Tag Archives: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Energy efficiency and why you need it?

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Energy demand is increasing worldwide. The energy market situation is heating up and energy prices are on the rise. Instabilities in many exporting and transit countries are a cause for concern and the increased combustion of fossil energy sources is accelerating climate change. An expansion of energy supply options is costly and will take time. On the other hand, increasing energy efficiency curbs energy prices, reduces dependency on energy imports, counteracts energy distribution conflicts and cuts climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions, saves wildlife habitats, safeguards the planet, and makes sure there is energy left for future generations.

Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. There are many reasons why homeowners should consider energy efficiency, from the clear environmental and financial benefits of cutting energy use to potential improvements in mental and physical health. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.

Energy efficiency is playing an increasingly vital role in our lives, for three main reasons:

The environment: The more energy we use, the more carbon emissions are pumped into the atmosphere and the more our reserves of natural resources such as oil, coal and gas are depleted. We need to reduce our reliance on these energy sources, and one way to do that is to make sure we all use energy as efficiently as possible.

The economy: The global economy is based heavily on oil and gas, and as these resources dwindle their cost will increase, causing financial imbalances around the world and resulting in energy poverty in many areas of society.

Bank balance: Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for everyday necessities like heating and hot water, so it makes sense to be energy efficient. That way you fulfill your energy needs while paying as little as possible.

For a household it means you are using less energy to do the same jobs, reducing your home’s energy waste and saving money. To effectively increase your energy efficiency involves more than just using less energy – it requires you becoming aware of how energy is used, where it’s wasted, and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently in everyday life.

Are gyms eco-friendly?

Time to run from the 'deadmill' gym treadmill

People nowadays are more concerned about their health and are going to the gym to achieve their fitness goals. Many exercisers find that running on a treadmill is easier, and therefore more preferable, than running outdoors. Those who face seasonal allergies or live in cold temperatures seem to have no option but to remain indoors for their workouts. There is also a sense of encouragement from joining a gym. By getting on the treadmill at their local club, they are now a part of a group who strive to be healthy. But by jumping on a piece of exercise equipment they may be helping their bodies but are harming the environment.

While the treadmills these gym-goers choose appear to be rather simple machines that wouldn’t require high amounts of power, one treadmill can burn the equivalent of fifteen 75-Watt light bulbs while in use. Most people would never want to have five lights on in their house, let alone fifteen, yet most people have no problem using a treadmill. While most treadmills are not constantly running, treadmills and other equipment still use energy while in standby mode. Some local gyms are also crowded enough that their machines are in almost constant use, burning large amounts of energy. The temperature raises in the gym, causing the use of fans and air conditioning in addition to the level that it is constantly running at. The lights at most gyms are consistently on and using electricity, even if no one is working out. The soda vending machine alone at a local gym can use about 10 times the amount of a home refrigerator.

An amazing alternative to the conventional gym is the Green Gym, a concept that allows gentle exercise out in the countryside in fresh air. Green Gyms involve members ‘working out’ by planting trees, rebuilding damaged forest footpaths or rebuilding walls. Participants have been found to exercise moderately over a period of about four hours – equivalent to a short session on a treadmill. However, the advantage is that the air is completely pure and, more importantly, the energy expended goes into producing a tangible product. This form of gentle exercise has been found to reduce heart attacks and strokes by about 50%.

Mental health organizations have commented on the well-being effects of the Green Gym. They say that people have a natural biological attraction to nature, which is often referred to as biophilia. Connecting with the natural environment can have therapeutic benefits and can significantly lower stress levels. Not only that, it can improve physical health too.

Carbon-neutral gyms are also starting to appear around the world. Many of these have environmental policies that aim to reduce waste, increase recycling and encourage users to think about the effects of their workout on the environment. Some gyms are even levying a charge on users so that tree planting projects can be resourced. One gym is able to reclaim over 800 cubic metres of rainwater from the roof. This is enough to fill their 25metre swimming pool.

So, going to the gym on a regular basis can have a great effect on your health and body. But it comes at a cost. For the discerning environmentalist, using a gym may be an acceptable option, but it is always a good idea to check that the establishment has an environmental policy, with aims and objectives clearly stated.

