Five solutions for sustainable living in a city!

Our flavor of the month is sustainable lifestyles for city lovers! Read on to know more about five easy to adopt innovative sustainable solutions that can be taken up by urban dwellers for an eco-friendly living.

In our fast paced life, we often forget about how much we contribute towards polluting this planet. We all have a responsibility to do our part, however small, in reducing our carbon footprint. Here are some easy technologies and appliances that we can adopt on a regular basis at work and home:

Dhobi: A washing machine that not only washes clothes, but also burns calories. It is claimed to be like any other fully automatic washing machine, except the heating facility for drying clothes. The machine is pedal-run, unlike the motor-run regular washing machines, hence transforming this piece of no electricity consuming innovative piece of technology into exercise equipment. When the consumer pedals, the gear system is moved, this in turn moves the shafts. Dhobi won the first prize at the Innovative Green Energy Technologies for India 2011. There are two versions of this model – one for the urban market, and the other for the rural.

Induction Stoves: Whether one likes to cook or not, we all spend some time in the kitchen. So, why not make it a time to be eco-efficient as well! Induction stoves have an efficiency rate of 84%, while typical gas cookers are around 40%. The induction cooker only heats the pot directly over it. It conserves energy by not heating the air, or the stove surface around it, and also reduces gas emissions at the same time. Many induction stoves have sensor stove tops, which means that the moment the utensil is removed from the top of the stove, the electricity gets cut-off. Hence, an additional energy-saving component makes this fast-mode cooking technology even more attractive. Among several brands of induction stoves available in India, the most popular ones are of Prestige and Hot Plate.

Shuddha: A self-purifying water filter. This technology works by converting hydro energy into electrical energy. The purifier has an in-built mini turbine. The water from the running tap comes in contact directly with the mini hydro turbine. The kinetic energy generated from the motion of the hydro turbine is converted in electric energy which in turn illuminates the ring of ultra violet LEDs. There are three layers of filters that the water passes through. Each layer functions to remove impurities and dust particles, natural purifying agent, and finally the ultra violet light in the UV chamber kills the bacteria present in the water. The rubber jets in the shower head provide an optimum water flow, which leads to minimal water wastage.

PIR Motion Sensor: Passive Infrared (PIR) motion sensors can be in-built in home electronic appliances, especially lights. The PIR can detect the infrared rays released by human body. The electric appliance can be activated automatically by the active presence of a human body within the coverage area, and deactivated when there is no presence. For a single unit of energy saved at the end use point, 2.3 units of energy is produced. As per that data, about 25,000 MW equivalent capacity of power can be created by implementing energy efficiency measures. PIR’s most effective applications can be found in the most and least used areas of the house, like common toilets and living rooms, parking area/garage and the garden space or the backyard.

DEEPAM Palm Dish: Areca nut leaf plates are bio-degradable, and hence avoid the polluting effects caused by extensive use of disposable plastic and polystyrene (thermocol) plates. The plates are made without any chemicals. These easy one-time use and throwaway plates are ideal for serving food at house parties and gatherings.
This is not an exhaustive list of appliances, but definitely the easiest to adapt. In addition, more technologies like solar water heaters (for residential use) are coming up, with the new policy being launched soon where Delhiites would be able to sell power directly to the government. This power will be generated from residential rooftop solar power units and can help catalyze the growing need for everyone to become sustainable in their habits and energy usage.

The author Pramita Sen is a member of the editorial team, India Carbon Outlook.

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Author: Pramita Sen