Tuesday, 13 December 2016

What should be our Future Goals: National Energy Conservation Day 2016

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Energy Conservation Day

The 21st century has been the chief consumer of energy. We have dramatically transitioned from natural resources like fire, water and wind, to oil for large-scale production. Compared to the years before Industrial Revolution that took place sometime in 1740 (new machineries were introduced for agricultural revolution), the energy consumption was less and our activities did not threaten the environment the way it does today. Today, as we sit comfortably in our office or home, energy is at the verge of depletion simply because it is not being used efficiently.

In India, Energy Conservation Act was passed in 2001. It provides a policy framework and enforces large energy consumers to follow certain norms to ensure the usage is efficient. 

We at Akshaya Patra, a charity for children, use renewable energy during our mid-day meal operations. Our Vasanthapura kitchen in Bengaluru has a solar plant which produces up to 70 units of power a day. This energy is used to power applications like fans, computers and other basic systems. Apart from solar plant, biogas plants are also employed at Akshaya Patra that produce 40-50 kg of biogas and will consume about 1000 kg of waste. With support from donors and the government, this Foundation feeds over 1.6 million children on every school day. 

Solar Plant
Solar Plant at Akshaya Patra VK Hill Kitchen

Today, the challenge is not just shifting from excess energy usage to renewables; it is also about educating children and ourselves on how to save the planet’s resources.

Energy depletion is not a nation-specific issue but a global one. On National Energy Conservation Day, 2016 (observed annually on December 14), let us understand how we can conserve energy as individuals and contribute towards a better tomorrow. 

Tips for Conservation

  • Turn off the water taps and try rainwater harvesting
  • Switch to LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs 
  • Limit the use of car and bikes to avoid excess carbon emissions
  • Switch to solar power  
  • Reuse and recycle materials 

Why is it important for all of us to conserve energy?

It is a cycle - earth generates energy and we, as humans, depend on the energy to fuel our living. For instance, fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are the primary source of our living and they are non-renewable resources. If coal (majorly used in power plants) gradually drop out of our sight, our existence itself will get crippled. If these fossil fuels and other natural resources continue to be utilized the way it is done today, there is a chance we would fail to protect the planet we call home.

Each one of us (7.5 billion people) is responsible for our actions. When we take up the responsibility of protecting the Planet, we may get to see a better future!

Akshaya Patra is an NGO based in Bengaluru. With support from government and donors who choose tax deductible donations, the organisation continues to provide nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.6 million children in India. As a donor, you will receive 100% income tax exemption. Donate today!


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