Category: CEE's Earthcare Page in Sakal Young Buzz

Actions to Address Air Pollution

By Ananya Kaginalkar and Girija Bhapkar

CEE’s Earth Care page in Sakal Young Buzz, March 2010

Ananya and Girija bicycle a lot and use solar water heaters at home.

Vroom…..cough, cough! Vroom… ..cough, cough! This is the condition of most of us city dwellers. Even if we step out of our houses for some fresh air we are immediately engulfed by pollution. This is what set our minds ticking and my partner Girija Bhapkar and I decided to take up ‘Air Pollution’ as our topic for our Environment Studies project with a desire to do ‘something’ about it.

Read on …

Try the Causes of Pollution game on kidsRgreen

Wonderful Wetlands

2 Feb is World Wetlands Day. The theme for 2010 is ‘‘Caring for Wetlands, an answer to climate change’. More at

It was 9 am when the three of us embarked upon a boat ride on the Thane creek. The boat reached the mud flats in the mouth of the creek and the sight of thousands of birds on the banks greeted us. There were wading birds like Redshanks, Greenshanks, Stints, Godwits, Plovers, Flamingos, Herons and Egrets. Hovering over the water in search of prey were Terns, Gulls, Marsh Harriers and Kites. As volunteers for the ‘Asian Waterfowl Count’ or AWC, our job was to count the water birds at the creek in the stretch we had selected.

Read the full article by Laxmikant Deshpande (click on ‘Archive’ if reading after Feb 2010).

Try the Wetland Quiz

A Day in the Life of a Wastepicker – short skit

Anusha and Yoshita decided to explore solid waste management in Aundh as their EVS project for Std IX. They interviewed the people who collect from their apartment blocks, asking where they take the garbage and what they do with it. They visited the sorting area in Anand Park, in NCL and also spoke to two people sorting waste on the pavement outside Chaitraban. They were just typing up their findings, when an English oral test was announced for which they were expected to perform a 2 minute skit. Since they couldn’t find an appropriate skit (2 minutes and 6 characters) on the internet, they wrote up one based on their SWM findings. I thought it worked out quite well so it became the Earthcare article for 29 Jan.

Cities need to provide spaces for sorting recyclables, for the safety of the people who handle waste and for cleaner neighbourhoods

Also, a facebook chat find (how Web 2.0 has changed our lives!) was a poem on poachers by Yash Deshpande, Std X  …

See Earthcare page in Sakal Young Buzz

check the Archives link on the same page if the latest article has replaced the article referred to above)

Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen

Rixa Schwarz from CEE Germany follows the international negotiations on climate change

Did you already notice the first impacts of climate change? Extreme-weather events like heat waves in North India, droughts, storms and changes in the pattern of the monsoon in Western India? Scientists predict even more serious impacts if the main causes for climate change are not controlled. Probably you agree with me when I say IT’S TIME TO ACT!

Government representatives from all countries are meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 7 December to 18 December 2009 for exactly this reason – how can human kind control the root causes of climate change.

The international body for climate issues, the United Nation Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathers representatives from all countries around the world once a year (with one preparation meeting) at meetings called ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COPs) to discuss the protection of the earth’s climate and adaptation to climate change impacts. This year is different though: we had five preparation meetings for the crucial COP 15 in Denmark.

Read the full Earthcare Sakal Young Buzz article on kidsRgreen

Happy Children’s Day

Illustration by Anusha Menon, Std IX, St Joseph's High School, Pashan

While we in India observe Children’s Day on November 14, the Universal Children’s Day is observed on November 20. The date November 20 marks the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. It provides the occasion to think about the wellbeing of children worldwide.

Later in November, UNICEF and the city of Copenhagen will host a Children’s Climate Forum. One hundred and sixty youth delegates from 40 countries will be representing the young people of the world at the Children’s Climate Forum. They will express their thoughts, ideas and calls for action on how to secure the rights of children in a world affected by climate change. The Children’s Forum is taking place a week earlier than the meeting of government delegates from 6 to 16 December, for the Conference of Parties on Climate Change. The Children’s Forum recommendations will be heard as the Conference makes decisions that will affect children and young people’s lives today and shape their world of tomorrow.


EarthCare Quiz


1.  If you were part of an expedition to study the endangered Forest Owlet, where in India would you go?
2.  List any four types of owls found in India
3.  Butterflies and moths need ‘food plants’ for ……….. and ‘host plants’ to …. ….. …..
4. Where do butterfl ies have taste buds? On their ………….
5.  In which season would you expect Monitor Lizard eggs to hatch? In the ………………
6.  India’s urban transport policy encourages bicycling and walking in cities – True or False?
7. What are Bixi and Velib?
____ Public bicycle rental systems
____ Brands of sports cars
____ Biscuits and chocolates
8. What happens to Olive Ridley Turtle babies if there are bright lights near the beach where they are born?
9. Planting trees and protecting forests is important for tackling global warming because trees store or ‘fix’ ………………… in their bodies
10. Draw the star label of the Bureau of Energy Effi ciency that you should look for when buying electrical appliances
EarthCare – Your Response
In the past few issues of the EarthCare page, we have been writing about our stories of how we are
conserving wildlife or tackling urban issues. Now we would like to hear from you. Tell us:
1. Which EarthCare article did you like the most and why?
2. What topics you would like to read about in the forthcoming articles?
Quiz entries
Responses should reach us by November 30 2009:
By Email: Type out your thoughts, contact details, quiz questions with your answers, in ‘EarthCare – Your Response’ and email to
By Post: Cut out the quiz, fi ll it, attach the sheet with your writeup for ‘EarthCare – Your Response’ and post to Earth-Care, A 10 Garden Estate, 167/1 New DP Road, Aundh, Pune 411007.
The fi rst 5 correct entries on email and fi rst 5 correct entries by post to reach us along with the response to
‘EarthCare – Your Response’ will get prizes.
More on EarthCare Online on kidsRgreen (older issues in Archives)


Kids Did It: From the Pit to the Pot

Climate Leaders Activity


Living a Low Carbon Life

Read Online on kidsRgreen

Online Game: Carbon Busters and Boosters


Who needs to be low-carbon?