Biogas: a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels

Food, meat waste saves electricity bills of Salem Corporation ...
Biogas Plant

Biogas is obtained from anaerobic digestion process, a fermentation process, which takes place in a closed airtight digester where organic raw materials such as manure, food waste, sewage sludge and organic industrial waste are converted into biogas and digestate as products. The produced biogas is a mixture of 50-70% methane and 30-50% carbon dioxide and smaller amounts of water vapor, hydrogen sulphide and other minor components and trace elements. The wet digestate results from anaerobic digestion of the substrates, which are pumped out of the digester tank, after the extraction of biogas.

Very simple biogas digesters have been in use in China, India and many other Asian countries for many years. Industrial applications of biogas production started well over 50 years ago as a means of stabilizing sewage sludge at waste water treatment plants. The biogas industry expanded in the 1970’s and 1980’s as increased production of different organic materials (such as manure and industrial wastewater from sugar refinery and pulp mills) became more widely used. Starting in the mid 1990’s extraction of landfill gas (low quality biogas) came to the fore, along with the construction of farm-based biogas plants and anaerobic digestion of solid wastes from food industry and food waste. After 2000’s, there was an increased interest in biogas and so, construction of farm-based biogas plants took place and an industrial sector was established.

The multiple functions of biogas in circular economy:

1. Biogas: a part of the modern society’s energy supply system

Biogas, made from organic waste streams, does not add to the carbon dioxide load in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide produced during combustion of biogas is offset by either the carbon dioxide consumed by the biomass, which is digested. Biogas is thus a “green” sustainable energy vector and has a significant role in shifting to a sustainable decarbonized society. Biogas has many uses in the sustainable society that can be utilized in a broader perspective than today. Industries, as well as households, can use biogas for heating and hot water supply. Biogas can be used to supply warm air for drying, for example, in laundries, carpentries, industrial coating facilities and other places where there is a need for fast and efficient drying. The exhausts from upgraded biogas combustion are clean and do not generate odours or particles.

2. Biogas used for heat and electricity production

The most common use of biogas is in a non-upgraded form for production of electricity and heat production. The default use of biogas is for CHP (Central Heat and Power) production, which is in fact production of renewable electricity and heat, also known as cogeneration. The heat from the CHP engine can also be used to drive an absorption chiller to give a source of cooling, resulting in a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP), also known as trigeneration. The utilization of the renewable heat is very important, as it brings about significant additional economic and environmental benefits, on top of the utilization of biogas for renewable electricity production.

3. Upgraded biogas or ‘bio-methane’ used as vehicle fuel

Raw biogas can be upgraded in a process which removes hydrogen sulphide, water, particles and CO2 present in the gas. The process creates a gas consisting mainly of methane and thus increases its energy content. Clean upgraded biogas is used as fuel for cars, buses and trucks of various sizes. In several countries, there is a well-developed infrastructure for vehicle gas, and it is possible to fuel natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in the most densely populated areas of such countries. Today, vehicle gas like CNG, LPG is used mostly for buses, trucks and passenger cars.

4. Upgraded biogas ‘bio-methane’ injection into the gas grid

Biomethane from renewable sources is also fed into the national transmission network for natural gas in several countries.

5. Reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions

One of the main reasons for a transition from fossil energy and fuel to renewable energy and fuel is the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The production of biofuels and bioenergy contributes to a significant reduction of GHG emissions. In many areas around the world, organic substances, considered as waste, are still deposited in landfill sites where they decompose, releasing methane (CH4) with a global warming potential (GWP) 21 times that of CO2. When these streams of organic waste are redirected from landfill to a biogas facility, a significant reduction in methane emissions from landfills occurs.

6. Improved nutrient up-take efficiency in agriculture

Intensive agriculture is one of the major greenhouse gas sources worldwide. These emissions are associated with enteric fermentation, management of manures and production of synthetic fossil fuel based fertilizers. Anaerobic digestion systems remove the easily degradable carbon compounds in feedstocks such as slurries, and converts them to biogas. When the remaining digestate is applied as biofertiliser, the slow to degrade carbon is recycled back to soils, contributing to build up of the humus content of the soil and its long-term suitability for agriculture. Macro and micro-nutrients contained in digestate are predominately in mineral form which makes them easily accessible to the plant roots, compared with nutrients in raw manure and slurry, which are mainly organic compounds, and must be mineralized in order to be up-taken by the plants. As such digestate has a higher nutrient uptake efficiency, compared with raw manure and slurries.

Organic matter in digestate can build up the humus content in the soil; this is a benefit unique to organic fertilizers, which is particularly crucial for arid and semi-arid lands with low carbon content. The destruction of weed seeds in the AD process is another significant benefit to organic farmers.

