Bangalore: Carry your own shopping bag

BANGALORE: That plastic is non-biodegradable is something even children are aware of. But has this awareness curbed the use of plastic?

Most parts of Bangalore are still littered with thin carry bags, plastic cups and plates. These very plastic bags, with a life of over 100 years, clog our storm water drains and lakes.

National Geographic launched a campaign on Sunday in the city asking shopkeepers to avoid plastic. Their message to customers is `Bring your own bag’ (BYOB).

As part of the campaign, National Geographic will spread the word in the city’s most visited shopping hub, Commercial Street. The channel has created special ecofriendly bags to be distributed there. "This is to create awareness that customers should carry their own shopping bags. For the next 10 days, volunteers will stand near our shops, take plastic bags from the customers and put all the stuff into cloth bags. The customers will receive free cloth bags, which we hope will create awareness. It is ecofriendly and reusable. Commercial Street shopkeepers are going to support this campaign," said vice president of Commercial Street Association, Ajai Motwani.

A good plastic bag costs around Rs 4, while a reusable cloth bag costs around Rs 8 to Rs 10. The shopkeepers on Commercial Street plan to rope in MNCs to partially sponsor cloth bags. They will have the company branding on one side and that of the shop on the other. "That way, the retailer will pay only Rs 4. In a month or two, we can hopefully make this possible," added Motwani. On an average, shopkeepers at Commercial Street spend more than Rs 1 lakh on plastic bags every month.

Director general of police Ajai Kumar Singh launched the campaign. "Such campaigns are crucial for our existence. It is easy to deliver speeches but very difficult to act at the individual level. As far as environment is concerned, we are all acting like the famous anecdote of poet Kalidasa. We are cutting the tree branch we are sitting on. I remember a trip to Darjeeling, to the spot where Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore were picturized on a pretty toy train. Today, that rail track is littered with plastic. Every beautiful spot we go to, there is plastic," he said.

Children carrying plastic bags emptied the contents into the cloth bags given to them. They also participated in a painting competition on the theme `Paint My Earth Green’.

Also, cable operators like In Cable, Hathway, You Telecom, Kable First, Siti Cable and Den Network are part of the campaign. Promos will be aired on all networks with Vasundhara Das and Anil Kumble supporting the cause.


Wings Global Foundation, an organization that is trying to promote the use of areca nut plates, has roped in popular eateries in Bangalore. Nilgiris, Daily Bread, Nandini Palace, Empire Hotels, Mast Kalander, Kamat Yatri Niwas, Juice Junction, NMR Fast Food, Sukh Sagar, Bangalore International Exhibition Center and Nukkad at BIA have started using areca nut plates, according to Vinod Dubey of Wings Global Foundation. The organization is also closely working with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to get as many eateries as possible to convert to these plates.


`Thunk In India’, started by a bunch of young designers from Bangalore, uses non-recyclable waste material like tetrapacks, plastic packets and polythene bags to make fashion accessories such as bags, wallets, pen holders, jackets, bottle holders, mats, lamp shades, etc. They also use areca, lantana and coconut husk.


WWF: Kathmandu workshop sets stage for Year of the Tiger 2010

Leading tiger experts, wildlife conservation charities, and representatives of governments of countries that have wild tiger ranges are meeting in Nepal this week to begin a global dialogue about the threats facing tigers as the world prepares to mark the Year of the Tiger in 2010, WWF says in a news statement.

Amur or Siberian tiger in a rehabilitation center for wild animals in the Russian Far East. - Photo © Vladimir Filonov / WWF-Canon

WWF and others are attending the Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop, the first in a series before and during the Year of the Tiger, that brings together decisionmakers from tiger range countries, members of the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative, NGOs and the world’s leading tiger experts, the Switzerland-based conservation group said.

“They will discuss the specific actions required to halt the extinction of the tiger in the wild.”

“Tiger populations are still in steep decline and some estimates predict that tigers could be extinct in the wild by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.”

“Wild tiger populations are at a tipping point,” WWF said. “While many important successes have been gained by the global conservation community, tiger populations are still in steep decline and some estimates predict that tigers could be extinct in the wild by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.”

Indian tiger female in the Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, India - Photo © Michel Terrettaz / WWF-Canon

The Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop is hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal, and co-organized and co-sponsored by the CITES Secretariat, Global Tiger Forum, Global Tiger Initiative, Save The Tiger Fund, and the World Bank.

