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The Mega Problem of Micro Things

The Mega Problem of Micro Things

What are Micro-Plastics?

Micro-plastics have not been defined in particular. They are just tiny particles that result from the disintegration of bigger plastic materials. However, most researchers say that any plastic smaller than 5 millimetres in size is a micro-plastic. Hence, these are really, really teeny-tiny!

Plastics are made up of polymers, which are derived from fossil fuels. A whole lot of chemicals are added to the polymers—close to 10,000—to ensure that a given plastic has the desired properties...

A Trash Course!

A Trash Course!

Do we ever stop to think where all the trash that we produce goes? Most of it heads to a dumpsite – yes, those mountains of waste that you might have seen on one of your trips around the city. Let's dig into this subject a bit, shall we?

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A huge dark mountain is looming up amidst houses and buildings, with a flock of crows and eagles circling over it. As one goes closer, you can see people on it, scouring for things they can re-sell, while scrawny-looking dogs fight to find something to eat. Trucks carrying loads of trash trudge up the mountain. And quite often, you find a fire raging on one side of the mountain...

Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, Camera, Action!

A passionate movie buff and avid videographer narrates his journey through the reels on the importance of films in spreading environmental awareness.

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Growing up in Perumannur, a small village in Kerala, my childhood was all about ploughing fields, playful cows and calves, and a big pond where I learnt swimming. I was so close to nature that it never occurred to me if the environment—with all its greenery, birds, trees, and grass—can ever be distinctively separate from us. My training, among the lush green coconut and rice fields...

More Turtles are Eating Marine Plastic Pollution; Can Lead to Decline in their Numbers

More Turtles are Eating Marine Plastic Pollution; Can Lead to Decline in their Numbers

Plastic pollution creates an evolutionary trap for young sea turtles, says a new study. The study is done by researchers from the University of Exeter, UK. The study included 121 sea turtles from five of the world’s seven species: green, loggerhead, hawksbill, olive ridley, and flatback.

They found plastic inside juvenile turtles along both the east and west coasts of Australia. Sea turtles usually hatch on beaches and spent their early years traveling on ocean currents...

Just 10 Plastic Products Make up 75% of All Ocean Litter, Study Shows

Just 10 Plastic Products Make up 75% of All Ocean Litter, Study Shows

Plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominated the litter in the world’s oceans, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability was funded by the BBVA Foundation and the Spanish science ministry. The study shows that just 10 plastic products including plastic lids and fishing gear accounted for three-quarters of the litter. This is due to their widespread use and extremely slow rate of degradation. 

The Plastic Man of India

The Plastic Man of India

Dr Rajagopalan Vasudevan proves how even an individual effort can clean the face of our country, as he invents new ways to reuse plastic for roads and buildings.

One day, a professor of Chemistry was watching TV. He saw a doctor blaming plastic for water pollution. This set him wondering—how can plastic cause pollution when it is chemically a hydrocarbon and insoluble in water! The doctor was of course mistaken but his concern was genuine: plastic is an environmental nuisance. Polybags have infested our marketplaces, are swallowed by cattle, clog drains, choke ponds… 

How a Group of Citizens Revived a British-era Lake in Salem

How a Group of Citizens Revived a British-era Lake in Salem

Salem is one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu, India. More than 1 million people live here. Piyush Manush is the convener of the Salem Citizen's Forum (SCF). SCF is an informal group, involved in protecting Salem's environment. The lake was built by the British for irrigating nearby farmlands. The lake is spread across 58 acres and used to be a major water body of the city. But gradually it became a dumpsite for Salem's municipal solid waste. In 2010 SCF took over the work of cleaning the lake. But first, they had to get rid of the garbage and then desilt the waterbody.

I Miss You, Garbage!
How to Tame a Monster
My Wriggly Friend

My Wriggly Friend

"Oh, my God! Mummy, there is a snake in the house.”

"I am dead and yuck!” I heard the desperate cries of my two daughters, Badki and Chutki.

Alarmed, I ran towards the room from where I could hear their voices, to check whether it was actually a snake in the house or something else. As soon as I crossed the threshold of the room I spotted three earthworms wriggling in through the space between the main door and its frame, into the house. My younger daughter Chutki was calling it a snake and the older one Badki was so scared to see them that the glass fell from her hand and broke!

Garbage
Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

With her hair neatly oiled and braided, wearing her green-and-white school uniform, Selvi sat on the mat waiting for Amma to get her favourite tiffin of idlis and carrot sambar.

But today, as she waited she couldn’t smell the usual aroma from the kitchen. 'Here you go, Selvi, finish your tiffin and go to school!' Amma placed a plate with idlis and coconut chutney. 'Before you ask me, let me tell you, no carrot sambar...