Bee Stops: Dutch City Installs Roof Gardens In All Bus Stops To Preserve Endangered Bees & Reduce Air Pollution

Image Credits: Hans Dinkelberg / @uitdragerij, Eva (Instagram)

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Bus stops around the world have time and again grabbed headlines – sometimes for their artistic appeal or sometimes for their sustainability quotient, being built out of recycled plastic. However, Dutch city Utrecht surely went a step ahead of all in terms of redefining their bus stops. The city achieved the unthinkable with all her bus stops now converted to picturesque bee-stops. 

Precisely, 316 bus stops in Utrecht now sport a rooftop garden vibrant with summer blooms, which invite honeybees and bumblebees – two endangered species in the country. The initiative by Utrecht municipality has received wide acclaim from around the world.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

Bee Stops: Hotspots For Biodiversity

According to BrightVibes, the bus stop terraces have become mini biodiversity hotspots with sprightly coloured seasonal flowers interspersed with sedum plants. The bee-stop gardens have been created and are maintained by dedicated municipality workers.

The gardens not only provide an aesthetic respite from the concrete jungle all around but also help in keeping the bus stops cooler and cosier. They also capture dust, dirt and airborne germs as well as conserves rainwater.

Plans of installing solar panels atop these bee stops are in the pipeline for Utrecht municipality. “A green roof is good for a healthy and livable city … that can, therefore, cope better with climate problems,” states the official website of Utrecht.

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Environmental Incentives In Utrecht

Interestingly, all the municipality workers in the city commute exclusively in electric vehicles, since Utrecht has started replacing their diesel and petrol-driven public transport with electric buses and cars. Moreover, the electricity for these vehicles is mostly sourced from windmills.

The city aims to become completely CO2-neutral in transport by 2028. Striving towards that goal, the authorities have initiated extra incentive benefits for bus drivers who opt for environment-friendly vehicles and fuels. In fact, the drivers are nominated for periodic awards based on how ‘cleaner, better and safer’ they drive, states Provincie Utrecht.

The ambit of environmental incentives in Utrecht is not restricted to bus stops and public transport only. The inhabitants of this beautiful Dutch city are also eligible for special incentives if they create roof gardens and green patches in their own homes.

No Risk Of Bee Stings

Around 358 types of bees are found in the Netherlands, most of which are endangered species, enlisted in the Dutch Red List (RL). Utrecht’s path-breaking initiative towards conserving bees will possibly be replicated across the Netherlands. Although many around the globe are sceptical about bee stops being prone to more bee stings, experts assure that bees are actually very gentle species which do not attack humans or other animals unless they are countered.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

Image Credits: Hans Dinkelberg / @uitdragerij, Eva (Instagram)

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

The Logical Indian ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶನಿವಾರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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