India needs more energy to provide basic services and livelihood opportunities to all.But the atmosphere will get further destabilized with addition of more carbon; it does not care whether more carbon is coming from the US or India! So, all countries and communities have to shift to energy sources that are low carbon or no-carbon.

Vinayak Patil drew this for Earthcare

Green Jobs

New ways of energy production and use means that new jobs are being created. Courses on Energy and Environment Management are already offered by some universities. Professions such as that of Energy Auditors and for certification of green buildings are emerging.

Recycling is ‘green’ but work conditions need support

Many existing green jobs need encouragement. Waste collector Rebecca Kedari says she is already engaged in a green job and her work needs to be supported. She said, ‘builders make enough space to park cars and even before the flats are built. In the same way, housing complexes and the whole city should make space for storage of recyclables, composting, and segregation for recycling.

‘Recycling is ‘green’ but that work conditions are very poor. Green jobs need to be decent jobs-offering good wages and income security, safe working conditions,  dignity at work,  and adequate workers’ rights.’ (State of the World 2009)

India’s Advantage

Now that it is clear that future development has to be no- or low-carbon, we can pick a good and clean path. No need to go the dirty polluting way of earlier development.

‘India has an easier route. We have a shortcut. We can go to the eco-society straight, rather than through the route of classical industrialization’.

Mr. Mahesh Zagade, IAS, Municipal Commissioner, Pune

EarthCare page in Sakal Young Buzz (see archive for older pages)

Brought to you by CEE Central, and available online at kidsRgreen

Questions, suggestions, feedback? Write to

Turtle Ahoy

October is about the time when Olive Ridley Turtles start to nest sporadically along the Indian coast.

Night out With Turtles

Arribada or the Arrival of the Olive Ridleys in February, along the Orissa coast is famous. ‘Night Out With Sea Turtles’ is a short slide show of pictures of conservation efforts in the lesser known nesting sites along other parts of the Indian coast. Through patrolling, nature walks, conservation oriented eco-tourism etc some agencies are trying to protect turtle nesting sites.

And so, we (Ramjee and Sujeet from CEE’s Tamil Nadu and Goa offices, and me as series editor) decided to focus on Turtles in our latest attempt at writing on conservation issues for children …

It is a late evening on the beach. The air is cool, the first signs of  winter setting in.  Sujeet and I are leading a Turtle Walk. Suddenly we hear our children scream, “moving rock, coming out of the sea”.  Just a few metres away a beautiful Olive Ridley sea turtle was emerging from the sea to lay her eggs.

Read Turtle Ahoy …. a short story-article in CEE’s Earthcare page in Sakal Young Buzz describing efforts to educate young people about coastal environment and development issues and to protect turtles.

Vehicle Free Day 22 Sep

by Sidhant Pai, Std XII DPS and student intern at CEE Urban
CEE and Sakal Young Buzz EarthCare page, September 2009

My friends and I used to play ‘gully cricket’ on the road adjacent to my house. It was great fun. Later my family shifted to another locality. Just a few days ago I visited my old haunt to see how it had changed …

When I got there, I thought ‘change’ is the wrong word to use … a sad transformation would be more appropriate. The road was busy with traffic. The children sat on the society wall, amidst the dust kicked up by the vehicles, looking sad and dejected. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. Most cities and towns in India are troubled by an uncontrolled surge in traffic.

I was happy to know that September 22 is observed all over the world as Vehicle-Free Day. Its main objective is to convey the message to everybody that car-based city travel has to be gradually phased-out. We should adopt walking, cycling and public transport which are cheaper, cleaner and friendlier to people and the environment around us. I am thinking of my gully cricket neighbourhood … what fun it would be to reclaim the street from the cars!

More … (opens a pdf in a new window)

Govt of India Policy Supports Walking, Cycling

India’s National Urban Transport Policy emphasizes safety of pedestrians and cyclists and encourages cities to:

  • Make separate footpaths and cycle tracks
  • Construct safe crossings for pedestrians

Bicycle Rental Systems

Several cities are creating bicycle rental systems. You rent a bicycle from a stand in one part of the city and return it at another stand. Now, isn’t that smart idea! And look at these sleek ‘public bicycles’

Bicing in Barcelona
Bicing in Barcelona

The Unkempt Patch

More writing for Sakal Young Buzz, in CEE’s EarthCare column …

The Unkempt Patch  
– By Laxmikant Deshpande
On a rainy day, I saw a bunch of dirty white oval eggs moving by themselves in the mud. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. They were still moving! Within a few seconds, a tear appeared in one and …

Read ‘The Unkempt Patch’ by Laxmikant Deshpande, CEE Central on  Also view a Slideshow on Birds in the Monsoon. Enjoy! 

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Writing for Young Buzz

Last month we started a new monthly page in Sakal Young Buzz. The online edition of the EarthCare page appears at the kidsRgreen website.

Each article is authored by a CEE staff member or intern. The first issue described the habitat of the Forest Owlet, and a camp conducted by Dharmaraj. The forthcoming issue will be related to the monsoons. Future issues would have content on mobility, the Climate Change COP, urban forests, turtle nesting, etc.

Hopefully we will hone our skills of writing for children.