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Living sustainably, Asian-style

By Darryl D'Monte

Japan has introduced the 3R approach to waste management, China has introduced the Circular Economy and Green Growth, and Thailand's Magic Eye drive coaxes children not to waste. What exactly has India done to promote sustainable development?

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Corporates consult on climate change

By Darryl D'Monte

Given the projected rise in energy costs within the next 20-30 years, reducing the ecological footprint of companies has become a corporate necessity. And corporate India is finally getting its act together on the environment front

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The crow and the broom: Progress on sanitation in the South

By Darryl D'Monte

Kerala has made remarkable progress in the area of sanitation. As many as 96% of its houses have toilets -- close to 600,000 have been built in the last decade. The state’s cleanliness campaign has a strong parallel with the literacy movement for which Kerala is famous throughout the world. Other Southern states are not far behind

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Re-imagining public spaces in cities

By Darryl D'Monte

By conventional standards, Mumbai has perhaps the least amount of open space per person -- 0.03 acres per 1,000 people. But, as a recent study by the design cell of the Kamala Raheja College of Architecture in Mumbai shows, a little ‘re-imagining’ can throw up innovative solutions to enhancing public spaces in Indian cities

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Hot air in Hokkaido

By Darryl D'Monte

One of the worrying outcomes of the recent G8 summit in Hokkaido was the general euphoria about the revival of the nuclear industry, supposedly in the fight against climate change. This is an illusion at best. Only 3% of India’s electricity is produced by nuclear plants, and with the Indo-US deal this will increase to 7%, which is by no means radical

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Lille: City of the future

By Darryl D'Monte

The city of Lille on the French-Belgian border likes to describe itself as a 'Eurometropolis'. A major European industrial and services hub, the most interesting dimension of Lille is its greening. Lille is the only city in France to convert household waste to biogas, which is then used in public transport

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Green or greenwashing?

At one stage, Bajaj Auto was using captive wind power to generate 90% of its electricity from its own turbines and “banking” the rest. There are indeed businesses that are going green, but the majority of these claims are still greenwash, says Darryl D’Monte

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Green capitalism

By Darryl D’Monte

Can the collateral damage of a growth-at-all-costs economic model be addressed by a “regenerative” economy as opposed to a “degenerative” one based on fossil fuels and outmoded notions of industrialisation?Veteran social activist K R Datye believes it can

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We are what we eat

By Darryl D'Monte

There are three ideal attributes of food, according to Carlo Petrini of the Slow Food movement: It should appeal to the senses; it should be clean and environment-friendly; and most of all these days, it should be fair

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Genuine progress, or so much 'Balihoo'?

By Darryl D’Monte

The best that can be said about the recently concluded Bali climate change conference is that negotiations didn’t break down altogether. Although India is being unnecessarily self-congratulatory about the correctness of its stand at the UN conference, it should adopt a much more proactive position on energy consumption at home  

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The great green rush

By Darryl D'Monte

Everyone -- including venture capitalists -- seems to be jumping onto the global biofuels bandwagon. But the ethanol needed to fill an SUV just once requires 200 kg of corn, which could feed a person for a whole year

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Can man and beast co-exist?

By Darryl D'Monte

Ranthambhore has becomes the latest wildlife sanctuary to express fears about 'missing' tigers. Will this jewel in the Project Tiger crown go the same way as Sariska? Does the answer lie in relocating villages outside national parks, thereby minimising contact between man and animal?

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The truth about subsidies

By Darryl D'Monte

A Swiss cow gets a subsidy that will allow her to fly first-class around the world! And Queen Elizabeth gets farm subsidies of over $ I million annually. Subsidies don't always work as they are meant to in India either

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There's wealth in waste

By Darryl D'Monte

Five companies are bidding to manage the 7,000 tonnes of waste New Delhi generates every day. But surely it's more important to reduce garbage generated at source than to apply lucrative but environmentally unsound technological solutions to waste management?

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Are supply-side solutions to water access sufficient?

By Darryl D'Monte

While overall access to water supply infrastructure in cities is increasing, coverage remains uneven. But are dams and so-called "flexible water allocations", as advocated by the World Bank, the answer?

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Are GMOs spiralling out of control?

By Darryl D'Monte

To argue that genetically-modified crops will solve the problem of hunger thanks to their higher productivity, is like saying that Bill Gates developed Microsoft software to solve the world's illiteracy problem. And what if the technology runs amuck?

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Northeast of Eden

By Darryl D'Monte

India chooses to showcase the northeast as an exotic tourist destination of great natural beauty. Several documentaries at a recent environmental film festival in Guwahati showed it as a neglected corner of the country, with gaunt tribals and civil and political unrest

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Killing ourselves slowly

By Darryl D'Monte

With growing calls for the reintroduction of DDT to fight the resurgence of malaria worldwide, we must not forget the reasons why many countries have banned this toxic substance and other dangerous chemicals that cause cancers and other persistent diseases that impair health and possibly prove fatal

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A bottom-up approach to sanitation

By Darryl D'Monte

South Asia has 900 million people without sanitation. The problem, as the success of recent total-sanitation community projects have demonstrated, is not a lack of funds but a lack of conviction amongst people that they need sanitation, and that they can meet those needs themselves

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Sweden's green agenda

By Darryl D'Monte

Ninety-five per cent of all Swedes believe it is important to do something about climate change; two out of every three think it is very important. Sixty Stockholm families have embarked on a novel experiment related to 'smart consumption'

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