7. Energy security

Fossil energy is still in abundant use around the world. This energy comes in the form of coal, oil and natural gas from a relatively limited geographical region and is used worldwide. Many countries are thus dependent on a few countries for energy supply. A transition to a bio-based/renewable energy production system would better balance the energy supply situation around the world; more countries and regions would be able to become energy self-sustainable.

8. Optimal utilization of resources

In a sustainable society where resources are used efficiently, what previously was considered to be waste is instead included in a production circle where organic material and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are returned to the soil to replace chemical fossil fuel sourced fertilizer. When digesting municipal and industrial food waste such as waste from super markets and restaurants or slaughterhouse waste, biogas is produced, and valuable nutrients accumulate in the digestate where they are easily used as fertilizer. One ton of digested food waste produces 1200 kWh biogas energy, which is enough fuel to drive 1900 km with a gas fueled car. The food waste from 3000 households can fuel a gas bus for a year.

Some countries already have targets for energy recovery from food waste. The Swedish government, for example, has a target that at least half of all generated food waste from households, shops and restaurants be separated and treated to recover nutrients and that 40% is treated to recover energy by 2018.

9. Generating income in rural areas

The biogas plant itself is not labor intensive but it can create new business opportunities in rural areas which otherwise suffer from depopulation. Through collaboration with different farms, the biogas plant can create different job opportunities along the process chain, such as raw material cultivation and collection. By increasing local energy production, income stays in the local area instead of going to global energy markets.

In the future bio-economy, wastes will be transformed to highvalue products and chemical building blocks, fuels, power and heating; biogas facilities will play a vital role in this development, and in the implementation of the novel production paths that arise in the transition to a bio-economy.

The future of the biogas facility is a factory where value is created from previously wasted materials. This ensures sustainability of the environment and potential for financial gain for the local community. The flexibility of the anaerobic digestion system and its ability to digest a multitude of organic feedstocks, while producing a significant range of products ensures the role of anaerobic digestion and biogas in the circular economy.

Ayurveda – A sustainable alternate medical practice

Coronavirus: Experts suggest Ayurveda helps boost immunity against ...

Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that is indigenous to and widely practiced in India. The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘science of life.’ Ayu means ‘life’ or ‘daily living’ and Veda is ‘knowing.’ Ayurveda is a medical system that deals with health in all its aspects; physical health, mental balance, spiritual well-being, social welfare, environmental considerations, dietary and lifestyle habits, daily living trends, and seasonal variations in lifestyle, as well as treating and managing specific diseases The origin of Ayurveda is lost in prehistoric antiquity, but its characteristic concepts appear to have matured between 2,500 and 500 B.C. in ancient India. The earliest references to drugs and diseases can be found in the Rigveda and Atharvaveda.

Ayurveda is all about Dharana and Dharma, both Sanskrit words denoting a sustainable complex of life and living: the first within the organism itself and the second within society and the world. Ayurveda is almost – in a positive sense – preoccupied with ‘sustaining life’: as a science it focuses on preserving life down to the cellular level of each living organism, and first and foremost of human beings. One of the reasons that sustaining and preserving human life is so important in Ayurveda, is a result from the fact that it is a spiritual science which sees this life – and our bodies as temples for our souls – as a way to evolve spiritually. This evolution is not for a personal gain, but for the greater common good: Ayurveda sees life as one, and not as a fragmented event.

Ayurveda gives clear guidelines for lifestyle and nutrition, which all fit within a framework of Dharma. Dharma naturally supports something that carries responsibility for the whole of society and humanity, and thus also regarding ethical and environmental matters. Lifestyle – according to Ayurveda – should be helping to preserve a healthy environment and support of nature, in all possible aspects. This cannot but lead to supporting responsible behavior in keeping our water, our nature, our forests, our cities, our air, and in short our whole life, as clean and pure as possible. It also implies a natural care for good and sustainable food sources, and agriculture which preserves not only life in the sense of clean and pure production, but also responsible and safe nutritional methods. Good examples include active support of organic and biodynamic farming, support for natural agricultural systems such as permaculture, as well as active resistance of technical and not safe-proof production methods such as with GMO foods. It also promote the wise and respectful use of animal products.