WWF hopes to secure major political commitments for tiger conservation, through the series of political negotiation meetings occurring throughout the Year of the Tiger and leading up to a final Heads of State Tiger Summit in September 2010.

Indian Tiger, sitting, showing his back, Bangkok Zoo Thailand - Photo © Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon

Effective conservation of tigers can provide an umbrella for all biodiversity, according to the World Bank, which joined forces with conservation groups to launch the Tiger Conservation Initiative in 2008.

Tiger conservation is thus vital to the conservation of many other rare and threatened species, as well as to sustaining essential ecosystem-services that forests provide, such as watershed protection, soil conservation and carbon storage, the Bank says on its Web site.

The skins of Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) and other rare cats are openly displayed for sale in Cholon District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. October 2002. - Photo © Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon

“Despite their ecological significance, tiger populations are in decline,” the Bank adds.

“Tigers occupy only 7 percent of their historic range, and in the last decade their habitats have shrunk significantly. Within a century, wild tiger numbers have plunged from more than 100,000 to about 4,000 animals.

Clearing of tropical rainforest for paper industry, palm oil and other plantations in, Sumatra, Indonesia - Photo © WWF-Germany/M. Radday

“Tigers have already disappeared from Central Asia, Java and Bali in Indonesia, and most of China.

Indian tiger close-up, Bangkok Zoo, Thailand - Photo © Martin Harvey/WWF-Canon

“Habitat loss, combined with intense poaching of prey species and the illegal trade in tiger parts, has taken a severe toll, with entire populations eliminated from what were once considered secure reserves.”

From National Geographic

National Geographic-Ireland Uncorked-Adventure

It’s Ireland’s Gilded Age! So go on: Surf a mythic 40-foot break, kayak the crystalline coastline, and hike the unmarked wilds. But please, for your own good, don’t step in the fairy blood.
This is elemental Ireland—a realm of lakes, bogs, mountains, and 700-foot cliffs. Its guides are true, its lodges neat and tidy, and its outdoor haunts bursting with legend.
Getting There: Continental, Delta, and Ireland’s own Aer Lingus ( fly direct to Dublin and Shannon airports. In-country, hop from city to city on the extensive bus network or with a discount airline like Ryanair ( Driving, an adventure in itself for those not used to hugging the left, is the best way to see the countryside.
Photograph by Alex Di Suvero

Photograph by Alex Di Suvero

Southwest Cork: Even locals call this corner of Ireland “off the beaten path,” though it lies within an hour’s drive of Cork’s newly renovated airport. The area, which stretches between Glandore and Baltimore, is peppered with fishing villages and market towns, where farmers and artisans gather throughout the week. Skibbereen, a fishing town and hub for water-based adventures, is just five miles from the coast. Its West Cork Hotel has 30 rooms and views of the River Ilen ($67; After snorkeling, kayaking, and diving, try the seafood at stellar Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant in nearby Castletownshend; if there’s a line, peruse the art gallery while you wait (

Sea Kayaking: Capricious weather and reams of legal paperwork for boat rental make hiring a guide the most sensible way to paddle the Green Isle. Atlantic Kayaking offers half-day to four-day trips along the southwestern coast year-round, including moonlit summer tours (May to October) through phosphorescent algae ($74 for a three-hour guided tour;

Diving & Snorkeling: Heavy fog and heavier drinking are to blame for the number of ships sunk beneath the ocean waves on this stretch of coast, or so says John Kearney, owner of the Baltimore Diving Center. Kearney’s crew takes certified divers on intermediate tours of the wrecks ($132 for a daylong two-tank dive; In Lough Hyne, a nearby saltwater lake, allow the tide’s ebb and flow to carry you above a thousand species of marine life, including gobies and anemones. Snorkeling and whale-watching are options on any Baltimore diving tour. The day’s dives are broken up by a bowl of chowder at the closest village.

Galway: A four-hour drive from Cork’s shipwrecks and sea caves, trendy Galway City sits beside an eponymous bay. Its city center, Eyre Square, is a bustling gathering place for poetry readings, Irish rock music festivals, and theater ( has an updated list of events). The centrally located Victoria Hotel has a fine pub ($93; Cafés and restaurants line nearly every street of this university town; the 800-year-old Kings Head hosts jazz and shows soccer matches (

Surfing: Lahinch, a 90-minute drive from Galway, is the traditional jumping-off point for exploring the Cliffs of Moher. Of late, though, surfing is an even bigger draw. Expert riders can catch the 40-foot Aill Na Serracht, which breaks some 20 times a year just off the cliffs. Smaller, beginner-friendly waves roll in year-round for students of the Lahinch Surf School ($58 for a two-hour beginner session; $139 for a weekend-long package; The Moy House, in Lahinch, is a neatly appointed seaside inn; the best rooms have fireplaces and look out over the Atlantic ($274; Finish the day at Frawley’s, where one spigot of creamy Guinness is the only tap.

