Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Overview of Climate and Climate Pattern in Bhutan

Bhutan is a small landlocked country characterized by rugged terrain with elevations ranging from around 100 to more than 7000 meters above the sea level. In order to separate areas with similar sets of potentials and constraints for assessment of land suitability and potential productivity, Bhutan can be broadly categorised in to three agro-ecological zones:

1.      Sub-tropical (100-1800 masl) zone constitute the Himalayan foothills in the southern belt (LCMP, 2010). It is characterized by high humidity and heavy rainfall with temperature ranging from 150 C to 300C all year round.
2.      Warm temperate (1800-3600 masl) zone are the main central valleys characterized by cool winters and hot summers with moderate rainfall. Summer temperatures are usually from 150 C to 260 C while winter temperature ranges from -40C to 150C.
3.      Alpine (3600-7500 masl) zone is composed of snow-capped peaks and alpine meadows above with very cold winters and cool summers.

Bhutan currently has forests coverage of 70.46% (LCMP, 2010) of the land area and sequestration by forests is estimated at 6.3 million tons of carbon. Emissions in 2013 are estimated at 2.2 million tons of carbon making Bhutan a net sink for green house gases. However, Bhutan remains highly vulnerable to emerging climate change impacts due to its geographic location and dependence of country’s economy on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, hydropower and forestry. Climate variability has shown considerable impact on the glaciers and snows in the Himalayan Mountains, which are the source of drinking water, irrigation of agriculture fields and generation of hydropower.

Existing information show further warming of the atmosphere in Bhutan, as is happening globally. This change is occurring against the background of high climate variability, but the signal is clear. Air temperatures are rising steadily and this warming has seen Bhutan experiencing more warm weather and extreme events such as glacier retreat posing GLOF threats, reduction in availability of agricultural water, change in phenology, loss of habitat and increased incidences of pest and diseases over the recent years. Further, number of studies revealed rapid changes in average temperatures, precipitation patterns, and increased risks of climate related hazards in the recent years.  Department of Agriculture reported that the climate-induced hazards such as excessive rains, flash floods, windstorms, hailstorm, droughts etc. have caused massive loss and damage to farming households. There is also evidence of new pests and diseases affecting crops and livestock production.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Building Greenhouses in Greener way

Greenhouses are easy to build. Bamboos often referred to as poor men’s timber and few meters of polyethene plastics are the only requirements. You have to erect bamboos on the edges of the selected plot where your greenhouse will be installed. You can add few more bamboos in the middle to make the skeletal structure more strong.

Now, you have to cut the bamboos in such a way that it is kept long and easy to bend. Place few (depending on the size of the greenhouse) these crafted bamboos over the skeletal structure which will support the polythene plastics. Once the aforementioned structure is ready which typically will take just around 4-5 hours, place the polythene plastic over the structure. That’s it; your greenhouse for use.

When bamboos are used to constructed greenhouses, I say it as a sustainable approach to agriculture. There is no use of metallic pipes which may be costing huge but bamboos are cheap and sometimes you can find it for free in the wild. Metallic pipes may rust which may be sometimes dangerous for your health. Bamboos are strong too, it will last at least for ten years and then it can be replaced.

This is how you will contribute to your environment while making lots of savings. Other benefits of having a greenhouse include growing your own vegetable all around the year reducing your exposure to GMOs or other vegetables that are grown with the help of chemicals. 

If you have bamboos around you, it's not just greenhouses you can make out of it. There are a lot of environment-friendly products like baskets, kitchen items, hats, and so forth that can be made out of Bamboos. Make use of poor men's timber to make yourself rich.

Friday, April 1, 2016

3 Basic Green Habits that you can simply put in practice

Let us Eat Green
Eating greeneries like spinach, cabbage, and other vegetables like peas, beans, etc. will provide all the essential micronutrient and protein requirement to your body. These vegetables will also act as roughage for your proper functioning of digestive systems and provide fibres to your body. These vegetables are also low in fat content and help proper functioning of your cardiovascular systems preventing us from hypertension and stroke.

Moreover, it has been proved that vegetables like sags and carrots improve your vision as they contain enzymes like lutein and zeaxanthin that absorb harmful radiations like UV and blue lights  hence helping protect our eyes. These vegetables contain carotenoids which act as an antioxidant and have strong cancer-fighting properties.

Peas, beans, and other pulses contain proteins. Normally, people resort to meat to derive their body’s protein requirements and eating meat cannot be considered as a green habit. These leguminous plants are also said to improve the soil fertility thus giving enough reason to practice crop rotation if you are into farming business.

Let us Read Green
Follow my blog to read something green and practice some of the green habits that I will be consolidating for your easy convenience. And if you are enthusiastic and keen in reading more about the environment, green and sustainability, you may follow HUFFPOST GREEN, Greennews.ng, Grist, RealClimate, Treehugger, Freecycle among others.

