Self-control comes from willpower. If we could only have more of it, everything would seem easy and achievable.

But, what happens when you change the dimension from you to you+someone? The effort starts to look different.

Support groups, DIY groups, meetups, and other types of social gatherings serve our innate need to not just connect but to accomplish common goals and serve common values.

Being aware about environmental and socials issues nudges you to do something but how often do you find yourself actually doing it?

Kaltay pan valat nahi. (We understand but we are unable to change.)

Not everyone is equally motivated or equipped to protect the environment and the people.

Mhanun konitari lagta. (That’s why we need someone. We can’t do everything on our own.)

Groups are self-checking systems that keep you and others in the group in check. If I’m not doing it right, someone else is. We learn and evolve.

Exposing yourself to diverse groups can challenge you in ways you did not imagine whereas joining likeminded people can support you.

I was rebellious when I was young and I could go do my own thing. As I grow older I increasingly find myself searching for those who see the world in the same light as me. Some times I seek a movement that I can be a part of and other times I create one.

I have created a Facebook Chat Group for us to chat about environmental and social issues and act on it together. Please join.

Here’s how you can change the dimension too:

  • Help urban farms
  • Attend DIY workshops
  • Participate in Twitter chats
  • Join Meetup groups
  • Volunteer

Further reading:

Self-control in peer groups. Journal of Economic Theory 123 (2005) 105– 134

Things I’ve tried this year – 2018


In 2018…

🌏 Sowed chive seeds at an urban farm in Vancouver. Although I love to farm, I’m not particularly good at it but that never seems to stop me.

🌏 Wrote a few blogs for Green Fashion Week to promote sustainability in the fashion industry.

🌏 Asked my Tiffin service provider to fill meals in reusable containers. She obliged. She laughed with kindness in her eyes when I couldn’t do it 100% of the times.

🌏 Recently kept reusable containers in the trunk of my car so I could carry leftovers from the restaurant we went to in it. Less disposable boxes.

🌏 Purchased a steel straw. The problem with reusable stuff is that I don’t have it when I need it. Nevertheless, my husband and I have used it a few times.

🌏 Reused glass pasta sauce jars.

🌏 Bought a compostable plastic liner for disposing of organic waste. Maggots formed as I didn’t empty the bin often. Gave up and started using regular plastic bags again. A disappointed friend suggested emptying the waste in the organic streams and throw away the plastic bag in the garbage. Why didn’t I think of that?

🌏 Bought packaging-less bathing bars. Love ’em. But, how do I know what’s in that soap? I assumed it must be something good considering that I got it from an organic shop, but there’s more to learn.

🌏 My husband and I worked with artisans and eco-friendly makers to bring their products to the market with fair price. Work is in progress.

🌏 Tried reusable menstrual cups. Didn’t work out for me.

🌏 Did some thrift-shopping for second-hand goods. Purchased some and gave away some.

🌏 As much as I could, I bought products that are plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic, organic, fair trade and made by progressive companies.

That’s it.

Hope you had a great year. Mine was far from perfect, but I take pride in what I tried. Thanks to my family and friends for their support and encouragement.

Things to keep in mind as I head into 2019:

  • Reuse and reduce.
  • Perfection is an illusion.
  • What I’ve done this year is an addition to what I’ve done before. It is not independent of the previous lists.
  • What I set out to do is relative, so I’m not doing it just because others are doing it.
  • Accept that you can’t change everything, but you can change something.
  • More needs to be done.


A lot of people on twitter will tell you how to live, how to work, how to code, how to prioritize, how to be a leader blah blah when they themselves have yet to figure it out. Don’t confuse confident writing with success. – Rebecca Slatkin on Twitter

Is there anything you’d like to share with me? I could use some company and inspiration along the way.

Happy New Year!!

I wish I had a spare heart

“Sometimes I think I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.” ~Sanober Khan

This is how the article I read on Tiny Buddha today started out. But, what is the point of feeling something if you are not taking any action on it? What is the point of acting on it if you haven’t put a great deal of thought into it? What we feel strongly about is what we are passionate about. Here’s another version of passion in a LinkedIn post by Adam Grant:

Passion without perseverance is idle curiosity.

Perseverance without passion is a grind.

Passion with perseverance is grit. 

A few years back, I started writing this blog to raise more awareness about environmental protection. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of progress all around the world. Progress not just for the protection of our environment, but the whole of us – you, me, all the people, the planet and fellow species. Although, there were times when I felt frustrated over the lack of speed at which it was taking place. I am happy when I am now able to bring it up in the day to day conversations. I understand that not everyone reads my blogs. I understand that my methods need to evolve.

Everything takes time and when the most pressing issues take precedence, other issues take a back seat. That doesn’t mean that no one is going to work on them, that doesn’t mean we have to let it go. Somebody somewhere is thinking about it, acting on it. A problem may be small for one but maybe big for another. In times like these, I hope we find the grit we need. Because we cannot have a spare heart, but if all our hearts beat as one, we wouldn’t need one.

A good read for when you think you need a spare heart:

How the Environment Has Changed Since the First Earth Day


Goddess of Green Chemistry and Climate


When the vice-chancellor of our university declared that they had come up with their own anthem “Rasayan Devike” (Goddess of Chemistry), I thought he was crazy. Who does that, I said to myself. Until now.

It has been five years since I graduated from this university. Today, I found out that the concept took birth to spread awareness about green chemistry – how old chemistry could help clean up its act with newer greener chemistry.

There’s actually a statue of the goddess near the vice-chancellor’s office. Makes me wonder the length to which the university must have gone to engage people in environmental protection. What were the odds of being ridiculed? 100%? Probably, because I heard no one talk about it the way I’m doing it now. I have a newfound respect for this.

