I have always loved travelling, because of which I make it a point to take frequent short trips to destinations around India, specifically hill stations. One of the nearest hill stations to Pune is Mahabaleshwar. The journey by road is not too long, due to which I go there quite often. With lush greenery, magnificent waterfalls, and a beautiful view of the valley the journey is a pleasant one. However, as more tourists travel there, more garbage piles up on the sides of the road. This is harmful to the environment and also takes away from the scenery around. On one of my trips there, I noticed this issue and decided to conduct a cleanup drive on the road from Pune to Mahabaleshwar. This was truly one of the most enriching volunteer trip experiences I have been on.
When looking at the bigger picture, effecting change in a world like ours can seem daunting. However, the key is to start somewhere small. Volunteer trips are a fun way to spend your time and also work towards some social cause. There are many international volunteer opportunities, where people can travel and explore the world, and make a difference at the same time. However, if you are one of those people who have only a weekend free, or do not wish to travel internationally, fear not, there are plenty of ideas to go on a volunteer trip in India as well.
Here are our top 3 ideas, to get your mind jogging:
Visiting a Sanctuary
Wildlife Sanctuaries are a great place to visit, to see various varieties of animals, birds and trees. Going to a sanctuary can be an educational experience, and also a fun one. In most sanctuaries, there are boards that contain information on each species of flora and fauna. These boards generally tell you whether a particular species is endangered, the kind of environment it needs, for it to thrive, etc. This is helpful to determine what steps can be taken to conserve these species.
The Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Murud. The sanctuary is also near Kashid Beach, which you can go to after visiting the sanctuary Renting a car from Pune Tours is a great way to travel there on your own and explore the area as much as you want.
Conducting a Skills Development Workshop
Schools in villages are largely underfunded, because of which the infrastructure and quality of teaching suffer. Most of the students are unaware of the skills needed to function in urban areas, where they ultimately go to look for jobs. Conducting personality development workshops in such schools could help these students prepare for life in urban areas and land a good job. On your next weekend trip, you could take a road trip to these rural areas and tie up with a few schools to conduct short workshops. This will make for a fun road trip with friends and family, and also help change some lives.
There are various schools in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra that can be considered for this workshop. After the workshop, you could explore the hill station, which has many tourist attractions. You can take a bus from Pune to Mahabaleshwar, but Mahabaleshwar does not have local transport. Kiss the travel anxiety goodbye and rent a car from Pune Tours, so you can travel in comfort.
Clean Up Drive on the Western Ghats
The Western Ghats house various hill stations, due to which they are a major tourist attraction. Many of these tourists tend to throw garbage from the vehicles, on the road, and dirty the area. The cleanup crews are not frequent, and this garbage accumulates. You could go on a road trip with your friends or family, to one of the hill stations, and also conduct a cleanup drive on the way. This is a good way to have fun and also help the environment.
Road trips are fun with friends and family around, but cramped cars can put a damper on everyone’s mood. Pune Tours provides spacious cars available for rent at an affordable price.
It is up to each one of us to do our bit for the environment. A volunteer trip experience ensures you have fun and also makes you feel good that you have affected some change. So on your next summer trip or weekend holiday, you know what to do.
Fresh air always does the body a lot of good. In fact, anyone is happier when they are outdoors than when they are indoors.
There are many benefits of getting fresh air, but above all, it can help to boost an individual’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Some of the specific benefits that fresh air can give us are it helps to boost the body’s immune system, it helps to decrease stress, it makes one happy, it makes the body more energized, it cleans the lungs and sharpens the mind.
Do we need any more reason than this? In the light of what has been just said, there is an urgent need for everyone to act collectively to reduce the alarming levels of air pollution that is all-pervading and affecting our the quality of our lives negatively. We have attempted in this article to make clear some environmentally friendly habits, in fact,
some easy inexpensive ways that people can adapt to make way for cleaner air to breathe and enjoy.
Easy Methods to Reduce Air Pollution
1: Use public transport
Use public modes of transport and carpools when there is more than one person wanting to move out of the same locality. Both these methods are way cheaper than traveling in one’s own car and save tremendously on energy costs and contribute to a reduction of exhaust and air pollution.
2: Save electricity whenever possible
In most cases, electricity is produced by the burning of fossil fuels. This practice releases large amounts of exhaust gases that add to the dangerous levels of air pollution that is already destroying human lives. Therefore, as a rule, make it a practice to switch off any burning light or moving fan as you move away from a room.
3: Control waste: reduce, reuse, and recycle
Do not throw away all that you do not use now. It is easy to throw stuff, but remember that any object that ends up in a landfill contributes to the generation of more methane and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and its harmful effects. Put every unwanted or old object to new use. Make seats out of used tires and chairs with old bathtubs.
4: Explore alternate energy sources
Alternate clean sources of energy that are much in vogue today are wind, geothermal, solar, etc. Governments of countries are offering various sops for those that are ready to install solar power plants in their homes. This will serve to reduce air pollution to a considerable extent.
5: Use devices with high energy ratings, energy efficient devices
Use CFL, and now, LED lamps, instead of fluorescent or filament lamps. They last longer and consume less energy. Use electric devices with a ‘five-star’ energy rating. These are the more energy efficient devices. By consuming less energy they contribute to the reduction of air pollution.