Hill Walking: An Irish “hill walk” is more than your casual constitutional, often traversing crumbling shale and passing sheer drops on unmarked trails. “The countryside is still wild,” says mountaineer Domnick Callaghan. Guides are useful, though not essential; most operate independently and can be found through the Mountaineering Council of Ireland ( Croagh Patrick, one of Ireland’s tallest and most sacred peaks, looms just an hour and a half’s drive northwest of Galway City. (The country’s highest peak, 3,415-foot Carrantuohill, is only two hours by car from Skibbereen in County Cork). The Burren—undulating fields of cracked limestone—fans out just south of the city. If you are hill walking on your own, the following local intel may prove helpful:
(1) When crossing a bog—a greenish yellow landscape of boot-sucking mud—step on the scattered clumps of grass to avoid getting stuck, moving from one to the next as if hopping on stones across a river.
(2) If hiking on-trail, avoid venturing off into open fields, where patches of hungry grass thrive. Victims of the Irish potato famine, the 19th-century blight that killed 13 percent of the population, fell dead in these spots. If you step on one, the legend goes, you have to eat something quickly or die. (A candy bar will do in a pinch.)
(3) Some of the best hikes are DIY. Pull off the road near the base of a peak, knock on a nearby farmer’s door, ask to cross his land, and start walking.

Text by Molly Webster – National Geographic 

National Geographic Partners with WWF to Reduce Emissions

Pledges Further Emission Cuts from Operations and Supply Chain

WASHINGTON (Vocus/PRWEB ) September 23, 2009 — National Geographic, through a partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), announced today it will cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by the end of 2010. The Geographic’s commitment comes on the heels of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York and at the start of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh.

“National Geographic’s commitment to further reduce emissions could not be more timely or relevant,” said Keya Chatterjee, acting director of WWF’s climate program. “More than 100 world leaders gathered at the UN summit this week to show they are committed to building a strong climate agreement. Leaders representing 85 percent of the world’s economy will meet at tomorrow’s G-20 summit to foster a global economic recovery. National Geographic understands that emissions reductions and strong economic performance go hand in hand.”

National Geographic is one of 22 participants, including HP, Nike, The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, and Johnson & Johnson, in WWF’s Climate Savers program. Collectively, WWF’s Climate Savers partners will reduce emissions by an estimated 50 million tons by 2010, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of Switzerland. Overall, the partners say these efforts are resulting in greater operational efficiency and significant cost reductions.

“Conservation has been at the core of National Geographic throughout our 121-year-history. We’re delighted to be joining other like-minded organizations with strong climate action plans,” said Ted Prince, National Geographic’s executive vice president of Global Media. “Investing in energy efficiency and clean energy technology is a highly effective way to grow our business while protecting the planet from catastrophic climate change.”

WWF-National Geographic

WWF-National Geographic

National Geographic will work with WWF to reduce its CO2 emissions from operations by 80 percent by 2010 and reduce CO2 emissions from its magazine paper and printing materials supply chain by 10 percent by 2015. The emissions reductions are based on a 2005 baseline.

National Geographic is the first media organization to join WWF’s Climate Savers program. As such, it will help communicate the message of WWF’s ”Let the Clean Economy Begin” campaign. The campaign calls on world leaders to find a solution to climate change. It also demonstrates, using results from WWF’s partners, that it is possible to grow a business while reducing its CO2 emissions.

Note to editors:
The Climate Savers program is a collaboration between some of the world’s foremost corporations and WWF to show leadership in reducing emissions and heading off catastrophic climate change. By participating in Climate Savers, companies work with WWF to develop a climate action plan that includes absolute emission reductions and steps to meet their goals. Independent technical experts monitor and verify compliance.

WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge, the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. The Society was recognized for its commitment to energy conservation by the National Energy Resources Organization Energy Efficiency Award in 2002 and received the EPA Green Power Leadership Award in 2006. National Geographic’s Washington, D.C. headquarters was the first office building in the country to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Existing Building Program. For more information, visit

From PRWeb