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‘One third of world food produced is thrown away’

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Helsinki, June 6: One third of the food produced in the world is thrown away, said Janez Potocnik, co-chair of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) International Resource Panel here on Monday.

He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the first World Forum of circular economy (WCEF2017) which convened in Helsinki and attracted some 1,700 experts from 90 countries, Xinhua reported.

Potocnik also said that nearly 800 million people are hungry in the world, while over 2 billion people are obese, calling for public policy and political will to solve the problem.

He said migration problem is one of the repercussions caused by the imbalance of resources.

“We should refocus from addressing the consequences to the reasons that lead to economic and social imbalance”, he said.

The forum hosted by the Finnish innovation fund Sitra aims to promote circular economy as a model for economic growth.

Sergei Ivanov, representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said circular economy will be of major importance to Russia.

He mentioned plans to offer tax incentives to producers that involve recycling.

Matti Vanhanen, Finland’s former prime minister and the chairman of the supervisors of Sitra, noted that over half of the participants were business people.

He told them to proceed “even when politicians make wrong decisions”.

Mikko Kosonen, CEO of Sitra, said the global business has realised that sustainable development is in their interest. He could not see tangible political opposition either, but he added at the press briefing that “he did not know about the US”.

Kosonen predicted circular economy will be a new achievement Finland will be known for, along with the basic income scheme now being worked on. He recalled the welfare state and general free education as earlier milestones.

Mari Panzar, director of the carbon neutral circular economy at Sitra, said the fund first started the project with encouraging the sale of surplus school food in a Finnish town. Finland offers free school lunches but the unused food had customarily been thrown away. The system later widened to hundreds of schools.

Sitra has also acted a catalyst in creating sustainable mining norms in Finland.

“It was difficult at the start as the mining industry was concerned about its interests,” she said.

A total of 130 speakers will be heard during the two-day conference.

IANs

Health

Exercise 4-5 times daily to delay ageing

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New York, May 21: Want to stay young for long? If so, start exercising four to five times a day as it may help keep your heart stay healthy and slow down ageing, according to researchers.

Research showed that different sizes of arteries are affected differently by varying amounts of exercise.

While exercising for about two to three days a week for about 30 minutes may be sufficient to minimise stiffening of middle-sized arteries, exercising for about four to five days a week is required to keep the larger central arteries youthful.

The study would help “develop exercise programmes to keep the heart youthful and even turn back time on older hearts and blood vessels”, said one of the study authors, Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas.

With age, arteries — which transport blood in and out of the heart — become prone to stiffening, increasing the risk of heart diseases.

For the study, published in The Journal of Physiology, the team examined 102 people over 60 years old, with a consistent lifelong exercise history.

The participants were divided into four groups depending on their exercise history — Sedentary: less than 2 exercise sessions per week; Casual Exercisers: 2-3 exercise sessions per week; Committed Exercisers: 4-5 exercise sessions per week and Masters Athletes: 6-7 exercise sessions per week.

A lifelong history of casual exercise (two-three times a week) resulted in more youthful middle-sized arteries, which supply oxygenated blood to the head and neck.

However, committed exercisers (4-5 times per week) also had more youthful large central arteries, which provide blood to the chest and abdomen, in addition to healthier middle-sized ones.

Larger arteries need more frequent exercise to slow down ageing, the researchers said.

The findings will help see “if we can reverse the ageing of a heart and blood vessels by using the right amount of exercise at the right time”, Levine explained.

IANS

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A check list before your road trip starts

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Road trip holiday travel

New Delhi, May 18: Before you set out for the adventurous road trip on your holidays, it is imperative to carry certain things to make your life easier. A grooming kit, adequate liquids and insurance are the most important, suggest experts.

Saunak Ghosh, Chief Marketing Officer at OneAssist Consumer Solutions Pvt Ltd, and Akshali Shah, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Ltd, have listed a few must-haves.

* Backpack: When you’re constantly tossing bags in and out of the car, they better be able to handle plenty of abuse. Certain bags available in the market are made in such a way that they sustain in all kind of weathers and situations.

* Personal care kit: It takes extra amount of care to keep yourself well-groomed and hygienic. Always stay hygienic and carry the essential personal care kit on your road trip.

* Hydration: Road trips in summer bring a lot of excitement and a need to keep our bodies energised and hydrated. Summer is the perfect time to try out different hydration drinks. Flavoured milk or buttermilk can be your helpful companions on the journey as it keeps you away from dehydration and gives instant energy, without compromising on the taste.

* Insurance: Insuring your travel is something you would feel is unnecessary but you never know that taking a chance on it might become the biggest mistake committed.

It is also advisable to insure your priced possessions like your phone, laptop, wallet, debit/credit/ATM cards. Usually taking insurance creates an image of a tedious office, hours of wait and long queues. But with protection and assistance services platforms you can do it within no time and insure all your possessions.

* Spare chargers and powerbanks: Always arm yourself with spare chargers and powerbanks for worst case scenarios.

* Emergency and first aid kit: Always have a first aid kit in your car. Also, keep a check on everything which is inside the first aid box and upgrade whenever you see the necessity.

An emergency kit should contain battery booster cables, two light sticks, reflective vest, emergency rain poncho, warning triangle, whistle, tyre pressure gauge and window breaker.

IANS

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Indians taking more spiritual trips this summer: Study

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New Delhi, May 17: Spiritually motivated tourism has emerged as one of the most vital components of India’s tourism industry with places like Puri, Varanasi, Tirupati and Shirdi topping the list, says a study conducted by travel marketplace ixigo.

According to the study, more and more Indians are travelling to connect with their religious roots. With a rise in spiritual tourism, popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi and Puri are witnessing higher hotel bookings than other cities this summer.

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Puri Jagannath Temple

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The Great Ganges Ghats of Varanasi

The study reveals that there has been a month-on-month growth of 60 per cent for Puri, 48 per cent for Varanasi, 34 per cent for Tirupati and 19 per cent growth for Shirdi in the hotel bookings, said a statement.

Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, Tirupati

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Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi

Travellers plan a short-stay of an average two days during their visit to religious destinations. Also, Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget. Around 82 per cent tourists prefer budget hotels in Varanasi, followed by 78 per cent, 68 per cent and 73 per cent in Shirdi, Tirupati and Puri respectively. Only 32 per cent Indians prefer 4/5 star hotel while visiting Tirupati followed by 27 per cent for Puri.

Commenting on the findings Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO and Co-founder said: “Looking at the spike in bookings, it’s safe to say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India. It is fascinating to see that young adults are showing quite a high inclination towards exploring indigenous cultural experiences in our country.”

IANS

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