Green Sleeping
Always go to your bed early and put off all the lights before you fall asleep. There are certain things you should avoid closer to your bedtime: alcohol – at initial points alcohol makes you fast at sleep, however, with time it hinders to keep you asleep and unfortunately, you have to stay awake for longer duration; meat and cheese- these foods also triggers some hormones in our body system that keeps us awake for long; and caffeine – our body take huge amount of time to digest caffeine and it blocks production of sleep-inducing hormone.

Early to bed and early to rise makes men physically and mentally fit. Remember to wake early and take a shower. This helps to keep you active throughout the day. Moreover, you will have enough time to enjoy the fresh early morning air and rising sun making it a fun way to start your day.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


There are thousands of lighting appliances or systems in the market but one should be SMART enough in choosing the best lighting system that helps personal economy, which consumes less energy and is environment friendly. Following three lighting systems are my THREE SMART systems and you can do more research for your smart systems or simply follow the suit if these systems convince you:

1.      LED  Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are bit expensive but are relatively cheaper when compared with the life span of Compact Florescent Lights and other incandescent bulbs. CFLs contain mercury and pollute the home electromagnetically. One LED bulb is equivalent to five or more CFL bulbs and 13 or more incandescent bulbs. Moreover, LED bulbs consume less energy and are a solution to energy efficient lighting.  

LED Bulb

2.      Daylight Harvesting
This technology uses ceiling or wall to capture daylight. Typically, using transparent or translucent ceiling or wall material can help capture daylight thus reducing the use of electricity. There are more complicated approaches or techniques involved in daylight harvesting like control switch and automatic systems which can be implemented to illuminate our homes based on the required illumination.

3.      Solar Candles or Solar Lantern
Solar candles use photocells or solar panels to derive energy and store in the batteries which in turn lights LED bulbs. This is a best replacement for ordinary candles or kerosene lamps. Solar candles are pro health lighting system while usage of ordinary candles or kerosene lamps poses risk to our lungs through poisonous emissions.

Solar Candle/Lamp

While these are the best lighting systems in terms of individual health and environment, I personally find it very practical and recommend all readers to give a thought of doing something GREEN through simple ways like switching to environment friendly lighting system for the sustainability of our environment. We are bound to exit the EARTH one day but generations will follow, let us safe our environment. Let us commit to reduce pollution and reuse particulars that are reusable. Over exploitation is directly proportional to our own extinction. Thinking green, acting green, eating green, greening homes and cities and so forth are some of the few strategies to avoid our disappearance so, let us all GO GREEN.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Incentivizing Waste Management

Providing certain incentives to the players involved can really reduce the amount of waste going in to the landfill. Some of the classic examples in Bhutan are:

1.      Waste collection competition in Schools of Bhutan
Most of the schools in Bhutan organised waste collection competition among the classes and I find it very amazing idea towards reducing and recycling wastes. Every day, students collect pet bottles and other recyclable wastes and drop to their schools. On an appropriate day, school administration evaluates which class has collected the most and declares top three collectors and awards cash prizes.

Students are involved in some green action while schools are also selling theses recyclable wastes and earning some budget for the school. This approach has created lot of awareness among students themselves and their parents as well. Parents are seen collecting pet bottles for their children and storing it in a safe place. This has ensured reduced amount of recyclable wastes in our surrounding.

2.      B-Mobile Voucher card collection rewards
B-Mobile is one of the most used cellular networks in Bhutan provided by Bhutan Telecom. The B-Mobile voucher cards are quite large in size compared to other international recharge cards. It is actually four times larger than Indian recharge cards and when these cards are carelessly disposed, it really messes our environment. At one point of time, these cards where everywhere from streets to foot paths unattended.
Two year back it was announced that for every 100 used cards, Bhutan Telecom will give away on recharge card worth Nu. 50. Since then people started collecting unattended used cards while some saved the cards they used which were later submitted to Bhutan Telecom in exchange of free recharge cards.
Since then it is very rare to find even torn recharge cards in the street. These cards have become a kind of treasure for many and they are eagerly waiting for the next announcement I suppose.

Personally, I found these techniques very effective in reducing especially solid wastes which can be recycled and reused.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Maintain a Small Garden for variety of reasons.

Maintaining Vegetable Garden, Flower Gardens and plantation in and around your space should be your normal practice making yourself a horticulturist or a floriculturist. By doing so you are promoting the culture of going green and inculcating a green habit within you. This is a best way of spending your leisure time and making some savings from your garden.