According to the sustainability goals of Ayurveda, organic and other forms of responsible farming should be used to grow the herbs Ayurveda uses for its remedies. Use of local herbs has been advised over procuring exotic and rare herbs. Commonly availabe spices such as cumin and turmeric have profound healing properties, and are powerful additions in the arsenal of medicinal substances.  Ayurveda is the makes use of small shrubs to big trees for various purposes and to that Ayurvedics follow certain guide lines for collection and cultivation. So in order to obtain herbal medicine Ayurvedics also engage forestation and cultivation. The use of medicinal plants is oriented to take advantage of their ability to harmonize the balance between the patient and the basic influences of life, such as diet, work, and family life. With more than 2700 plants at its disposal, it is clear that Ayurveda in quite close with nature and its powers. In this way both doctors and patients easily see their connections to nature.

The Hospital wastes of Ayurveda are almost biodegradable. The medicines are of Herbal or Mineral or a mixture of both which are easy to dispose in to the earth after their expiry or their use. The pharmaceutical waste of Ayurveda is also biodegradable and some of them make good manure for cultivation. The plastic and other artificial materials not used for treatment makes Ayurveda an Eco friendly system. In Ayurvedic system each and every part of the environment is given importance which makes the optimum utilization of natural resources from Daily usage to the Drug. For example, neem- plant is used for Twigs, tooth brushing and tongue cleaning; Leaves-for medicating the bathing water; Seed oil, for external application over scalp for healthy hair etc.

This approach to nature as the source of healing and to personal care, as a source of loving health care, with emphasis on the preventive side, is a very welcome feature of Ayurveda, which could permeate and facilitate our approaches to sustainability and to the rich relationships between people (society), things (economy) and nature (ecology). Environmental sustainability is highly related to conscious mental and bodily good practice, of which Ayurveda could be considered as a very useful model, not only in the countries where it is traditionally applied, but everywhere. Ayurveda not only teaches to live healthy, but also teaches to love nature and live with nature.

Pottery: A sustainable alternative

For the love of pottery | Delhi/NCR Activity with TogetherV

With the current environmental situations prevailing in our surroundings, it has become a duty and responsibility of each individual to use more renewable and recyclable products. It is a known fact that not all the products can be recycled, in which case, using products which have a high level of recyclability is advisable. Earthenware products are easily recycled and its recyclability rate is also extremely high. From the broken pots to old utensils, all can be recycled completely, with the help of a simple process and can be carved easily and quickly into newly desirable shapes. The recyclability rate of clay is 95 percent. This is a very high rate, highlighting that people should buy terracotta products more for preserving the environment. All the products that are made of clay possess the attribute of being highly durable and they are built with the main focus of being long-lasting. It is due to this aspect that they can tolerate a high level of wear and tear. In addition to this, the product has a high level of weather and heat resistance.

With growing concern for environment many people are replacing their steel/aluminum cookware with traditional vessels made of clay just like their ancestors. From cooking food to setting curd and storing water, their aim is to be self-sustainable and eco-friendly. Cooking in earthen pots and utensils also has additional benefits. These are:

Clay is alkaline in nature and when it interacts with the acidity in the food, it neutralizes the pH balance eventually making it healthier.

Due to its heat resistance, the food retains all the natural oils and moisture while slow-cooking, hence, extra oil need not be added.

Earthen utensils are not very expensive and cost-efficient compared to most other types of utensil.

Cooking in a clay vessel infuses the food with many important nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and Sulphur

Boiling milk, or making curd in Clay pots gives it better taste and texture than metal vessels, as told by veteran Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Clay being a porous material, allows heat and moisture circulate evenly through the pot during cooking, unlike with metal or stainless steel pots. This superior form of heat circulation helps in cooking vegetables and meat evenly.

Firstly, Clay cooking pots are extremely effective for slow cooking. Clay cooking vessels are porous in nature. It allows both moisture and heat to circulate easily through them. This aids in even, slow and delicate cooking.  Curry, gravy, and sautéing vegetables/meat are best done in earthenware.

benefits of sun drying your clothes

Hanging your clothes under sun OR using laundry dryer | SiOWfa15 ...

It is cheap: Sun drying your clothes is much cheaper than buying a clothes dryer and dryer sheets. It is technically free of cost and saves money.

Sun Drying Clothes Promotes Energy Conservation: Sun drying laundry conserves energy and helps to protect the environment by saving precious fossil fuels. It is the pinnacle of green laundry and sustainable living. According to Pew research centre, there are more than 90 million clothes dryers in the United States and sun-drying clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint 2,400 pounds a year. Experts determined that if all Americans line-dried clothing for just half of a year, it would save 3.3 percent of the country’s total residential output of carbon dioxide.