Chances are students barely knew what it was all about. It may have been nothing but a stunt for them. Not to me anymore. History is filled with mythological characters. People have devised ways to celebrate these characters and what they symbolize.

Which takes me to another train of thought. Have you ever heard of the God of Climate? There are many weather gods – wind, thunder, rain, lightning. None for Climate. As NASA defines, “The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.”

So, what am I proposing, you ask? I’m proposing a God of Climate, wait, no – a Goddess of Climate (it’s just more fun that way). I don’t know how this is going to help, but hey everything begins with an idea, right?

Globe Forum 2018


I was a volunteer at the GLOBE Forum 2018, held on March 14–16, 2018 at Vancouver. I helped attendees for three days for North America’s largest and longest running Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business. I helped guests navigate around the event, answering fundamental questions. I monitored and maintained specific event areas such as B2B area and the Innovation Expo. It was a little boring at times standing in one place, but fun too – during my breaks I made friends, networked with organisations, learnt new things.

The Innovation Expo was a global showcase of sustainable products, clean technologies, services, and ideas fresh off the lab bench. Buyers from more than 50 countries roamed the aisles, looking for the next big thing. As a B2B event – businesses, governments, and civil society leaders found inspiration, connections, and new opportunities in the clean economy. I had no idea Canada was so much into Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Other focus areas included:

  • Smart Grid/Micro-Grid
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Smart/High Performing Buildings
  • Water Innovation

CO2 is a waste

CO2 that human activities are pumping into the atmosphere is a waste, it is not needed there. This waste is a resource for many industries. Scientists are working around the world to develop technologies that will capture CO2 from their emission source and store it for use.

Hitachi Chemical showcased their research on how to capture CO2 more efficiently. Their research shows that cerium-based catalysts work better than zeolites for carbon capture.

International CCS Knowledge Centre was established to accelerate the global development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology by both sharing access to the data, information and lessons learned from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 facility and by incorporating the knowledge and experience from CCS projects elsewhere in the world. The Boundary Dam Carbon Capture Facility is capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – the equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road. Brought online in 2014, the Boundary Dam CCS Project is the World’s First Post-Combustion Coal-Fired CCS Project integrated with a power station.

Not out of sight no out of mind

A lot of environmental and social issues are not acted upon because people cannot see the problem with their own eyes. Photographers and organisations around the world are making these things known to the public, becoming their eyes where they don’t reach.

Students on Ice Foundation is an organisation that organises an expedition that will be a profound hands-on experience for youth to expand their knowledge of the changing circumpolar world, foster a new understanding and respect for the planet, and gain the inspiration and motivation needed to help lead us to a healthy and sustainable future.

It was inspiring to watch the presentation of Cristina Mittermeier. Felt lot of emotions rushing through me as she told stories through her photographs. Cristina Mittermeier is a contributing photographer, speaker, and explorer for National Geographic.  She is a marine biologist who for the past 25 years has been working as a writer, conservationist and photographer. She is the founder and President of SeaLegacy, a non-profit organisation working to protect the oceans. SeaLegacy is an organisation dedicated to promoting the protection of the world’s oceans through storytelling. Cristina’s work has been published in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic Magazine, McLean’s and TIME.


The World Tree Carbon Offset Program is a sustainable timber investment based on the Empress Splendor tree, the fastest growing tree in the world. Empress trees provide valuable hardwood lumber within just 10 years. They also absorb 11 times more carbon than any other tree. Participants in the program both offset their carbon footprint and share in the profits of the sale of the lumber. They are looking for farmers to grow their trees. They provide the trees, the expertise and a buyer for the lumber. You provide the land and the care. Together you share the profits.


Terramera is a Sustainable Agriculture CleanTech company developing safe and effective Plant-Based Products and Replacements to Synthetic Conventional Chemical Pesticides & Fertilizers. They use Neem which is a tree native to the Indian subcontinent. Terramera’s agriculture products make sustainable/organic farming without the use of conventional chemicals more productive and efficient. Farmers need better solutions to protect crops from pests & diseases: Over 30% of chemical pesticides will be banned or restricted by 2020 leaving a 6.2 to 20 billion dollar gap in the market.

Making the transition

How much coal is there in the world? Where is it found? How much of it should we keep in the ground to avoid negative environmental impacts? Can renewable energy really replace it? How is the transition going to look like?
  • There are an estimated 1.1 trillion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide. This means that there is enough coal to last us around 150 years at current rates of production.
  • Coal reserves are available in almost every country worldwide, with recoverable reserves in around 70 countries. The most prominent reserves are in the USA, Russia, China and India.
A 2015 study in the journal Nature revealed that we need to leave at least 80% of the world’s known remaining fossil fuel (coal + oil + natural gas) reserves in the ground to prevent runaway climate change. It’s 2018 now.
What’s the alternative? A lot of doubts float around renewable energy’s power. Here’s taking the cloud off of it:
  • Renewable energy is not expensive.
  • Renewable energy is big enough to power the whole world.
  • Renewable energy can supply electricity 24X7.
  • Our infrastructure can handle renewable energy.
  • Renewable energy is not bad for the environment.


In India, coal is expected to stay for at least the next 30 years due to its abundance and cost advantage. In the meantime, we have a family of technologies called Carbon capture and storage (CCS) that can help.

Technology, however, doesn’t solve everything.

How do we make this transition humanely? What about the lives that are dependent on the fossil fuel industry? Iron & Earth is led by oilsands workers committed to incorporating more renewable energy projects into our work scope.

What happens to the landscapes where the coal mines exist? Worldwide, former mining lands have become valuable real estate.  This floating solar farm in China, for instance, sits on a coal mine.

Shout out: Thanks, D, for suggesting this topic! :)