Beautiful Blooming Orchid
Orchid Flower in the Front Entrance of a House
Growing vegetables like chilies and other green vegetables in your empty space is a potential saving approach, perhaps a good source of income if you have enough space for gardening rather than keeping it ideal with wastes and bushes making if unsafe environment to live in. spending your leisure time in garden is also a greatest way of refreshing your mind and keeping yourself fit both mentally and physically.  During favorable season growing your own vegetables in your small garden can relief yourself from unnecessary debts at times and can make quite a good amount of savings too. More so, you can enjoy your own organically grown products as products in the market sometime contains high doses of chemicals as they were grown with a profit motive. Growing vegetables for your self is sometimes assuring yourself a good and safe food.

Maintaining flower gardens are hobbies for many and it makes the environment extremely beautiful. Having your own beautiful flower gardens is a way of creating your own space for recreation and learning. Most cities and towns have very limited space for recreation and learning for your children. Besides keeping yourself engaged for a better cause, your children will also learn from your doings and the environment you create for them. Visiting parks and recreational gardens can tax your pocket and having it at your door step is no wonder a great reason for you to relax and refresh.

Flower Garden at My Place

“Think globally and act locally”. When you have enough time and resources to invest on your cars and luxury items, you should think and have plans to invest in making the place you live safe and sustainable. If you are driving a expensive SUV in a highly polluted city it may not be the desirable way of life or living style. May be walking around a beautiful garden filled with beautiful flowers, lawn and trees is the most desirable sort of environment everyone is subconsciously looking for as most are seen complaining of polluted air, polluted water and dirty environment although they are the contributors to that unpleasant environment.

Bamboo Plantation

“Charity begins at home”. Let us all try making our own surroundings clean and livable now onward. Let us go back, check and see how green and clean our courtyards and empty spaces around our houses or apartment are. If you have been practicing what I am suppose to be preaching for a reason, that is great and salute for your continuity. If you haven’t, let us sit back and think what makes your happier. If driving SUVs are not making you happier, I bet maintaining clean and green gardens around yourself will definitely make you a lot happier and bring peace in your mind. Just give a try and see how you feel. Most people even fail to try for which I suggest at least give a try even it is a failure. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bio-Gas; An Invention Made to Sustain the World!

Getting a Bio-gas installed brings a feeling of empowerment to a farmer. When Bio-gas program was first initiated in Bhutan, many farmers were showing reluctant in perusing the game as they were suppose to bear the 40 per cent of the cost though it came as a government grant program. However, now many Bhutanese farmers proudly cook stuffs on a bio-gas and many of them feels empowered. Their cooking environment has changed from smoky to clean kitchen. Farmers need not have to worry about firewood anymore. More so, as many Bhutanese household heads are women, their daily life style has changed a lot.

A churned mixture of dung and water (in a structure called churner) is filled in a cubical pit dug with certain specific engineering requirements (digester) which is being connected with the stove in the kitchen basically forms the structural component of the bio-gas. The chemistry involves rotting of dung with the help of micro-organisms. It is said that theses micro-organisms undergo anaerobic respiration in absence of oxygen and produces a foul smelling gas called methane. This gas is finally captured for cooking and lighting purposes.

A Complete Set of Bio-Gas Digester Plant

This technique is viewed as an innovative action towards resilience climate change. It does not involve burning of fuel wood thus avoiding carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other green house gasses. I personally find this technology very useful and it is a way of our contribution to the world towards realizing green economy if one could install.

Except for the initial investment there is not much of cost involved. It saves your time besides keeping your kitchen or room free of smoke thus making yourselves less susceptible to diseases. When you have a option to lead a clean life and making impacts to the global concerns through your small contributions, it is worth investing and creating a feeling of joy within you.

Cooking on Bio-gas

Nothing goes as waste. The by-product generated through this technology, generally referred to as slurry is a best bio-fertilizer. You can either use in your garden or dry it and sell it in the market. Bio-fertilizers are gaining momentum in the market as many are concerned of their health and trying to go organic or limit the use of chemicals.

Reduce the impact on natural resources like forest if you can’t afford to plant trees. One of the best ways of gripping dual benefit and reducing your pressure on natural resources is through adopting of bio-gas technology. It does not consume too much of your time as the gas normally becomes operational within three months.

Bio-gas construction

Forest is thinning, water is drying and snow caps are rarely visible. These are due to rapid human exploitation. Everything seems very unsustainable and I guess time has come for us to think of innovative actions and saving the environment. One such simple innovation is bio-gas and I urge everyone support farmers in Bhutan who are genuinely interested in pursuing this technology in the interest of greater cause.  

While writing for a blog I also want to create awareness on responsible living and sustainable future through our innovative actions. More so I want to request readers willing to support farmers in Bhutan in perusing their bio-gas dreams can support either through Department of Livestock or directly contacting the farmers. If interested, leave a comment and I will help introduce to the farmers too.