Sun drying clothes enhances freshness and helps remove strong odors: Sun dried clothes and sheets smell much fresher than clothes that are tumble dried without the use of additional chemical laundry fresheners like dryer sheets and fabric softener. This is particularly important for those sensitive to perfumes and dyes used in detergents and dryer products. And fresh air is less expensive than dryer sheets.

Sun drying is gentle on clothing: Tossing and tumbling in a dryer can cause wear and strain on clothing fabric due to stress on seams and snags from buttons and zippers. Excessively high heat in the dryer can ruin some fabrics and cause irreversible damage. When not tumbled around and subjected to the high heat of the dryer, clothing and home linens don’t wear out, fade, develop holes, or pill as quickly.Line drying prevents clothes from withering or shrinking each time it’s sent to get dried, and it will also save the cost of re-purchasing them over time.

Sun drying helps whiten and disinfect laundry: The ultra-violet rays of sunlight help to bleach and disinfect laundry. This is particularly beneficial for white sheets, towels and cloth diapers. However, for dark-colored clothes, excessive sunlight can cause some harm. So keep dark colors in the shade, if possible, to prevent fading.

Sun drying increases physical activity: Hanging up laundry is a physical activity that you can do inside or outside. Fifteen minutes of hanging laundry or removing it from the line burn 68 calories. That’s saving enough calories to enjoy a snack of 20 olives or three mini candy bars. There is something very therapeutic about sun-drying clothes outside, especially when the weather is refreshingly beautiful. Sun-drying clothes means a little extra time in the sun which is good for vitamin-d and for overall health.

It reduces wrinkles: After drying your clothes from pins on a clothesline, hang them up outside and let the wrinkles dissipate. Since the clothes are weighed down by the water, they naturally stretch to their original form, thus removing any wrinkles that may appear.

If people around the world, especially in the US, used a clothesline for sun drying just once a week, we could make a huge difference in reducing the damage we are doing to our environment with our dependence on fossil fuels, which is not only important for the planet, but is absolutely vital for the health of our families and communities too.

What is composting and how it helps the environment?

Learn About Composting Liquids – Is Adding Liquids To Compost Bins ...
A compost bin

Composting is a treatment process that facilitates the decomposition of organic matter in an oxygenated environment and creates a nutrient-rich fertilizer or soil amendment. Food scraps, landscape trimmings, wood products and animal byproducts, packaging and other discarded material can be composted. Bio-waste from food instead of dumping in a landfilled is turned in to compost and forms a resource for organic soil improvers, fertilizers, and bio-based products. The carbon and nutrient contents of bio-waste are mainly concentrated in organic fertilizers. By bringing these nutrients back to the soil, rather than letting organic waste rot away in landfills composting can feed diverse life in the soil. The bacteria, fungi, insects and worms in compost support better soil health and plant growth, ultimately boosting its resilience to cope with harsh drought conditions. These nutrients and can also be extracted, modified or transformed into a range of different bio-based products, too. All these secondary products can replace fossil-based products such as mineral fertilisers, peat and fossil fuels. After use, the residues of these products can flow back safely into the biosphere, thereby closing carbon and nutrient cycles.

Furthermore, compost has the ability to help regenerate poor soils. The composting process encourages the production of beneficial micro-organisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) which in turn break down organic matter to create humus. Humus–a rich nutrient-filled material–increases the nutrient content in soils and helps soils retain moisture. Compost has also been shown to suppress plant diseases and pests, reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, and promote higher yields of agricultural crops.

Composting organic materials that have been diverted from landfills ultimately avoids the production of methane and leachate formulation in the landfills. Compost has the ability to prevent pollutants in stormwater runoff from reaching surface water resources. Compost has also been shown to prevent erosion and silting on embankments parallel to creeks, lakes, and rivers, and prevents erosion and turf loss on roadsides, hillsides, playing fields, and golf courses.

The benefits of improving organic collection for composting are potentially far reaching. Direct benefits include an improved urban environment for human health, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced costs for municipalities and households. Indirect benefits can include improved soils in peri-urban areas through cycling of organic fertilisers, more feedstock for the local bioeconomy, and clean renewable energy for electricity, district heating, and even transport systems.

