Pesticide free farming

Around two million farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have ditched chemical pesticides in favour of natural repellants and fertilisers, as part of a growing eco-agriculture movement.

The sustainable techniques are spread through a network of women's self-help groups, and over 10 percent of the state's farmland is now being cultivated without chemical pesticides.

Farmers make natural pest repellents from ingredients such as neem tree leaves, chilli and cow urine - which is over 70 percent cheaper than using chemicals.

They also promote beneficial insects, use compost, and plant crops that fix nitrogen into the soil. Since it began in 2004 the scheme has improved soil health and biodiversity, reduced costs and upped yields. 

Curitiba's collective dream

Economic growth usually goes alongside increased consumption and waste. But in Curitiba, Brazil, a scheme in which residents exchange rubbish for fresh fruit and vegetables leads to clean streets and healthy diets.

The Green Exchange Programme operates in 95 sites across the city and was introduced by former mayor Jaime Lerner.

Gelareh Darabi travels to the South American city to meet the visionary former mayor as well as locals benefitting from this and other initiatives such as public transport which sees buses arrive a stops every 90 seconds and grassy parklands trimmed by city sheep. 

Fashion scrubs up 

Generating billions of dollars every year, the fashion industry is one of the biggest markets around - and it has an environmental impact to match.

Manufacturers all over the world discard tonnes of fabric and pollute water during production.

Christina Dean, the founder of the NGO ‘Redress’, is hoping to tackle these issues by encouraging manufacturers to make the most of their factory textile waste.

One brand has already produced a t-shirt made using recycled cotton scraps and polyester that uses 74 percent less water and generates 53 percent less greenhouse gas than an ordinary cotton t-shirt.

Divya Gopalan is in Hong Kong to see how 'Redress' is helping China’s huge manufacturing industry cut its waste and embrace the business case for environmentally-friendly fashion.

Source: Al Jazeera