Sustainable Shifts UR Workplace Can Make Post COVID-19
At a time when the world is slowly awakening to the idea of healthy living, all thanks to COVID-19. There is a frightening reality that needs to be addressed by us collectively. According to a recent study, 63 per cent of Indian corporate-sector employees are overweight. Promotion of a healthy and balanced diet is vital for the prevention of overweight, obesity and several chronic diseases. The focus has shifted from considering healthy food patterns as a mainly private issue to recognising the responsibility of us as a society, including worksites, in creating healthy environments and conditions that support and promote healthy eating habits at workplaces who are progressively working towards improving their workforce's quality of life and output by promoting and assessing a change in their canteen meal's nutritional profile and sustainability. Besides improving our dietary intake at work, worksite health promotion initiatives may also lead to improvements in the lifestyles of UR employees and their families should also be carried outside of the workplace. While some offices and factories have resumed their services, this gives us the perfect opportunity to assess our canteens to make a sustainable shift. A study conducted in 2019 by HealthifyMe-a health and fitness app, covered the working-class corporates from major Indian cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Kolkata and even the remote areas such as Vapi in Gujrat. The eating habits and activity of about 60,000 Indian workers from various sectors in finance, banking, marketing etc. were analysed. Surprisingly, this year-long study stated that a whopping 63 per cent of corporate employees across India are overweight, and their body mass index (BMI) is above 23! This study was an eye-opener to make changes in the food provided at MNCs and SME canteens. Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a healthy person should range between 18.5 and 24.9; a person with a BMI above 25 is defined as overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to be obese. How Can Workplaces Be Mindful Of Their Canteens, the Environment & Their Employees' Health? The overall aim of inculcating healthy eating practices has a deeper meaning. Along with health, we must also think about how canteen meals are more sustainable in terms of sourcing our ingredients, teaching healthy food choices, portions, while keeping sustainable living as our priority. Here are a few ways SMEs & MNC's can assess their canteen meals and protocols to become more sustainable collectively. Source locally-sourced foods. This is key to supporting our farmers, our planet, improving our food intakes, adds a range of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in our diet. Review food safety management system plans such as lab testing reports, training reports, cleaning and sanitation records. Food handlers medical report, raw material log report and kitchen equipment( refrigerator, cutlery, oven, blender, etc.) calibration records to determine whether all the equipment being used is sanitised and maintained properly. Sanitisation and food safety handling training sessions can help in training food handlers in MNC's & SME's by our nutritionists. Understand, study and analyse the nutritional profile of the canteen meals. This can be done with the help of our nutritional experts who can help in determining the ideal ratios and types of ingredients which can be modified according to the health requirements. This can also help employees understand where they can make sustainable shifts in their daily food choices, eating patterns and food portions not just at work, but in their homes as well. Assess which food item is being wasted on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Discontinue the same to avoid food waste. Avoid using one-time-use plastics like plates, glasses, cutlery and plastic bags that increase garbage/waste and end up in our landfills. Use any leftover fruit and vegetable peels to make compost. This can be used to grow UR own produce, eliminating any chances of consuming any contaminated (pesticides-injected) food. Guide UR workforce by setting up nutritionist seminars/virtual conferences, which helps employees become more aware of making healthier food choices. It is more important than ever to build our immune system now to withstand these uncertain times. This type of dietary change program has the potential for considerable access into communities and thereby contribute significantly to larger public health goals in reducing incidences of dietary-related diseases. Did you know that The Pasona Urban Farm in Tokyo is a nine-storey office building which allows employees to grow and harvest their food at work? All of which, is supported and made possible with the help of a team of agriculture experts. In Bangalore, The Manyata Business Park which houses over 90,000 workers across companies such as NVIDIA, Nokia, Cognizant and IBM, have been allotted small patches of land on which they can grow their crops. Now there are also hydroponic kitchen garden setups/startup kits, which give you the free will of growing UR own produce at home, at UR workplace or in your community. This is novel evidence to support further action in worksites in enabling and promoting healthy eating patterns among employees across the contexts of workplaces. Let's all work together to reinforce sustainable practices starting from the grass-root level. If you want to assess your canteen at UR workplace, then you can consult our certified nutritionists to make a sustainable shift at UR workplace and enhance URLife.
At a time when the world is slowly awakening to the idea of healthy living, all thanks to COVID-19….