Producing food in a sustainable way

Redirecting EU CAP payments to sustainable farming | IUCN

By making great strides in productivity, the industrial food system has managed largely to meet the demands of a growing global population. However, this approach to food production, and the management of food by-products, is endangering biodiversity and human health. It has become clear that this food system is no longer fit for the 21st century and that a new model is required.

The increasingly wasteful way of producing food today, relies on extracting finite resources like phosphorus, potassium, and oil, to grow food in ways that harm the natural systems upon which agriculture depends. The damage also includes the degradation of 12 million hectares of arable land a year and requires almost one-fourth of the forest land. Then, in cities we capture and use an extremely small fraction of the valuable nutrients in discarded food, food by-products and sewage. Air pollution, antibiotic resistance, water contamination and chemical exposure from food production will claim almost five million lives a year by 2050 which is twice as many as the current toll from obesity. Food production also accounts for around one-quarter or 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

With cities soon expected to consume 80% of food globally, a new report titled by Cities and Circular Economy for Food released by Ellen McCarthy Foundation lays out a vision of how to harness the power of a city to influence how food is grown and prepared to benefit the economy, human health, and the environment.

To tackle these pressing food issues, the report recommends redesigning the urban food system to incorporate circular economy principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; and regenerate natural systems. But what does a circular economy for food in cities look like?

The research team reached out to businesses from across the food value chain, city governments, waste managers, as well as food system experts such as the SDG2 Advocacy Hub to reach a consensus from the broadest ​set of stakeholders. By the end, over a hundred organizations helped to develop three interconnected ambitions for a more resilient food system:

  1. Source food grown regeneratively, and locally where appropriate: ​food entering cities should be produced in ways that improve natural ecosystems, i.e. builds soil health. Local sourcing is key in supporting this.
  2. Make the most of food: ​surplus edible food should be redistributed where possible; unavoidable food waste should be transformed into new revenue streams, i.e. organic fertilizers, as well as new food products, textiles, structural materials and energy.
  3. Design and market healthy products: ​food designers, processors, and marketing departments, can create and promote innovative food products that enable citizens to make healthy food choices for people and the environment.

Circular economy and sustainability

Iceclog: Profitable shift to Circular Economy for Manufacturers ...

The industrial revolution and the rise of a capitalistic society have, in a short period of time, changed our planet and our lives. Overconsumption stands at the foundation of modern society and has brought along climate change and its string of environmental hazards and social issues. Overpopulation and growing demand for goods result in mind-boggling volumes of waste as well as air, soil and water pollution with high negative impacts on human and ecosystem health.

A circular economy works quite differently. Products and services in a circular economy are designed in a way that allows them to be reused, either in the biological or technical cycles. All products are manufactured in a way so they can be disassembled and materials will either be broken down by nature or returned to production. Biological material therefore consists of non-toxic, clean feeds and technical materials are designed to be a resource to be used industrially again. The goal is to throw nothing away and to reduce the need for purchasing new commodities, while production and transportation is best achieved with renewable energy.

The circular economy is a markedly different way to do business, forcing companies to rethink everything from how to design and manufacture products to their relationships with customers. One of the biggest differences is the customer’s role. The focus is no longer on consumption, but instead on the use of a function. This places different demands on the business community to build long-term relationships in their business models. The advantage is that companies benefit from each other’s success in this cascade of different cycles.

It also brings new opportunities in infrastructure, energy and production in their adaption to fit the circular economy model. Some business models are easier than others to begin with, such as the leasing of products instead of buying (everything from jeans to trucks), companies which collect and renovate their own products and then sell them in the store in a separate department or peer-to-peer models. Companies will find new ways to extend the life of products or components, to find value in the waste, or the design of circular use.

In the end it is all about encouraging the next generations to think and design in a sustainable way as well as using circular business systems to build a better future.

Assessing the Prospects of Green Marketing in India

Dr. Rouf Ahmad Rather

Lecturer

Department of Commerce and Management

Gandhi Memorial College  Srinagar , J & K

Abstract 

The word “eco-friendly” has become a slogan of today’s marketing practices of different companies throughout the world. Green marketing is gaining noteworthy attention from both marketers and consumers. Given that a cautiously crafted green marketing strategy can earn trustworthiness with customers and provide a stage for revenue growth, it’s an area worthy of additional reflection. This paper is an effort to present a picture of green marketing prospects in India.

