests that otherwise remain under threat.



Live Science, 2019: Deforestation:

AZA, 2019: Deforestation, causes and effects:

NG, 2019:Global warming and deforestation:

WWF, 2019: Deforestation causes illegal logging

Dr Shashi K

Written by Dr Shashi K

Dr Shashi K is a sustainability professional with degrees in Environmental Management from Oxford University. She has experience working in Sustainability and on Green Buildings, Water, Energy and Reporting and is currently CEO of SAGE Sustainability, a consulting firm working in the field of social and environmental issues. Dr Shashi believes that the construction sector can be the foremost enabler in moving towards low carbon living.