Redefining The Definition Of Celebrity! UR Chance To Become A Celebrity For The Right Cause
When the needs of the present are met without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their requirements, there is sustainable development. Closely related with each other and significant predictors of sustainability are social, economic and environmental development. We need to become more aware and be more active in our life, rather than living passively to protect the environment for future generations. Understanding what we are utilizing and why we are utilizing it is a great way to begin. The way forward is to promote a conscious lifestyle by which we can protect the environment. One of the most powerful ways to attract attention to social problems is celebrity endorsement. There are numerous celebrity activists who stand up for the environment and who have raised awareness about the environment, global issues and climatic change. They not only try to reduce their own carbon footprint but are also involved in many eco-friendly campaigns. Many celebrities are successful in motivating people to care for the planet. A celebrity who observes sustainable practices can be a role model and set an example for others. Be it making compost for the garden, recycling clothes, speaking of energy-saving, promoting organic produce and so on - celebrities can make an impactful difference by endorsing sustainability and the joy associated with it. People may not immediately follow the whole idea of sustainability, but can start practising it in their own small way to do their bit for the environment. What makes you a sustainability celebrity? A good start is to make UR house eco-friendly with solar panels and appliances that conserve energy. You can also go a bit further and include plants that can absorb carbon dioxide. Mentioned below are some more ways to help protect our environment. Adopt vegetarianism and veganism and post your meals on social media. Campaign for animal rights, promote a lifestyle that helps to protect animals, reduce waste, and avoid plastic. Raise awareness about single-use plastics and launch campaigns to cleanse our beaches and oceans from plastics. Use natural and organic ingredients and use products that are vegan and a healthier substitute to other skincare products available. Not only will these products be kind to your skin, but to the environment as well – due to the lack of herbicides or pesticides used. Draw on your status to stand up for indigenous communities, the underprivileged and for those affected by the effects of climatic change. You can offer donations to various environmental organizations and speak about the condition of our planet. Adopt and promote sustainable fashion brands. Inspire people to reduce their carbon footprint by advocating sustainable brands. Show your dedication to the environment by inspiring people to wear clothes made from reusable and recycled materials. Use your popularity to create awareness and provide financial backing to some companies working to save our planet. You can even think about launching eco-friendly and sustainable establishments to ensure future generations will get a thriving and flourishing environment. Sustainable Home Practices • Conserve energy: Our simple product choices like compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LEDs over incandescent bulbs conserve about 70% of the energy. Overuse of any renewable energy is the predominant cause of climate changes. Natural disasters in recent years have occurred due to climate changes. So conserving energy by using products and appliances that are energy-efficient has a positive impact on the environment. • Reduce the usage of one-time-use materials: Most of these products are plastic and are harmful to us and the environment too. Disposable products go to the landfills and if not appropriately monitored, these release toxic gases into the atmosphere. By avoiding the use of such products, we reduce landfills and effectively recycle the existing trash. • Recycle things: Instead of disposing of unnecessary things, find a way to recycle them. Try some DIY ideas to give them a new twist! If throwing them away is UR only choice, make sure you are disposing of them in the right way that doesn't end in increasing the landfills which cause water and air pollution. When we reduce waste, we help to conserve our resources. • Buy fairtrade products: In a fairtrade, producers offer a better deal and improved terms of trade. It allows them the opportunity to locally sustain by improving their lives and invest in their future, their environment and their communities. Fairtrade offers consumers a way to ensure environmental sustainability through their buying decisions. When a product carries the Fairtrade Mark, it means it upholds the fairtrade standards. These standards provide balance in trading relationships, stable markets and curb the injustices of conventional trade. Workers also get a stable income and working conditions are improved. Sustainable Office Practices Many offices might not have the funds to install solar panels for clean and sustainable energy. This doesn't mean you cannot help the environment at all. Here are some small things you can do at UR office to encourage and promote sustainability. • Travel co-dependently: Using a car or bike independently to commute increases carbon emission. So it’s best to carpool with your colleagues. Lesser carbon emission transforms in reducing impacts of climate change. You can also make a healthy choice of choosing cycling as your mode of transport. • Maintain digital files and use recycled paper: Whenever and wherever possible, try to avoid using paper. Promote afforestation or at least do not indirectly participate in deforestation by using virgin paper. In this digital age, there are various effective means to store files and prepare presentations that are not on paper. If there is an absolute necessity to use paper, opt for recycled paper. This simple step will help preserve forests, conserve resources and also contribute towards generating less pollution which is required for manufacturing. • Follow the 3Rs: Reduce, reuse and recycle products like printers, papers, stationery and so on, at every chance you get. This is not only cost-effective but also helps in reducing landfills. It decreases the toxin emission into the atmosphere effectively and efficiently. Following the 3Rs also results in innovative ideas that work in favour of sustainability. • Go green: Encourage employees to place indoor plants on their desk. Let it be a gift from the organization or a personal choice. Indoor plants like succulents, Swiss-cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa), Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum), Mass Cane (Dracaena Massangeana), Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) are fantastic for absorbing pollutants in the air. They also provide a refreshing sight and fresh oxygen. • Choose biodegradable products: While choosing office supplies, pick biodegradable products to help reduce pollution. These products will not harm you and make UR office space safe. Biodegradable materials don’t take years to break down but rather break down quickly and don’t leave back anything harmful. Be a lover for sustainability – help conserve nature by making environmentally-friendly choices because every initiative and action can make a massive difference to our environment and help save our planet.
