Monthly Archives: March 2007

Minimizing plastic in the environment

Ouch. That’s a tough first one. Plastic is very useful to us and very harmful to the environment. What can be done to find a compromise my comfort and conscience can live with? Keep the necessity, use thoroughly, discard carefully and avoid as far as possible.

We’ll need to keep the plastic bags for packing stuff on treks and monsoon hikes, but use them carefully and reuse them as much as possible, rather than using fresh ones each time.

Using a biggish purse/whatever bags men use, avoiding accepting the minor carry bags is no issue. Adding a small cloth bag for emergencies would avoid asking for a fresh one while shopping. We can make sure to carry a shopping bag when going out for shopping for sure.

Loads of plastic can be recycled. Rather than throw it into the dustbin, we can sell it to the recycle shops – kabadiwallahs, bhangarwallas, raddiwallahs, etc. That money can be put to good use, or simply into a box to donate to organizations that work for the environment.

Spending some time a day at the end of picnics, hikes or on treks to make the places we visit cleaner. A quick 15 minutes effort by a group can make quick work of the plastic lying around in a natural environment and inspire the people watching them into similar acts.

Annual get-togethers for outdoor groups can be held in places that need efforts like this and a huge gang of members can make their love for the outdoors far more concrete through a spectacular and quick clean up of the place.

Remember, the plastic that gets through human efforts will lie around defacing the place for over 500 years!

Saving the environment

Saving the environment seems such a mommoth task. It simply leaves people immobile. Where does one begin?

Some things are easy. Don’t litter. Don’t damage. Don’t waste resources. But what exactly does this involve? What does the common person do to be saving the environment? Not everyone can research. Not everyone can make it the calling of their lives. Not everyone even knows what to do.

Yet, we have a huge number of people available, who would, if pointed out, definitely be happy to make small adjustments that together can result in massive change. The key is in identifying exact things, that are quick to do and watch out for, once people know.

If it doesn’t take too much time, doesn’t involve a great deal of effort, a large number of people will happily walk the path to feel a little more secure about the state of the world tomorrow.

I find that like any other dauntingly huge task, this one seems much more doable when we break it up into bits.

First, make a not of the words/issues that occur on the subject of saving the environment: plastic, paper, forest reserves and trees, water, energy, pollution, fuel, spreading awareness……… We can keep adding to these as and when new words occur.

Let’s take each aspect and brainstorm on it (the links above open into seprate articles on each subject, to keep things managable out here). If you have ideas, please let me know, and I’ll add them in, so that we have a ready resource of stuff that is really easy to incorporate into our lives and has the potential to make a huge difference.

Rafting and the rush of adrenaline

I came across this article on rafting, which plunged me straight into my must fulfill dreams list. Rafting in Iceland! I can only shiver in anticipation. Glacial melt water that will probably be enough to freeze my poor fingers to the paddles, but I bet my heart will fly over the coldest river available for rafting. Folks, if you’re into adrenaline, and you get hooked and go, don’t forget to let me know.

Actually, the reason why I was exploring rafting on the net is that I had complaints from my clients that the site doesn’t really cover a lot of areas of operations of Wide Aware, and one of them was rafting. Its true. I haven’t yet put half the information I really want to on this place, but then, this site is like my temple. I doubt if it will ever be complete [:D]

Another interesting thing I came across was on the Paddling instructor website, where they speak of Yaka – a Goan company (that is the Indian distributor for Perception kayaks) and their show stealing exhibition in the Mumbai International Boat Show on 22-25 February, 2007. I missed the show unfortunately, or I’d have written here about it, but this sparks my interest again. Another area I need to explore.

The other thing worth noting in the Watery adventures world is the Adventure Safety & Rescue Training Workshop that took place in Rishikesh this February. The courses on offer are quite good, and it seems a very interesting option to explore for refresher courses for instructors. For those inclined to head out into the outdoors, this might be a very good training programme to watch out for, in any case. Its not only instructors who need to handle emergencies.

This brings me back to my main focus – rafting. Hmmm….. I promise to add more content. Not just here, but in all relevant areas of the site, but as its a one man show, do have patience and bear with me.

See ya’ll!