Key words: Green marketing, Environmentally friendly product, Awareness, India

 

Introduction

Green marketing generally aims to promote eco-friendly products and a safe environment where people could stay. Right now green marketing is widely becoming a phenomenon throughout the world as concerns on our environment have begun to escalate in the past few decades. Every year, the population of people who are turning towards green brands or environmental friendly products are increasing, so, magnifying the phenomenon exponentially. Thus, businesses in almost every industry nowadays are flaunting the “green” features of their products and services in every chance they get. The success, however, of any green marketing strategy is heavily reliant on the consumers it would like to target.

 According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a wide range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging modifications, as well as changing advertising. Still defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing.

 According  to Polonsky (1995)’s definition, “Green or Environmental Marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occur, with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment”. Thus “Green Marketing” refers to holistic marketing concept wherein the production, marketing consumption an disposal of products and services happen in a manner that is less detrimental to the environment with growing awareness about the implications of global warming, non-biodegradable solid waste, harmful impact of pollutants etc., both marketers and consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the need for switch in to green products and services. While the shift to “green” may appear to be expensive in the short term, it will definitely prove to be indispensable and advantageous, cost-wise too, in the long run.

Green Marketing Practices in India

Nike is the first among the shoe companies to market itself as green. It is marketing its Air Jordan shoes as environment-friendly, as it has significantly reduced the usage of harmful glue adhesives. Kansai Nerolac Paints has been at the forefront of paint manufacturing for more than 88 years pioneering a wide spectrum of quality paints. Kansai Nerolac has worked on removing hazardous heavy metals from their paints – among this lead being the most prominent metal. Kansai Nerolac does not add any lead or other such heavy metals in its manufacturing process.

Dell has been one of the vendors who focus on producing green IT products. They have a strategy called “Go green with Dell” to sell these products in the market. It also comes in an eco-friendly packaging with a system recycling kit bundled along. Talking about the green commitments of the company, Sameer Garde, Country GM, Dell India, says, “Dell is also actively pursuing green innovations that will be of value in 2009 from data-center efficiency to the use of eco-friendly materials for everything from chassis design to product packaging.

Eco Hotels (Ecotels) is a certification system promoted by Hospitality Valuation Services (HVS) International. This system is based on 5 main criteria: environmental commitment, solid waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, and employee education/community involvement. In India we have Eco-hotels like Orchid, Rodas, Raintree etc. believing and practicing green marketing. According to Harish Tiwari of Infinity Infomatic Pvt Ltd, a well known distributor, who says, “We don’t find any difficulty in selling green products because the knowledge for these products has increased in us as well in customer. They are ready to pay higher for these products once they convinced.” In May 2007, IBM launched Project Big Green to help clients around the world improve the efficiency of IT and better optimize their data center resources. IBM has software and services technologies to help businesses reduce data center energy consumption and cut energy costs by more than 40 percent.

The Introduction of CNG in New Delhi, the Capital of India, as it was being polluted at a very fast pace until Supreme Court of India forced a change to alternative fuels. In 2002, a directive was issued to completely adopt CNG in all public transport systems to curb pollution. The Gas Tech Electronic Products (Pvt) Ltd. has invented LPG Kit for motorcycles/scooters (4 stroke and 2 stroke).Can be fitted in 50 cc to 375 cc air cooled , single cylinder 2 stroke as well 4 stroke vehicles with cent % fuel efficiency, with clean exhaust and zero pollution.

Significance of Awareness in purchasing of green products

Generally speaking awareness comprises a human’s perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. Awareness does not necessarily imply understanding, just an ability to be conscious of, feel or perceive. To create more awareness for the consumers, many companies can be involved in programmes that support the environmentally friendly products. The consumers with respect to high to average level of green product awareness show high to medium level of green buying behavior and consumers having awareness to small degree and not at all show low green buying behavior. Hence there is an urgent need to make consumers aware about green products in order to speed up the green buying behavior among all consumers. (Rouf & Rajendran 2014)

The media are playing a significant role in creating awareness and educating people about the benefits of environment conservation to the society (Lalit & Kanokthip, 1998). In developing awareness of a green product, companies attempt to augment consumer knowledge of the product and its environmental attributes in the hope of bringing about purchase behaviour. But still now the exact nature of the relationship between environmental knowledge and environmentally sensitive behaviour is still to be established (Arbuthnott & Lingg, 1975). Consumer awareness might be useful when the manufacturer’s objective is to overcome resistance to new environmentally safe packages. Advertising of the new advantages and benefits of such products helps its consumers become more aware of the damage to the environment and they tend to change their buying habits. Unless consumers are aware of the advantages of green products, manufacturers‟ effort to introduce this product to the market will be wasted efforts (Kassaye & Dharmeda 1992).