When the needs of the present are met without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their requirements, there…
How To Make Compost At Home With Kitchen Waste ?
There are so many things that we buy and have no clue how to dispose them properly. Taking the pandemic into account, so many people are buying masks right now, but do they know how to dispose a mask properly? Unfortunately no, and all of this is going to end up in our landfills polluting our precious environment. But, what if I told you that you could make a positive impact on the planet simply by learning how to manage waste properly. From making compost from UR kitchen waste to learning how to manage waste, we have it all covered for you. So, let's work together to stop this endless cycle of garbage! The components of waste could be many things starting from dry waste, packaging, bottles, kitchen waste, hazardous waste (like broken bottles) and other plastics. These components of waste are so vast that when all these various forms of unwanted waste/garbage are combined and picked up by the municipality. With the unavailability of waste management facilities or proper protocols, this waste ends up being dumped in a landfill or in water bodies. The way I look at it is that, until we understand what these landfills can do to our environment, we will not take action to contribute to a better future for our planet. How Landfills Affect Our Environment? Compressed garbage mountains in the landfills are considered to be more harmful than carbon dioxide. It was life-changing when I visited a landfill and saw the impact myself. 60 per cent of biodegradable waste is from our kitchen. It is broken down anaerobically in the landfills, as it is constantly being compressed and this process emits methane. This is one of the deadliest gases, and is considered to be 20x worse than carbon dioxide. We contribute to the greenhouse gases once we discharge kitchen waste out of our homes. It could be in a lake, river, ocean or it's in a plastic cover and a cow could be eating it. So, we really don't know where our garbage ends up! Did you know that Bengaluru produces 4,500 tonnes of garbage/waste everyday? My waste is my responsibility. This is why I chose to live sustainably and not be a burden on the planet. I do my bit by making compost, disinfectant, stashing milk packets and much more. And it just doesn't stop here. There is a dark liquid called leachate which runs out of the landfills, contaminates our groundwater and the soil. The three things which we need to sustain on this planet are air to breath, water to drink and soil to grow our food. We have unfortunately contaminated it all by discharging biodegradable waste out of our homes unnecessarily. If you say no to a landfill, what do you do with the waste ? You can first start by understanding the categories of waste your home or household may generate. All the waste from UR kitchen is organic matter, which should essentially go back to the soil by making compost. If you have a composting facility available in your neighbourhood or city, so you can drop off your organic waste for it to be processed. Did you know that 60 per cent of biodegradable waste is from our kitchen? All the waste from your kitchen is organic matter, which should essentially go back into the soil in the form of compost. For example, the USA has many facilities for recycling and managing waste. India, is yet to introduce waste management centres and reduce its carbon footprint. We have a long way to go. Meanwhile, why don't we take the responsibility of learning the categories of waste and making compost at home? Categories Of Waste 1st category Dry waste(recyclable): Packaging, cardboard, newspapers, cinema tickets, plastic, metal cans, bus tickets and every bit of paper that can be recycled. 2nd category Kitchen/food waste: Vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder. 3rd category Sanitary waste: Medical waste, band-aids, sanitary pads, anything which is body contaminated. Hazardous waste: Broken items like bottles etc. In Bangalore, we have a system called 2 bin 1 bag. The green bin is for your kitchen waste and the red bin is for rejects (things which can't be recycled or composted) goes into that bin. And, the third is your bag which you can hang and collect milk sachets without the ends being snipped fully. Every bit of packaging can be collected, sent to the recycling centre or given to your kabadiwala. In Bangalore, we have recycling centres. 