Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Biotechnology: A step towards cleaner enviorenment

We are the mercy of the environment to continuously provide us with clean air, water, good food and energy, without which our survival on the planet is almost impossible. Human has always been greedy; always ready to take and never willing to give anything in return.We definitely need all the resources of nature for our survival, but at what cost? Estimating the cost of services provided by nature is not possible since it is a continuous supplier.

We thus, have some duty towards our mother earth. With global warming and pollution and several other environmental problems, it is very important that we preserve the earth and its resources for our future generation, so that humanity will be able to continue existing and thriving on earth, hence, promoting a sustainable and cleaner way of living.

The question that arises is who is responsible for destroying our environment? Well, knowingly or unknowingly, it is we “humans”, whose careless behavior and attitude towards the environment is leading to its enormous degradation.

It is seen that if we continue to use the resources in the current manner, the time is not far when we will be deprived of even the basic resources like food and water for our living. Hence, the time has come, when we should minimize the waste we generate, the ruthless consumption of resources that we make, not only to make our living possible on this earth, but also let our future generations to smell the beautiful essence of nature.

Humans generate a lot of waste everyday, be it from household, industry, sanitary waste, etc. The increasing population demands for more food, energy and land. It is very obvious that with rapid increase in population the amount of waste generated would definitely increase if we continue to live the current lifestyle.
Some of the waste generated is easily decomposed like vegetable waste, and other organic waste, but some like plastics and polythene bags are non-biodegradable and continue to persist in nature for long time degrading the quality of soil and land. Our day to day activities involve the consumption of plastic, such as plastics for carrying vegetables and fruits, for buying household items, for packaging in the industries, and plastic bottles which form the major part of the trash!

Instead of their regeneration and proper disposal or recycling, we throw it along with the other types of organic and biodegradable waste which is a major threat to the environment and also to the animals who might eat it and die. It is important to keep in mind that mixed waste is extremely harmful and useless, whereas properly segregated waste can be of some use. Since, we belong to this planet, it is our responsibility to save it and prevent its depletion. First of all we need to reduce the amount of waste we generate on daily basis. Secondly, we need to reduce the unnecessary usage of the resources. Thirdly, we need to find ways by which we can recycle the waste and re-use it in a better way rather than throwing it in the form of garbage.

We can reduce the amount of waste we generate by either using it in some other useful way or using only the specific amount required. We can save energy by switching off the electricity devices when not in use. But, how do we recycle our waste so that we can use it in a somewhat better way? It’s simply reusing the waste, instance decomposing the household and kitchen waste and uses it as manure for our plants.

We also generally face a lot of problem while discarding our electronics waste. This type of waste can only be treated by incineration, but that releases a lot of toxic chemicals and gases, harmful for humans. Another way of disposing such waste is by putting it in a landfill, which is a conventional way of disposing electronic waste, but it leads to the degradation of land.Hence, we need proper methods of disposal of different kinds of waste so that they do not persist in the environment and harm it.

Waste management has been a major issue since a very long time. Several methods and technologies have been implemented, among which biotechnology has proved to be highly useful in such a management. One such application of this field is composting, which is an anaerobic microbial driven process that converts organic wastes to stable sanitary humus like material. This material can be safely returned to the environment. It is low moisture, solid substrate fermentation process. This method is primarily used for soil improvement. The more finished product can also be used for production of edible mushroom.

Composting has long been recognized not only as a means of safely treating solid organic wastes, but also as a technique of recycling organic matter. It plays a significant role in future waste management schemes, since it enables the reuse of organic material derived from domestic, agriculture and food industry wastes.

The application of biotechnology has also helped in the treatment of various hazardous waste generated by bio remediation. We see that various chemicals generated by modern technologies posses a great threat to the natural breakdown processes and the natural mechanisms of maintaining ecological balance. Such complex waste can be efficiently treated by bio remediation, popularly known as bio-treatment. It involves the use of naturally existing microorganisms to speed up the breaking down of biological substances and degradation of various materials. The basic principle of this technique is to breakdown the organic contaminants into simple organic compounds like carbon dioxide, water salts, and other harmless products.
Biotechnology has also been successful in treating waste from industry and diary farms. Some of these techniques include treating whey from dairy farms with proper stains of microbes and nutrients, fermentation of lactose to glucose, used in food industry, direct fermentation of yeast to ethanol.
Hence, biotechnology is the emerging field which is solution to most of our current problems. With the various methods and application of this field, we will be able to surely solve the problems like waste management, energy production, which will bring us closer to our aim of “sustainable development”.

It is seen that in recent years, the amount of waste generated has significantly increased and the efficient methods to manage and reduce them have not be known. It is also seen that most of this waste comes from the household. But, before treating any kind of waste, it is necessary that we separate it, i.e. segregate the waste according to the type of waste, so that it is easy to treat it and utilize the waste to make some useful product. Hence, it is important that we keep the following points in mind for segregation of household waste:-
*We should keep separate dustbins for organic waste and other inorganic wastes.
*Among the organic waste, we should carefully separate the dry and wet waste.
*Also, plastic waste should be collected separately, and not mixed with the other types of waste
*Sanitary waste should be kept separately in a paper bag.
* The wet waste should be disposed off daily, to avoid foul smell.
These simple steps of waste disposal could be highly beneficial for the waste treatment process .We need to keep in mind, that every step counts, similarly each individual contribution is useful and helpful.

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