Solar Powered Telecom Towers
It is the nature that gives us the resources, to own the plushest homes, state of the art offices, jazziest cars, grooviest clothes and the shiniest of gadgets. But at what price to the planet? Environmental /green innovations are the need of the day to unleash the innovation potential to create sustainable development pathways for future.Some of the latest green inventions, technologies, processes are exciting, offbeat and they don't cost the Earth! Here's a look at the Top 5 Environment friendly, Green Innovations that aim to reduce our carbon footprintâ€¦.
It's the age of Intelligent buildings, where the buildings constructed, are intelligent enough to give back more power than it takes; a condominium and a hospital building has reduced their power and water intake by 40-60 per cent. The Indian green building movement is finally gaining momentum and is the most innovative, environment friendly initiative empowered by the green construction industry.What are these Green buildings and how are they better than conventional buildings? Historically this concept was used in India ages back where they used five elements of nature to design their buildings.
In today's context however, a green building is one which conserves natural resources, uses its resources like water and energy efficiently, has a proper waste management system and creates a healthy environment for the residents and occupants.The green building movement in India has finally arrived and and there are plenty of examples to prove it ranging from Condominiums, Corporate offices, Research Centres, Hospitals, Educational Institutions, IT Parks and Airports. Some of the landmark Green Buildings that stand tall in India are - Suzlon Energy Limited - Pune, Olympia Technology Park - Chennai, ITC Green Centre - Gurgaon, The Druk White Lotus School - Ladakh, La Cuisine Solaire - Auroville, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport - Hyderabad, Nokia - Gurgaon, Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd (BCIL) - Bangalore.Infcat Bayer Material Science has constructed an Innovation Center near New Delhi which is unique and one of its kind where they have planned the building according to the climate rather than the other way round!
Though this concept is age old where earlier buildings were planned around the climate but somewhere down the lane we forgot about it and just constructed glass and steel entrapments. But revival of this concept can be adapted in all climate zones around the world.Green buildings are the need of the day. If statistics are to be believed 1 billion sq ft Green Buildings can reduce 12 million tones of CO2 emissions and can result in energy savings of 15,000 gigawatts.
With almost 16 billion square feet of Green Buildings to be built in India by 2020, the carbon footprints will surely be reduced drastically.
Solar Powered Telecom Towers
The ringtone of your mobile is sweet to the ears but how sweet is it to the environment? According to telecom sector regulator TRAI, India boasts of 350,000 telecom towers, using 2 billion litres of fuel annually with a spend of Rs. 8500 crores annually on diesel, emitting 5.2 tonnes of carbon emissions in a year, that makes up for almost 2% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.Paving the way for clean, green, energy solution, the solar powered telecom towers are a great environment friendly solution for our country.
Big corporates like Bharti Infratel that owns over 33,000 of India's approximate 400,000 towers has converted almost 12,000 tower sites to alternative back-up power, of which almost 1,350 sites are on solar power and has saved 25.64 million litres of diesel after powering these tower sites with green, solar energy. They are aiming on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.54 lakh tonnes annually by bringing down the diesel consumption by 58.17 million litres annually. Infratel has also taken the lead in this initiative by setting up around 1250 hybrid tower sites, saving almost 6.9 million litres of diesel and a sum of whopping 28 crores.
Telecom infrastructure firm Viom Networks has also taken the initiative to convert 25-30% of its towers into green towers in the next two years.It's surely a "Thumbs Up" for the telecom companies' endaevour to create a 'green' mobile network in reducing our mobile carbon footprint.
Vertical Farming in India is yet in its infancy stage but it's the most unique environment friendly innovation to take the world by storm. Vertical farming is a new method of agriculture where commercial crops are grown inside multi-storey buildings in towns and cities in a simulated natural environment. The advantage of this 'hydrophonic' practice is that the traditional problems of pesticide toxicity and soil erosion are absent. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University is the progenitor of this technique and is fast gaining popularity worldwide today.Singapore is doing Vertical Agriculture in great style. Their new commercial block is being readied and they would be having a whole block of empty high rise towers that they are using up for this purpose.
All you need is an empty high rise building, a temperature controlled environment where all types of fruits, vegetables, hot house flowers can be grown hydroponically or aeroponically (ie. Nutrient enriched water and air), where soil or compost is not required. You can grow multiple crops at the same time with different floors being dedicated to different vegetables or fruits and most importantly you process your own garbage and use waste management methods like gray water as water purification technique that provides clean drinkable water for the city.In India an architectural firm in Mumbai has proposed to combine Vertical Urban Agriculture and condominium living in one single building.
The aim is to make each condominium a self-sufficient for its food requirements. The Mumbai Port Trust has a 278.7 m2 (3,000 sq. ft.) rooftop farm that gives a direct roof to plate food solution for its employees.The advantages that we would reap from such a futuristic innovation are multifold. A city like Mumbai, that has a population of around 12.5 million, can be self reliant in its food requirements by just building 100, 30 storey farm towers built around the outskirts of the city while The Capital city New Delhi would need around 130 such vertical farm towers to become self sufficient.It's also a great solution to address the issues of agricultural land constraint, our decreasing forest cover (which is 22% vis a vis the prescribed figure of 33.33% by National Forest Policy) and the rapidly rising population's demand of food grains.
Mitticool: A refrigerator that runs without electricity
A refrigerator is one product that has become a necessity for people from all walks of life. But the carbon footprint it leaves is immense as this is one gadget that remains 'on' throughout its lifetime. So a refrigerator that runs without electricity is surely a welcome, green, cool initiative, especially for people at the bottom of the pyramid.Manufactured at a tiny village near Rajkot, designed by a potter's son in rural Gujarat, Mansukhlal Raghavjibhai Prajapati, Mitticool is made of clay,using the age old principle of surahi ie. cooling through evaporation. It runs without electricity, keeps your perishables fresh for five to seven days, keeps water cold and can also keep milk and buttermilk fresh for almost 24 hours.
Not only that its extremely affordable. It simply made by having a small tank at the top which holds water and the bottom half acts as the fridge. The water tank and the special clay that the fridge is made of, together keep the fridge cool.It's a fine innovation for the bottom of the pyramid market where slowly the 'so called uber electronic devices' have starting penetrating the market.
Going green at the rural level is equally important as its imperative that we reduce our carbon footprints at all strata of the country.
Treeless Paper Made from Elephant Poop
That's right, its paper made from Elephant Poo and what's more...it's organic and safe to use!And if you think this is some far- fetched, preposterous idea - think again. An elephant generates 500 pounds of dung every day. What can be more reliable, sustainable and renewable than that?
Because the elephant's food is all vegetarian, the waste product is raw cellulose which is properly cleaned, processed and converted into an environment friendly textured paper. The finished product is linen like papyrus type paper which is ideal for cards, stationery and scrapbooking due to its coarseness though not ideal for printing.An Indian company Haathi Chaap has ventured into this offbeat, environment friendly initiative, where paper is made by using absolutely no trees in its creation! Though recycling initiatives have been undertaken worldwide, yet processing trees into paper takes an enormous amount of energy, water, and chemicals.
So "Write Green" the elephant style!!
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