198 wards in total and each ward has a DWCC (Dry waste collection centre). This is one of the ways you can dispose UR dry waste correctly. By not mixing dry waste with other types of waste helps us all contribute to a better world that mitigates climate change together. Another way of making a positive impact on the planet is by making compost. Here is how I make my compost from my kitchen waste at home. How To Make Compost At Home With Kitchen Waste Ingredients Greens: Vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder and leftover food bits (organic matter only) - 1 large bowl Browns: Dried leaves, cardboard or sawdust - 2-3 bowls Microbes: Sour buttermilk- 1 tbsp or cow dung - 2-3 tbsp Container: Terracotta pot, a red mud pot with a lid, or a small bucket with holes (for air circulation) and a lid. Preparation Step 1: Drain out excess moisture from the vegetables and fruit peels in a colander. For example; watermelon or papaya need to be drained of moisture. Use a kitchen towel or a paper napkin to remove the moisture. Cut the large pieces of leftover veggies or fruits for them to break down easily. Step 2: Add the dried leaves in a small container or bowl. Crush the leaves and add the vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder. Mix everything. Now, add the buttermilk or cow dung using the mentioned quantities and mix everything well. Step 3: Transfer everything into a bucket, a pot, or a container with small holes and a lid. Repeat the same action every day. Once in 4 to 5 days turn the ingredients in the container to introduce oxygen, as this is anaerobic composting. Add vegetable peels, fruit peels and Brown's until UR container is completely full. It takes 45 days for the ingredients to break down and become compost. You can repeat the same process in another container for your next batch of compost. Note: Always keep the composter (container) away from the rain. You can use this to fertilise your soil to grow veggies at home. This is how I do my bit and so can you to break the cycle of mismanaging waste and being more mindful. For more information on waste management, log onto these websites Swachagraha or 2bin1bag to find out how you can start managing and making the most out of waste.
There are so many things that we buy and have no clue how to dispose them properly. Taking the pandemic…
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home Vani Murthy Keeping your home germ-free with natural cleaners and disinfectants may seem like an enormous task, but it’s really very easy and simple to achieve. Homemade cleaners are not only good to keep your home spick-and-span but are also a safer and healthier option for not just you and your family but the environment too! What’s amazing is that natural disinfectants are as effective as store-bought cleaners, minus the harsh chemicals. They are also inexpensive to make and offer way more health benefits. Though I’m not backed by studies – I just believe that I don’t have to use chemicals. I don’t discharge chemicals from my home. That’s the only reason why I don’t use any chemicals. This has changed a bit due to the current pandemic that we are facing because we are now using sanitizers that are recommended with alcohol content, but for everything else I use natural cleansers. Though the natural cleaners contain alcohol, I’m not very sure about how effective it is with the virus. There are people who are trying to test it out, so probably we will know how effective this is in future. We cannot take any risks right now. So my family and I have adopted a kind of a balanced approach. If we go out, then we definitely use alcohol sanitizers when we come back. But if we are in the house, we use the natural cleansers, as much as possible. Due to covid-19 we are now very careful so it has not replaced sanitizer for outside use. I’ve stopped using chemicals at home since the last two years and I’m very happy about it. The homemade cleaner I prepare is basically a multipurpose cleaner for the house. You can use it to clean kitchen counters, stoves, tiles and so on. It sanitizes and leaves a sweet-smelling smell. It can also be used to clean the floor. Just put a capful of it in a bucket of water to mop the floor. Or simply put it in spray cans to clean glass things. What’s more, it can even been used as an organic pesticide for UR plants. It’s very simple to make this great concoction. There is a formula that I follow. Firstly, you need to collect the lemon and orange peels that you discard every day. If you don’t have enough, keep them in the refrigerator till you collect enough. I say enough because I mean there is a proportion you need to keep in mind. It is 1:3:10. So you need one part of jaggery, three parts peels and ten parts of water (for one litre). These are the three ingredients that you need from your kitchen to make this super cleaner. If jaggery is one part, you need to take 100 grams jaggery (soak it in the one litre of water) and take 300 grams of the peels and add the one litre of jaggery water to the collected peels. Ensure that the jar or bottle is a glass one. Also ensure there is some space left at the top of the jar as there will be a lot of gas buildup due to the fermentation. In case you want to speed up the process you can use a little bit of dry yeast. Use just a pinch of dry yeast. The whole process occurs in one month’s time. If you don’t use dry yeast – it will take three months. Remember to close the lid of the jar tight. Every morning open it to release the gas for the first one week. One month down the line the liquid becomes clear. The end result is a bio enzyme produced from the citrus peels. You can use orange, lemon or mosambi peels to get the bio enzyme. It is sweet-smelling and very lemony and citrusy. In case you are wondering about the stickiness of jaggery – you needn’t worry because when you get the final product it turns alcohol. Jaggery is the feed for the fermentation. It is the food source for the microbes when they are fermenting. I also make a soap nut liquid with kukurkhai which is the