Pigeons, Trees And Dogs Talk About Our Polluting Ways On National Pollution Control Day


Pigeons, Trees And Dogs Talk About Our Polluting Ways On National Pollution Control Day image Godrej Aer 767x375.jpg

We know pollution is for real but hardly bother to spare a thought on what each one of us can do. Most of us plant trees and rest in assurance that our bit to pollution control has been done with. Hence the National Pollution Control Day on December 2 popped up as the right occasion for creating awareness on what people can do to combat air pollution.

Godrej aer, the home and car fragrances brand from Godrej Consumer Products, is putting the spotlight on vehicular pollution through its latest CSR initiative launched on National Pollution Control Day, called ‘#ChangeTheAir’. The idea of the campaign is to enable people to play active roles in controlling pollution levels in the city.

Drawing from the insight that vehicular pollution is a significant contributor to air pollution, ‘#ChangeTheAir’ believes that just keeping the PUC under check can alleviate this situation. But, the challenge is to bring in consumer awareness on the importance of regular PUC check.

How does one really go about urging people to renew their PUC certificates?

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Godrej aer’s #ChangeTheAir added an interesting quirk where animated flora and fauna spread the message. Conceptualized by Creativeland Asia, the campaign has devised three digital films (produced by Supari Studios) where a pigeon named Tara, a tree named Sunny and a street dog named Pinto who loves to chase cars, talk about the pollution we’ve been creating.

In their own quirky tone, each of them conveys the difficulty they face and intimidate car owners to renew their PUC regularly. Here, Tara the president of the High Flying Royal Society of Pigeons, warns people what she plans on doing if we fail to renew our PUC certificate.

Then there’s Pinto’s take on pollution:

The digital films are coupled with a simple microsite where one can sign up for a personal reminder service. It integrates a basic function that will enable car owners to receive timely reminders for their PUC renewal. A car customer has to register their phone number, the year in which the car was bought and the last PUC renewal date. Once this information is fed in, the car consumer will automatically receive reminders few days prior to the last date of PUC validity.

Additionally, the microsite features a mobile number that people can give a missed call to. For every 10 missed calls received, Godrej aer will plant a tree and help fight air pollution.

Per the company release, Godrej aer will be launching a PUC app to auto remind vehicle owners to renew their PUCs on time.

The Godrej Aer Twitter page has been taken over by Pinto today with a cool contest on #changetheair:

Simplifying PUC certificate renewal

Godrej aer’s #ChangeTheAir has hit the right spot. Instilling a new habit requires continuous reminders and encouragement. The campaign not only manages to make car owners conscious about vehicular pollution but also helps them with an easy reminder service for their PUC renewal. A cool CSR initiative by Godrej Aer to bring in a change in attitude.

Engaging people with contests hosted by the personified animals is a good way to connect with people. However the microsite can introduce some incentives for people who sign up, given that it is a database of car owners who’d like to be rewarded for keeping their PUC in check. Perhaps some gamification like badges and social sharing can be introduced to make PUC certificate renewal a fun thing.

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This Kickstarter Project Could Be the Solution to Overheated Apartments and Excessive Pollution


If you live in an apartment building with steam heat, you’ve probably spent your winter sweating away while your radiator turned your place into a tropical paradise. But with a new internet-connected product currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, your days of uncontrolled heat might be over.

a radiator with and without a cozy coverA radiator without a Cozy cover (left) and a radiator with a Cozy cover (right)

To help alleviate residents suffering from antiquated steam heat systems, New York-based startup Radiator Labs is launching the Cozy radiator cover, which will allow residents to control the heat in their apartments using their smartphones.

Why do radiators make apartments so hot anyway? Old steam heating systems distribute heat unequally across buildings, with units closest to the building’s boiler often receiving the most heat. Landlords usually run boilers long enough to heat the coldest units to at least the minimum temperature required by law, which often heats the hottest units to unbearable temperatures.

How the Cozy Radiator Cover Works


Radiator Labs Founder and CEO Dr. Marshall Cox was inspired to create Cozy while living in grad student housing at Columbia University. “The steam heat was horrible,” Cox wrote me in an email. But while Cox could stand the varying temperatures, his brother could not. “The actual trigger was my twin brother, who was living with me in my studio apartment for six months (working in a Broadway show). He bore the brunt of the temperature swings and didn’t hold back from complaining. So I built the first prototype on my radiator to appease him. It worked so well that we brought it to a larger audience, and Radiator Labs was born.”

Installing Cozy is easy, and controlling it is even easier. To begin using Cozy, just place it over your radiator, plug it in and connect it to your apartment’s Wi-Fi. Radiator Labs guarantees Cozy will fit your radiator, so you shouldn’t have to struggle to get it to fit your apartment’s setup. Next, use the Cozy smartphone app to set your apartment’s temperature, program heating times and activate vacation settings. It’s like having a thermostat for your apartment.

Cozy works by trapping the heat released from your radiator and, once your apartment’s temperature dips below what you’ve set, blowing that stored heat into your apartment. By trapping your radiator’s heat and releasing it more evenly over extended periods of time, Cozy decreases the large temperature fluctuations common to steam heated-apartments. In the chart above you can see how Cozy leveled temperatures in two of its test units.

Working to Reduce Environmental Pollution

Blizzard outside, Cozy inside. We've got you covered

Due to overheating, the average radiator wastes about 20 gallons of oil every year. When you think about all the radiators in use across New York alone, that adds up to a lot of unnecessary pollution! Since Cozy eliminates overheating from apartments, residents no longer need to open their windows to cool down their apartments throughout the winter. In turn, closed windows allow heat energy to transfer to other places in the building, ideally heating colder apartments faster and allowing the boiler to turn off earlier – and use less oil. “Every radiator that has a Cozy installed helps reduce heating waste to a certain extent,” Cox said.

This sounds like a great way to reduce environmental pollution, especially if entire buildings adopt Cozy covers. When I asked Cox if Radiator Labs planned to work with landlords to install Cozy covers building-wide, he told me they “absolutely” are. “We currently have two full-building pilots with Columbia University where we are optimizing full building heating.” The startup hopes to make commercial versions of this system available by fall.

Cozy Needs Your Help

Cozy has been in development for over two years and is being tested in over 250 apartments at Columbia and New York University. Now through its Kickstarter campaign Radiator Labs will bring Cozy to market by October of this year, just when winter heating will being starting up again. If you suffer from uncontrollable steam heat, consider donating to Cozy’s Kickstarter campaign to receive your $ 249 early bird Cozy cover.