If a large number of people adopt environmental friendly ways to reduce air pollution, the job is half done. As an example, you could choose to wear an extra sweater to feel warmer and help to save energy spent on heating your home. Turn off the water tap when you are not using the water (while brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.). Dry out your clothes on a clothes-line. Do not use a dryer.
These are only a few ideas. You can come up with your own inexpensive and innovative ideas to reduce air pollution and encourage sustainable living. It pays to spread these ideas in groups so that the balance can be achieved faster. More environment-related volunteering activities by large groups (personal, industrial and governmental levels) will surely help in the longer term.
One may assume that to protect the endangered species of flora and fauna, they will have to devote long hours of labor at a forest reserve or NGO. However,
There are also much simpler ways of contributing to this noble cause which only involves making small changes to your lifestyle. So if you want to do your bit for protecting the wildlife that is currently facing extinction due to the negligence of human beings,
here are some of the ways in which you can do the same starting today.
1.Be Careful While Driving
If you live in an area that is also inhabited by wildlife then be a little cautious while driving so as to prevent any accidents involving wild animals. Since we have converted forest areas into developed townships, chances are that an animal may appear on the road and may die or get injured due to a speeding car. Be prepared for such sudden appearances of animals whenever you are on the road to protect these innocent creatures from any sort of physical harm.
2.Recycle, Upcycle, and Reuse
Try to avoid purchasing any items made out of materials that are extracted from the forests and other natural habitats. Try to reuse plastic and wood items as much as possible and opt for recycled paper whenever you can. Also, do not purchase items that contain palm oil because the habitats of tigers and orangutans are being destroyed to build palm plantations.
3.Say NO to Products Made by Exploiting Endangered Species
In the course of your travels, you may stumble upon souvenirs made out of ivory, coral, or tortoiseshell, which are extracted from the threatened species of wildlife. Do not purchase any such items and also discourage your fellow travelers from buying them. Also, the clothing and decorative items made out of animal fur lead to the death of innocent creatures and must not be purchased at any cost.
4.Protest against Wildlife Harassment
Not only should you never participate in the hunting or harassment of wild animals, you should also report the same if you notice someone indulging in these wrongful activities. Taking an endangered animal into captivity is also illegal because it may lead to the extinction of the species, so get in touch with the local forest authorities if you witness such malpractice in your area.
5.Protect the Natural Habitats
The best way to save the endangered species is to preserve their natural habitats which are often destroyed by activities such as logging, oil-drilling, and over-grazing. You can do your bit by spreading awareness regarding the ill-effects of these human activities and can also nurture the local crops and trees in your garden to provide some shelter to the local wildlife. Keep out water and food for the birds and small animals so that they do not starve due to the lack of resources.
By making these tiny efforts from your end, you can help save an entire species from vanishing from the face of the planet. So
Do not think that wildlife preservation is a task meant for the officials or trained professionals only and do your bit for these innocent species that are suffering at the hands of human exploitation and interference.
The threat of global warming and dangerous levels of city smog are all too big to be neglected. They can be attributed to the intense pollution of the environment caused by increased waste production. A lot has been said about how to clean up waste at home, and so this time it is all about office waste reduction. Actually, exercising a little control in the office can end up creating a huge positive impact on the environment.
Recycle Paper Waste – What Next
Any office, be it big or small, relies on the use of a large amount of paper. Whereas most of the paper can be recycled, it is still true that a large portion of these wastes ends up in the landfill. To make a sustainable business means it is time to think about how to recycle more and waste less. Some of the ways you can reduce paper waste are to create more digital files, thinking of email before posting, always choosing to print on two sides of the paper, etc., among others.
The other kind of waste that is bothersome and neglected often is the office packaging waste. This is known to create more carbon footprint than regular office stationery waste. Dealing suitably with this waste requires some thought but the outcome is closer to running a sustainable business.
The keyword is ‘reuse’ packaging. More often than not, the packaging that comes along with office supplies is thrown away. Packaging includes all the cardboard boxes, bubble wraps, wrapping paper, etc.
Given below are a few simple ways for handling this menace:
1: Firstly, pick out suppliers that would send you reusable packaging. Let them know that you mean (sustainable) business! Request them to send your requirements in recycled paper bags or reusable tote bags. You can even ask them to collect these bags back from you at regular intervals. Finding out such companies can be the first major step to reduce the carbon footprint.
2: Once you pick out a supplier. You can request them to reduce the amount of packaging that they would want to send to you with the supplies. Some of the suppliers can even send you multi-trip packaging in which they can send your stuff over many times. If the last one is not possible, you can settle for reusable, or in other words, more sustainable packaging. However, you have to make sure to reuse the packaging material.
3: Visit any office and you are sure to find anything from currently unused items to old financial records and files sitting comfortably in old cardboard boxes. With time, these boxes become unfit for usage and are thrown away. An office can change this practice, by switching to plastic bins and tubs to store such items. Ensure that the plastic used is of the recycled variety. They will last for decades.
4: As the last one, conduct an audit every year to find out as to which existing office packaging can either be reused or recycled. What is lying unused can be given to someone else to use. Ultimately, before throwing away any packing, see if you can find yet another use for it.
Reusable packaging, when used in the office, will help to cut down on disposal costs. With technological progress, recycling options are many. Nevertheless, it pays for every individual in the office to think these three words – reduce, recycle and reuse for moving towards a sustainable business.