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Twenty top religious leaders from India Sign “Interfaith Climate Change Statement” Today

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Indian National Flag via Flickr by Sanyam, Bahga

250 Religious Leaders Present the Interfaith Climate Change Statement to the President of the UN General Assembly

New Delhi/ April 18th, 2016:    Four days before the signing of the historic Paris Agreement, The Interfaith Climate Change Statement has been signed by two hundred fifty global faith leaders’ from fifty countries. This demonstrates a positive sentiment towards making the Paris Agreement work; and urges its prompt ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible.

The signatories include twenty religious leaders from India – Swami Agnivesh, President of the World Council of Arya Samaj “Society of Nobles”, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leader,H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Co-Founder/chair Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of Living Foundation, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leader, Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders,Swamiji Jagadguru Karmayogi Charukeerty Bhattarak, Pontiff of Jain Shravanabelagola Math, ,Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami. A leading figure in the Vaishnava tradition. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyassi, Chief Imam, All India Organisation of Mosques, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leader.

As well as  Dharmacharya Shantum Seth, Ahimsa Trust, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists,Rev. Dr. Mar Atsongchanger, President, National Council of Churches in India,Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, President, Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences (FABC),Ven. Khandro Rinpoche, Teacher in both the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, Mata Amritanandamayi, Amma (“Mother”), Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders,Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; President, Divine Shakti Foundation, Dr..A.K Merchant, Trustee, Lotus Temple and National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is,

Rev. Dr. Solomon Rongpi, General Secretary, Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India,

Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami. A leading figure in the Vaishnava tradition. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leader, H.H. Radhanath Swami,H.H Swami Chandra. Initiated into the Usadin order by Mahant Girdhari Dassji. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders,Lieutenant Colonel Dasari Daniel, National Secretary, The Salvation Army,Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India,

Dr. Wahidudin Khan, Founder of the Islamic Centre – Urdu Islamic Institution, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders,Dr. Acharya Lokesh Muni Ji, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati,Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Director, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery,Dharmacharya Shantum Seth, Ahimsa Trust, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists, Gunbir Singh, Chairman, EcoAmritsar, H.H Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji. Youngest ever swamiji to ascend the Paryaaya Peetam in Udupi. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, Telesphore Placidus Cardinal Toppo, Cardinal Priest and Archbishop of Ranchi in the Roman Catholic Church, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders.

The declaration “outlines religious leaders’ and faith communities’ positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement” and:

  1. Urges governments to rapidly sign, ratify and implement the Paris Agreement, and to increase pledges to reduce emissions in line with keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels
  2. Insists on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5C goal within reach
  3. Strongly advocates for greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage
  4. Urges the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
  5. Encourages faith communities to reduce emissions in their homes, workplaces and centres of worship and to support and stand in solidarity with communities already impacted by climate change
  6. Calls for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables, including within our own communities

The statement was signed today in Church Center of the UN followed by a press conference. The Statement also reaffirms the faith community’s support for increased ambition in climate change action and for the commitment to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Paris Agreement will be signed on Earth Day (22 nd April,2016) in New York. India along with rest of the countries will be present for a high level signing ceremony convened by UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

 

 

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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