How NPOs Are Conserving Energy Through Sustainable TechnologyJayshree Ganguli | May 31, 2016
As natural fossil fuel resources slowly run out, the world needs energy conservation now more than ever. Most of our energy supply comes from fossil fuels like petroleum and coal. These won’t last forever though; the world would come to a screeching halt without enough energy to power our machines and gadgets.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, we need to let nature replenish its resources by shifting to alternative and sustainable energy sources.
In India, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a method through which organisations are encouraged to do their part in saving the Earth and its people.
Vardaan, a consultancy firm, helps businesses achieve their CSR goals by putting them in touch with NPOs (Non-Profit Organisations) that have complementary visions and objectives. Some of these NPOs promote the importance of renewable energy, set up energy conservation projects, and research sustainable energy.
Let’s take a look at how NPOs are helping the environment, one project at a time.
Renewable Energy Endeavours
Almost 72% of India’s electricity is still generated from coal. The major sources of renewable energy are the sun, the wind, and water. Although India does have quite a few hydroelectric projects, they’re not nearly enough to support the electricity demand of the country.
While NPOs may not be able to set up renewable energy projects on their own, they do their part by driving social awareness about clean energy. For example, a Bangalore-based NPO recently came up with an initiative through which they assess the electricity needs of different Indian households, and what they can do to reduce power consumption.
The program suggests ways to save electricity at home, and teaches people simple energy conservation methods that can slowly—but steadily—reduce electricity wastage.
Empowering Women Through Technology
A number of Indian NPOs encourage women from rural and semi-urban regions to become independent and earn their own livelihood. While some of these organisations give women vocational training and teach them life skills, others introduce them to sustainable technologies.
An example of the latter would be an NPO that set up a Women’s Technology Park in the Tumkur district of Karnataka. The main goal of this institution is to train women on sustainable technologies and facilitate enterprises for them. Here, women are educated about greenhouse cultivation, energy efficient lighting, and rainwater harvesting. They’re also given microenterprise training, and are taught how to build smokeless stoves.
On completion of this training, women can lease out facilities available at the institution to run their own enterprises. This way, they become financially independent and are endowed with the knowledge they need to run their businesses on sustainable energy.
Water Management Systems
In 2016, almost 10 major Indian states were badly affected by drought. This number shows that we need rainwater harvesting systems in as many places as possible.
Keeping this in mind, a Karnataka-based NPO helped two villages, Nimbekaipura and Bendiganahalli, set up rainwater harvesting systems. Overexploitation of groundwater, badly placed wells, and poor water management led to water scarcity in these villages. The unavailability of adequate water affected farmers whose livelihoods are dependent on agriculture.
The NPO set up rooftop rainwater harvesting systems in 12 prime locations in both villages. These buildings included the school, the anganwadi centre, community hall, and a few homes. Currently, these systems harvest more than 50,000 litres of water every year.
The NPO also introduced farm ponds and recharge wells to improve the quality of groundwater. All these initiatives have helped the two villages meet their water demands, which includes using treated water for irrigation.
Encouraging Local Entrepreneurs
If you want to develop a green world, you have to encourage entrepreneurs to embrace sustainable technology. This is exactly what a Bangalore-based NPO did for the people of Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode in Kerala.
These places are home to fishing communities which earn their livelihood selling dried fish and prawns harvested from the sea. Until recently, their business was affected by a dearth of cost-efficient dryers to dry fish.
The NPO suggested the use of biomass-based dryers to dry fish and coconuts. The fishing community, entrepreneurs, and the environment all benefited from this solution.
Indian NPOs have been promoting the use of sustainable technology and creating social awareness about energy conservation through a variety of programs. These initiatives not only help the environment but also help people earn their livelihood. If your organisation wants to promote energy conservation projects, getting in touch with these NPOs will help you meet your CSR goals and help save the planet while doing so.