natural soap. I use a little bit of the bio enzyme along with the soap nut liquid to wash my laundry too. This is my way of replacing chemicals in my home. It’s extremely important for us to understand that what we are discharging is harming the environment through the water that is coming out of our home. We don’t know where the water system is ending up. These harmful chemicals that we use are definitely polluting. So as far as possible and as a citizen who cares for this planet I try to keep away these chemicals from my home. For the past two years I haven’t used any cleaners that contain chemicals. The pulp of the peels can be utilized to clean stuff as well. After you drain the excess water save the pulp and put it on your grimy chimney to clean it. Just leave it for 15 minutes and wipe off. Along with this you can add the soap nuts mixture to get that extra soapiness. It can be used as a liquid detergent to wash your crockery and can also be added to your dishwasher. This natural cleanser can be used for multiple things. I’ve gone back to days when grannies used to use shikakai and ash for cleaning. That’s what I’m using now. I also use only natural fibres for cleaning. I don’t use commercially available cleaning pads and sponges as they have plenty of plastic in them which leads to the micro and nanoplastic getting into the water waste. So it’s best to use ash, soap nuts and shikakai – these are all natural materials which are better because the post usage discharge is natural. The use of chemicals harms the environment. Avoiding chemicals and choosing to go the natural way may take a little effort, but considering we now have lots of time on our hands it will probably be easier to do. You can also store the bio enzyme, make it once a month or even once in two months. Many people visit juice shops to collect the leftover lemon and citrus peels to make large quantities which they may sell. The bio enzyme made from citrus fruits is a very good cleaner and doesn’t get spoilt for over a period of time if the proportion is right. But on the other hand, the kukurkhai soap nut mixture has to be made fresh and can’t be kept for long. It starts to smell. So you need to make small batches like every week or so, depending on how much you need. This cleanser is a wonderful way to keep chemicals away and I’m just loving this change! Earlier, I had all kinds of chemicals at home including shampoo, but I stopped using store-bought shampoo too. The kukurkhai (soap nut liquid) is my shampoo and the bio enzyme which has a citrus smell works as my shampoo. The soap nuts can make the hair rough so I use a little of bio enzyme to soften my hair and I’m more than happy with the result. Earlier when I used shampoos available in stores, I experienced a lot of hair fall. So much of hair would fall in the bathroom that I used to think – am I not healthy? Why is my hair falling? But after I stopped using chemical products I don’t have hair fall. It’s very important to use natural products because nowadays the use of chemicals gives rise to skin conditions like psoriasis. The chemicals can also cause dandruff and hair fall. The bio enzyme has a very nice smell but if you want to make it better, you can add some essential oils. Add citronella or lemon essential oil for a nice fragrance. I try to use all things natural, but do I use a natural soap? Yes, my friend makes homemade soaps so I buy it from her. In fact, I stopped buying anything that is packaged and from the store. I’m cutting down and minimizing packaged stuff. I use only used plastic bottles that I collect. I have stopped using Tupperware even in my kitchen. My kitchen is full of glass and stainless steel. There is no plastic in my kitchen. I use Tupperware for storing anything that is not edible. In my house, no water is stored in plastic. I store water only in glass or stainless steel. This transformation came about after I witnessed a friend’s presentation on plastic. It made me realize how much plastic we take in. This is because the chemicals in the plastic leach into the food. Plastic containers are used to store food in the refrigerator, freezer and so on. Some dangerous lifestyle disease may also be avoided if you can bring about small changes in the way you live. Small changes can add to the betterment of your health. With these small changes, we can definitely save our homes and the planet too. This natural cleanser is a good pet wash too. I don’t have pets but my friend uses it as a pet wash and says her pets’ coat is much better after using this. So like I said, it has multiple uses. Dilute it and spray on the plants in your garden and it becomes a pesticide or dilute it and put it in the soil to enhance its fertility. Overall, you can use this natural disinfectant as a shampoo (along with soap nut liquid), a detergent (along with soap nut liquid) to clean surfaces in the kitchen and glass things around the house. All you have to do is dilute it a bit. You can also use it as an organic pesticide and soil enhancer. It replaces many of your cleaners and is very effective. In fact, I’m in love with it – it’s one of the best things I have done.
Experience The Magic Of Using Natural Cleansers At Home Vani Murthy Keeping your home germ-free with natural cleaners and disinfectants…