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Friday, March 25, 2011

Why we need to adopt energy saving habits by recycling and reducing?

At the occasion of 'Earth Hour Day' I want to share some facts with you. By reusing, reducing and recycling we can save energy and help save our planet earth. Why we need to re-use, reduce or recycle can be understood by having a glance at these facts. This fact sheet is enough to alarm us, why we need to adopt habits of saving energy by recycling, reducing and reusing.

  • The garbage in a landfill stays for a for about 30 years.
  • In 1995 over 200 of the world landfills were full.
  • Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day.
  • One bus carries as many people as 40 cars!
  • More than 1/3 of all energy is used by people at home
  • Most families throw away about 88 pounds of plastic every year
  • We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year
  • 1/3 of all water is used to flush the toilet.

One hour of darkness can help the world see the light

"One hour of darkness can help the world see the light (awarenss on climate change)
This one hour or 60 minutes are called 'earth hour'

The Earth Hour 2011 is March 26, Saturday from 8.30 to 9.30pm and during this hour lights will switch off around the globe.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

So far this is the largest environmental campaign in the history of our planet.

A record 131 countries and territories are registered to take part in Earth Hour this Saturday at 8:30 local time, and many global organizations will join the hundreds of millions that are expected to take part.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign and has grown into a grassroots initiative with participants across the globe. Ann Arbor joined the effort in 2008 as one of 371 cities in 35 countries to participate in Earth Hour.                      

Purpose of Earth Hour:

The principal of Earth Hour is that small actions taken by a large number of individuals can have a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions. If these actions can be backed by larger scale government actions, the impact could be tremendous.

For example, standby power on televisions, microwave ovens and the like causes 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the UK Government's chief scientific adviser Sir David King.

Speaking in Sydney, Sir David said:

"We have become so prolific in our use of energy that it is going to be relatively easy for us to reduce energy usage, save money and reduce emissions."

"People talk about what tackling climate change would do to your GDP growth but if you grab all of the low-hanging fruit that is available on energy efficiency you are going to manage that at no cost. In fact, it is a cost saving."

Studies carried out by Earth Hour organizers WWF show energy efficiency represents between 35 and 40 percent of the solution. The studies show that improving the levels of insulation in houses is by far the cheapest way to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“It is only through the collective action of business, organizations, individuals, communities and governments that we will be able to affect change on the scale required to address the environmental challenges we face,” said Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour.

“Climate change is the greatest human induced crisis facing our world today. It is totally indiscriminate of race, culture, class, nationality or religious belief. It affects every living organism on the planet – including all of us,” Archbishop Emeritus Tutu said.

“Through the symbolic act of switching off our lights for one hour on Saturday 26 March from 8.30 – 9.30pm we will collectively send our clarion call for change around the globe. ‘Please, political leaders and captains of industry, we implore you. Take action against climate change NOW.’”

Hundreds of millions of people in 133 countries and territories across the globe are expected to switch off their lights at 8:30pm local time tomorrow, Saturday 26 March.
In a series of video messages posted to YouTube, world leaders have pledged their support for the world’s largest voluntary environmental action.

Useful links:
* Earth

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Celebration of Go Green events

As the world population is growing, our natural resources are insufficient to provide us sources of energy for our future generations.  We need to raise awareness about energy crisis by recycling and going green.

What is Go Green?
 'Go Green' is a campaign about environmental issues that affect the future of the planet. "Going green" is a term used to describe "being more environmentally conscious in all aspects of your life".

The goal of "going green" is to practice behaviors that help reduce your overall carbon footprint, which is a measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce.

Our School proudly hosted an event to raise the awareness about 'Energy Crisis'and called it 'Go Green 2011'. Purpose of 'Green Deen Day' was to successfully implement the Go Green Initiative and create meaningful environmental change at school, among parents and society. Plus realize our responsibilities as Muslims to be protectors and caretakers of our environment.

March 12, 2011 was named 'Green Deen Day' to celebrate the 'Go Green 2011' event. The event started a month ago involving the school children and teachers to work together for making and creating projects, posters, slides related to the topic.

Why Green Deen Day?

A "Green Deen" is the choice to practice your religion while affirming the synergies between faith and the environment.
Environmentalism fits into the goals and ethics of Islam. There is ample evidence in the Quran - over 700 verses that relate humans to their environment.
The Prophet Muhammad was reported to care for all the creation of God. The Qur'an quotes that he was sent only as a mercy to all the universe (not just mankind)

Islamic teachings provide an ethical worldview of Nature and extends an invitation to believers and non-believers alike to reflect on natural phenomena, and to safeguard natural elements as an invaluable trust so that they may avoid disturbing the inherent balanced state of the planet

Slogan of the Green Deen Day (held on March 12, 2011) was 'Reuse the past, recycle the present, save the future'

Students displayed energy crisis related projects, along with recycling projects, posters.
Topics were:

Energy conservation
• Use less electricity
• Leads to reduced emission of harmful substances
• Leads to availability of electricity for other people

Renewable Energy Sources
• Solar, Wind
• Water, Wave

Stalls of every class were packed with recycled products or energy saving related projects. Early year  students of class KG 2 prepared a small demonstration in favor of 'Go Green' which was well appreciated by audience.

