Green Living

SAVE THE SNOW LEOPARDS

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If you have the fortune of coming across a Snow Leopard, the first thing you will notice is its unique smoky grey fur. This however, is its gift along with its curse. Its beautiful fur is the primary cause of their near extinction at the hands of man. The carnage for their fur first started when the Snow Leopard caught the attention of the Europeans in 1761 and through the years their population has plummeted worldwide.

These beautiful leopards are found in 12 countries in Central Asia, and their habitat includes some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. Found over much of high altitude Asia, including Mongolia, China through Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal, these creatures have probably never been common, due to harsh environment factors. It is estimated that there are 4,500 to 7,500 snow leopards living in the mountains of central Asia. These numbers may not be concrete as the rough estimates mentioned have been based on limited surveys that were done several decades ago.

However, being a Snow Leopard in today’s day and age is a curse of the worst kinds. Snow Leopards have suffered tremendously at the hands of man. The cats are threatened by livestock owners who kill them as predators while at the same time increasing their domestic stock which is not favourable to the cat’s natural prey. Also, to make things worse, new weather conditions in the Himalayas caused because of global warming are quite likely to encourage trees to grow in these areas, which means that snow leopards might soon have to either adapt to a whole new hunting ground, or face extinction.

34Protected in India since 1952, hunting has nevertheless continued in northern India and the bordering Himalayan states because the fur is so valuable. In Mongolia, legal hunting is allowed for tourists, who pay thousands of dollars for the chance to shoot one of these rare cats. They are protected year round in Russia, but due to the economy, poaching is rising.

So, what can you do to save this exquisite creature? You can start by TAKING ACTION> A tiny step by you can go a long way for the snow leopard and prevent it from turning into a mountain legend. Start by supporting snow leopard conservation organizations. If you don’t have money for donations, ask if you can help in other ways by contributing your time or holding a fundraiser. You could also sign up to visit snow leopards in their natural habitat. While you aren’t likely to see the elusive cat, you can experience their mountain habitat and harsh living conditions.

The snow leopard is just another example of how the hunter becomes the hunted. So, why don’t you set an example by taking action to save this hunter?

Be a #SnowLeopardSaviour! Donate & help WWF-India out with camera traps to #SaveOurSnowLeopards – http://bit.ly/KGZNht

Build Green – It’s the Future!

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The mother nature is strong enough to take care of herself but it is we who have to act responsible in order to lead a better life .With population and pollution on an all-time high, sustainable living is the need of the hour. What better way to solve this everlasting woe of human race, than to go green?

‘Green Building’ as a concept that is gradually catching up with urban India. As Wikepedia defines, ‘a green building is one which uses less water, optimizes energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building’. The Indian Green Building Council, formed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the year 2001, uses 5 elements of nature, namely the earth, water, fire, air and sky, for an eco-friendly approach to build a sustainable development. A green building’s aim is to make the most of the available resources without compromising on the basic amenities that an individual must enjoy at home or office. There is major emphasis on water savings and the kind of raw material which goes into the making of green buildings. Even though the emphasis is on saving energy, the indoor environmental quality gains the importance over other necessities.

35According to sources, in India there are around 212 structures that are certified as eco-friendly by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Chennai is home to 42 green buildings followed by Mumbai, with 29 green buildings. Hyderabad and Bangalore are tied in third and fourth place with 24 each. These Green Buildings construct ecologically sustainable buildings that generate their own power, stay cool with cornices covered with native plant species that require little water and save electricity with occupancy sensor-fitted lighting.

The Turbo Energy office complex in RA Puram, Menon Eternity in Alwarpet and Shell Business Service in Perungudi are some of the popular green buildings in Chennai that have been designed keeping in mind scientific parameters such as sustainability, waste generation and conservation of natural resources.

There are many more cities across India that will eventually walk the green path and build green sustainable buildings for the future generations. Keeping in mind the kind of stress climate change has brought about in the way we live, it won’t be surprising to see a lot more green buildings in the near future. Even though the maintenance of a green building is slightly more expensive than the normal ones, it’s worth the effort and pays reward in the long run. Like they say, let’s make a better world for our children and grand children.