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Unique Universe

Make a difference

By Raida Kifait Reza

Use air conditioning as less as you can
Air-conditioning works by ducting air across the colder, heat-absorbing side of a thermostatically controlled refrigeration system and directing it back into the living environment. In water-cooled air-conditioning units the waste heat is carried away by the flow of water. In portable units, the heat is generally fed away via a flexible hose that has to be put out of a window. While this might stop us sweating on roasting summer days, it also adds around 50 per cent to the energy costs of a building and in cars increases fuel consumption by 10% to 14%! The refreshing air that comes out of an air-conditioning system has an evil twin: carbon-laden exhaust from the utilities that power it! Hence, minimize use of air conditioning.

Use CFL lights
A light bulb gives out light energy by burning a tungsten filament at about 3000K. CFL lights do not use energy heating a simple tungsten filament till it glows like an "standard" incandescent lamp, and they are three to five times as efficient at light production for a given wattage and voltage. . A typical 100 watt tungsten filament incandescent lamp may convert only 10% of its power input to visible white light, whereas typical fluorescent lamps convert about 22% of the power input to visible white light. About two-thirds to three-quarters less heat is given off by fluorescent lamps compared to an equivalent installation of other lamps.

Decrease Pesticide usage
Even if they keep our house safe from bugs, they can damage and/or accumulate within the environment, they may kill non-target species, they may be dangerous to users/pets/native species, and they can drift from their original point of application. The gas that these pesticides release contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer.

Compost your vegetable scraps
Green materials such as grass clippings and vegetable peels are ideal sources that liberate nitrogen while composting. It's environmentally safe because the reduction of waste can reduce garbage in city dumps and landfills. Composting allows our landfills to be less full and helps separate garden waste from more toxic waste so that less infertile or toxic degraded matter ends up in our land in the long run. It improves the fertility of the soil and can be a rich fertilizer.

Copy and print on both sides of paper
Paper is made from trees, and trees in Forests store 50% of the world's terrestrial carbon. Half the world's forests have already been cleared or burned, and 80% of what's left has been seriously degraded…and 42% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper. Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste, and if the United States cut office paper use by just 10% it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases -- the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road.

Sources: about.com, wikipedia.com

Melodrama and all that jazz

By Anika Tabassum

OH my God. Not one of those again? Really, this is getting terribly, terribly boring. The last thing you'd want to see when you open your home page in search of some entertainment and some catching-up-with-others time. But no, instead there's drama. A little amount would've been tolerable. But no, lots and lots of it.

People like to say they don't bring the drama with them. So why are they so bent on self-contradiction? Think status updates. They're supposed to be fun and expressive. Occasionally they are moody. What they are not supposed to be, day after day, is whiny to the point of 'I hate everything and everyone in my life' to 'I want to die'.

Some of these angsty, hormone-driven teenagers baffle. What are they complaining about when they've got almost everything at their fingertips? Oh no, their parents dare scold them when they're out doing mischief? Their boyfriends/girlfriends dare squabble with them? The world collapses.

Someone needs to teach these people how to act more maturely, because really, complaining consistently is not cool and only shows shallowness of character. They need to learn how to cope better not just for the rest of the saner teenagers who are more or less happy with their lives and would rather work on fixing the problems rather than complain, but also for themselves. They need to appreciate what they've got better.

A major section of the well-off teenage population of Bangladesh needs to realize that they are a very, very lucky bunch. They've got parents who almost never say no to their children's logical demands, work very, very hard for their children and would go to any lengths to ensure the very best for them. If they want to go anywhere, the car is at their disposal.

They don't need to work to finance their education. They've got tutors for almost every subject they want. They have also got the trendiest and most up-to-date gadgets and accessories. But you tell them all these, and they give you those deadly stares. Or they tell you to buzz off, which is equally offensive.

If these people have genuine problems, everyone would be glad to help, but make-believe sorrows do not buy our sympathy. Splashing every detail for sordid detail of your life on the Internet is neither trendy nor likely to improve your life. So really, the point is?


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