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.

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.

Organic Gardening
Conventional Water Treatment-1-1

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 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.

blog image

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.

Wounded Earth - Effects of Air Pollution

Feb 7, 2019 2:42:28 PM / by Dr Shashi K

Thoughtless construction is a major contributor to the suspended particulate
matter in the air. This becomes even more crucial now that most of our cities are undergoing a massive change as construction takes over the peri-urban areas.

New Delhi, for one has been making headlines for being one of the worst cities for air quality. It is also estimated that air pollution in India is likely to kill 620,000 people every year(Down to Earth, 2015)1.

Study published in journal Lancet puts the number of pollution related deaths to 1.24 million in 2017, which includes deaths due to indoor air pollution (Lancet study, 2018)2.

air pollution 01-1

While construction is one of the major contributors to the worsening air quality, the other major contributors are automobiles, thermal power plants and host of other chemicals that we use in everyday lives.

The question is, what can we do at an individual or community level that can help in improvement of air quality for us and our future generations. Before that, it may be good to understand a little more about air pollution.

What is Air Pollution?

air pollution in city The air we breathe, that is also known as dry air is predominantly nitrogen, oxygen (78.09% and 20.95%) and then there is under 1% argon and then 0.038% carbon dioxide.

There are other minor gasses that are included in this complex mixture. Air also has variable amount of water vapour in minute quantities.

This perfect concoction is most suited to all life on the planet especially humans. No wonder we have prospered unlike any other species on the planet.

Now any addition or deletion to this perfect mixture is what is called air pollution.
These chemicals or chemical compounds are called pollutants, that are not naturally present, and are known to lower the quality of air, and pose a health risk to all the living beings and ultimately planet earth when it exceeds the level the natural environment can absorb or dissipate.


Are all Pollutants Gasses?

The pollutants found in the air can be in gaseous form (as gases), in solid form (as particulate matter suspended in the air), or in the form of finely dispersed liquid (aerosols).

The major air pollutants include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and particulate matter.

Is all Air Pollution Man-made or Created by Humans?

Air pollution can be caused by both natural or man-made (anthropogenic) reasons. The natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity etc., but their occurrence is rare, and usually have a localised minuscule effect.

In the absence of other man-made pollution, it settles down and the air automatically gets purified in some time. Sometimes these can have long lasting impacts such as volcanic dust that happened in geological past and caused lots of extinctions. However, these events are not an everyday occurrence in Earth’s evolution anymore.

On the other hand, man-made pollution is persistent and continuing owing to burning of fossil fuels, mining etc. Almost any process of industrialization (smelting, foundry activities), manufacturing, transport, infrastructure development (including housing) and energy generation has a negative consequence on air quality.

Some of the gases that come out of incessant fossil fuel burning are carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates, that is harmful to people when taken in.

Some of these gases also react with other gases to make complex mixtures which are even more toxic to life. Some of these gases contribute to the increased greenhouse gas effect leading to global warming.

Waste disposal in landfills, agricultural burning also contributes to air pollution. As it may sound surprising, some of the pollutants are from unexpected sources, such as printers, cleaning agents used at home, clothing dyes, emulsions, batteries etc.
Do You Want to Have A Eco-Friendly Home - Download Brochure Now


How does Air Pollution Impact Human Health?

air pollution 03

Air pollution has serious effects on the human health.

Depending on the level of exposure and the type of pollutant inhaled, these effects can vary, ranging from simple symptoms like coughing and the irritation of the respiratory tract to acute conditions like asthma and chronic lung diseases.

Skin problems and irritations can develop due to prolonged exposure to several air pollutants, and a variety of cancer forms may develop after inhaling air contaminants

Sustainable Eco-Living Villas - Book A Site Visit


Is Any of this Pollution a Risk to our Planet Earth?

One of the most significant effects of air pollution is on climate change, mainly global warming.

Over dependence on fossil fuels, have led to very high levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere with which the average global air temperature expected to rise by 2-4 °C by the end of the 21st century (IPCC 5th Assessment Report)3.

Such a warming trend will lead to melting of the polar ice caps, rising of the sea level, flooding of the coastal areas and changes in precipitation patterns. All these effects caused by global warming will have adverse effects on agriculture and forest ecosystems, and higher temperatures and humidity might increase the incidence of disease in humans and animals.

Already there has been a growing evidence of increased flooding’s and extreme weather events, which potentially create difficult situations for human health.


How Can We help Reduce Air Pollution?

air pollution 04

Simple everyday choices that we can follow to reduce air pollution are:

Conserve Energy – Use energy efficient star rated appliances and remember to turn off all electric appliances when not in use.

This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel -based power stations.

Renewables - Switching to renewable options, say solar PV, wind energy for your residential, commercial or business needs.

EV’s and Low Pollution Vehicles - Reduce the air pollution of your automobile - consider buying the most efficient, and least polluting vehicle. Be sure to keep your vehicle maintained regularly by replacing air filters at recommended intervals.

Limit driving by options such as carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking. Electric vehicles are a great bet, especially if they are charged by solar power generated at your home.

Eco-Friendly Home Products - Opt for no-VOC or low-VOC emulsion paints and glues. Use green cleaning products instead of conventional chemical-filled products.

Follow the principle of 3R- Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – The energy and natural resources required to make new things has a very high environmental footprint compared to products made from recycled materials.

Green Cover - Plant trees wherever you can, whether it is home or community level or even somewhere else.

Checkout The Walk Through by Mittal Joshua Tree, Hyderabad


3. IPCC, 5th Assessment Report- Fifth Assessment Report published by Interparliamentary Panel on Climate Change (under UNFCCC)





Topics: Air Pollution

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.