The whole program ( for female visitors and girls participants ) was held from 8.30am to 11.00 am and  same program was repeated for male students and visitors from 11.00am to 2.30 pm (Including a break for Zuhur Salah)

Visitors were guided by the volunteer students around the school to make the events organized and on time. Announcement and stage organization was also done by students (co-ordinated by teachers)

Every class was distributed in two groups and there were competitions among them. A voting system was organized and students, teachers and visitors were encouraged to vote the teams with better projects and better communication skills.

The gifts for winning teams were distributed at the end of program
The gifts were 'Go Green' related (small varieties of cactus plants for every winning team)

A promise mat was placed at the end of stalls. Visitors were asked to write their promises to change their lifestyles and help improve environment. Interesting thing about this promise mat was that like all the projects, it was also made of used paper. (recycled)
  • Ordinary people can positively impact our world in their everyday lives.
  • Through simple, responsible behavior shifts, together we can protect human health through environmental stewardship.                                     
Useful links:

* Why Go Green from Go Green

* 'NOAA This portal is designed for educators to accessing materials related to environment issues.

* Shout learning resources and tools

* Earth Echo International EarthEcho International's mission is to empower youth to take action that restores and protects our water planet.

* How we can go green? 'Treehugger' offers many useful posts

A collage of our awesome event:
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Islam teaches Muslims about protecting the planet and environment?

Nowadays we are using another term 'Green Deen' which represents the relation of Islam and environmental issues. Islam teaches Muslims about environment and protecting the planet in many ways. Informed Muslim can easily speak on Islam and the environment for a number of reasons.

First of all, Islam is described in the Qur'an as the religion of nature. Allah declares:

"Therefore, orient yourself, with all due sincerity and uprightness towards the natural religion; this is consistent with the nature He (God) has created in humankind. Never will there be any change in that nature, this is the straight way. However, most of humanity realizes it not." (Qur'an 30:30)

Having created us, and then through the institution of religion oriented us towards Him, our Creator then situated us in a delicate, intricate system where our success, and indeed the perpetuation of that system, rests in maintaining a balance between all things. He says in the Qur'an:

"The Merciful. He has taught the Qur'an. He has created the human being. He has taught him elocution. The sun and moon flow along in their established orbits. The stars and trees recline themselves humbly in prostration. He has raised aloft the firmament of the sky and established the balance. Therefore, cheat not in maintaining the balance. Establish just measure and do not fall short in maintaining the balance." (Qur'an 55:1-9)

In this group of verses, Allah enumerates some of His Blessings to humanity. He starts by mentioning the Majestic Qur'an. As Muslims, we believe that the Qur'an contains the enduring message of God to humanity. Its guidance defines the worldview of the conscientious believer.

God reminds us: "Remember the blessing of God upon you, and the Scripture and Wisdom that He has revealed unto you, by way of admonition. Be mindful of God, and be assured that He knows all things." (Qur'an 2:231)

In Islam, Muslims believe that man has been given a responsibility by Allah (i.e., Arabic for God) on this earth and that man will be accountable to God for his actions and the trust placed in him. Prophet Muhammad said, ”Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people is a guardian and is responsible for them” (Sahih Bukhari 3.46.730). Islam has urged humanity to be kind to nature and not to abuse the trust that has been placed on the shoulders of man.

Nature and environment have always played an important part in the lives of devout Muslims. Muslims understand that God has not created all this for nothing. In fact, Muslims have been commanded to find the wonderful signs of God around them so that they will only increase them in their awe of their Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer).

Author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin's Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, has presented to Muslims and anyone interested in what Islam has to say about the environment what a green deen is.

He starts the book by defining the word Deen not as a religion, but as a "way of life" in Arabic, a system of living and interpreting the world as a way to arrive at peace with it. Add the color green to it, and Green Deen was written as a practical approach to merge personal faith with the common cause of environmentalism:

"Green Deen means understanding that God created us directly from the Earth and that we must do all that we can to take care of it, protect it, and manage all of its bounty in a sustainable way."

From his perspective, everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, can create a green Deen because everyone can contribute to how we take care of the Earth in our public and private lives.

It is unfortunate that Muslims forget this, do not care to recycle or at least use less, and actually contribute to the degradation of our planet. It doesn’t matter your faith to be a greener person, but Muslims should step up to the plate.

Useful links for more information:

* Going Green For The Deen at 'Muslim Youth for Truth' blog'
* Environment & Ecology in Islam
* Environmental Responsibility Clear in Islamic Scriptures
* Man and Ecology: An Islamic Perspective
* Islam and the Protection of the Environment

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What happens when your kids Spend too much time in Front of Computer?

If your kids spend 2 or more than two hours at a computer every day, then they are at greatest risk for developing "Computer Vision Syndrome"(CVS). According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more at day at a computer.

In this day and age, where students and working adults spend hours and hours on end in front of the computer screen, CVS is more common than you think. It has been said that people who spend more than a mere two hours on a computer each day tend to suffer from this ailment.

Statistics show that, in general, such eye and vision problems afflict some 70 to 75 percent of people with desk-bound jobs who work in front of the computer. This makes CVS the most frequently reported health problem among these computer workers.

But how to know that you are having the Computer Vision Syndrome CVS?

Read more at:What happens when your kids Spend too much time in Front of Computer?
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