Challenges in adopting Green Marketing 

Implementing Green marketing is not going to be an easy job. The firm has to face many problems while treading the way of Green marketing. Challenges which have to be faced are listed as under:

  • Green marketing encourages green products/services, green technology, green power/energy; a lot of money has to be spent on R&D programmes. So practicing green marketing initially will be a difficult and costly affair.
  • The customers may not believe in the firm’s strategy of Green marketing, the firm therefore should ensure that they convince the customer about their green product, this can be done by implementing Eco-labeling schemes. Eco-labeling schemes offer its “approval” to “environmentally less harmless” products have been very popular in Japan and Europe. In fact the first eco-label programme was initiated by Germany in 1978.
    • in the beginning the profits will be very low since renewable and recyclable products and green technologies are more expensive. So Green marketing will prosperous only in long run.
    • Many customers may not be willing to pay a higher price for green products which may affect the sales of the company.
    • The firms practicing Green marketing have to strive hard in convincing the stakeholders and many a times there may be some who simply may not believe and co-operate.

The Future of Green Marketing

There are many things to be learned to avoid green marketing myopia, the short version of all this is that effective green marketing requires applying good marketing principles to make green products desirable for consumers. The question that remains, however, is, what is green marketing’s future? Business scholars have viewed it as a “fringe” topic, given that environmentalism’s acceptance of limits and conservation does not mesh well with marketing’s traditional axioms of “give customer what they want” and “sell as much as you can”.  Evidence indicates that successful green products have avoided green marketing myopia by following three important principles:

Consumer Value Positioning

  • Design environmental products to perform as well as (or better than) alternatives.
  • Promote and deliver the consumer desired value of environmental products and target relevant consumer market segments.
  • Broaden mainstream appeal by bundling consumer desired value into environmental products.

Calibration of Consumer Knowledge

  • Educate consumers with marketing messages that connect environmental attributes with desired consumer value.
  • Frame environmental product attributes as “solutions” for consumer needs.
  • Create engaging and educational internet sites about environmental products desired consumer value.

Credibility of Product Claim

  • Employ environmental product and consumer benefit claims that are specific and meaningful.
  • Procure product endorsements or eco-certifications from trustworthy third parties and educate consumers about the meaning behind those endorsements and eco-certifications.
  • Encourage consumer evangelism via consumers social and internet communication network with compelling, interesting and entertaining information about environmental products.

Conclusion

 Green marketing covers more than a firm’s marketing claims. While firms must bear much of the responsibility for environmental degradation, the responsibility should not be theirs single-handedly.  Green marketing requires that consumers want a cleaner environment and are willing to “pay” for it, possibly through higher priced goods, modified individual lifestyles, or even governmental involvement. Until this occurs it will be difficult for firms alone to lead the green marketing revolution. It must not be forgotten that the industrial buyer also has the ability to pressure suppliers to modify their activities. Thus an environmental committed organization may not only produce goods that have reduced their harmful impact on the environment, they may also be able to pressure their suppliers to behave in a more environmentally “responsible” fashion.

Green marketing should not be considered as just one more approach to marketing, but has to be pursued with much greater vigour, as it has an environmental and social dimension to it.  And thus green marketing assumes even more prospects and relevance in developing countries like India.

References

Arbuthnott, J. and Lingg, S. (1975). A comparison of French and American environmental behaviours, knowledge and attitudes. International Journal of Psychology, 4(10), 275-

Kassaye. W. Wassen and Dharmeda V.(1992). Balancing Traditional Packaging Functions with the New Green Packaging Concerns. Advanced Management Journal, 57 (4), 15.

Polonsky, M.J. (1995). A stakeholder theory approach to designing environmental marketing

strategy. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.10 (3), 29‐46.

Lalit M. Johri and Kanokthip S. (1998). Green marketing of cosmetics and toiletries in       Thailand. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 15(3), 265 – 281.

Rouf Ahmad Rather and R Rajendran (2014). A Study on Consumer Awareness of green products and its Impact on Green Buying Behavior, International Journal of Research (IJR), 1 (8), 1483-1493