A new life for canvas totes

It's a small thing really, and nothing new, but about a year ago, I gathered all of my canvas tote bags, accumulated over years of conference attending, and stationed them behind the seat in my car, for handy use in regular grocery shopping.

In my (less environmentally hip) part of the Southeastern US, I do stand out a bit, as I drag them out, and some of the baggers think I'm eccentric, but others think I'm quite smart... and, I'm sure glad not to have all of those plastic bags to recycle, if they actually ever get to a recycling plant from the grocery store bin.

I feel like I'm setting a good example, and I'm noticing more people using their own bags in the last couple of months, as the issue has been publicized a bit more in the mainstream media here in the U.S. I know those of you in Europe and some other areas in the U.S., and elsewhere, think, geez, I've been doing that for years. But change can be remarkably slow in conservative areas.

Actually, all of our local grocery stores sell reusable nylon logo bags, but I think they're really too small to be much use. My totes have the virtue of having long straps (easy to carry), and being tough and washable. I don't look particularly stylish (they're definitely an assortment of styles and colors).

In the last couple of months, I've been using organic cotton mesh bags from reusablebags.com for produce. There are large and small ones, open and closed mesh. These really elicit comment, but whatever. They work extremely well, are easy to wash when they're dirty, and save me from yet another round of plastic produce bags.

I Miss my Glass of Water!

  • Posted: 7:05 AM
  • |
  • Author: Flora

Just two years back (i.e. in 2006), I read one column on the UN’s initiative to provide access to safe drinking water to every person in the planet by 2015. For the detailed article, you can read the article “Water policy 'fails world's poor'” at BBC.co.uk. Almost after two years, I don’t think either the UNESCO or the local governing bodies have been able to deal with the water crisis, appropriately. The crisis remains similar as it was before two years rather the situation is getting worse day by day. The reasons behind such failure that have been discussed in the article are all manmade and we human beings have been ignoring this fact again and again. Some of the discussed reasons of the failure of the UN’s Water Policy are mentioned below:

  • Rapid Changes in Global Climate
  • Rapid Urbanization
  • Poor Governance
  • Illegal Tapping and Leaks

I appreciate the way Barun Mitra (director of Delhi-based think-tank the Liberty Institute) analyzed the UNESCO Water Policy. Of course, we need to deal the crisis in a Bottom-Top approach so that the ground level victims can get benefits from such initiatives. Here follows the map of nations' "Water Footprints":

Though there are some other organizations joined the race to save the water resource and proper management and distribution of safe water, yet the benefits are far away from the deprives. HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy), a joint initiative of the UNESCO and WMO (World Meteorological Organization) taken on the outcomes of the Fifth UNESCO/WMO International Conference on Hydrology (held in February 1999). Here follows the Worldwide HELP Networks:

But there is lot more to do; initiating such programs without proper management can only be resulted in wastage of time, money and resources. We need to work on our side of our own. We need to create micro organizations in our respective localities and have to look after the water management and distribution with the help of departmental authorities. We need to spread the awareness among people regarding how to preserve rain water, how to maintain good sanitation and so on. Otherwise the World War III is inevitable in near future to acquire each other water resources among countries.

Tigers in India – The Lost Glory!

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
(William Blake)

If you remember those lines from William Blake, then I’m sure you won’t miss a single opportunity to glorify the Tiger. The Tiger is deeply rooted in our culture and tradition. Almost in all cultures, at least one chapter surely has been devoted to present the glory and grandeur of tiger. As In Chinese philosophy of Taoism, Chang Tao-ling (The founder of the Heavenly Master movement is the semi-legendary Chang Tao Ling) mounts a big cat (most probably a tiger) in his quest to fight evil and seek the essence of life. In Hindu mythology, the Goddess Durga (the symbol of fierce feminine power) rides a fierce whitish golden tiger (somewhere you can see a Lion) gifted to her by Hamialayas. So we can’t ignore the importance the Tiger in human life. Though there are some cases of tiger-attack on human beings and cattle found in the areas situated near the tiger conservations and in most of the cases the tiger has been a victim and the problem has been solved. Lack of food and deforestation has forced tigers to come out of the deep forests and to attack the cattle and human beings. The researchers have found that a tiger territory can range from 10 miles to 20 miles and if the tiger is not hungry, then it never attacks other animals other than any other tiger or similar animal’s intrusion. But tiger poaching has been a persistent crisis in Asia (especially in the South-East Asia and Asian Sub-continent). Despite strict government rules, poachers have been able to kill tigers in numbers. This is happening only because of lack of awareness between tribal people, corruption and high demand tiger parts in foreign market.

Due to its cultural and mythological significance, most people believe that tiger is a great source of curative power. In China still you can find various medicinal and other products made of tiger’s different parts.

In India, tigers are killed and their parts are exported mostly to China and Tibet. You would be surprised to know that there are almost 5000 tigers and in the USA, there are 10, 000 in captivity.

We need to stop these people and this can be achieved by spreading awareness among tribes those who live closer to these animals and understand their activity closely. Tigers too contribute a lot to our ecological system and their disappearance can disturb the whole ecosystem.

Otherwise, the Tiger will be seen only on pictures and researchers will be researching only on the dead and dry parts of the Jungle Beauty.