November 05, 2007

Sometimes you need to take a stand

After coming in to Mumbai, I wrote about the sudden change in my Lifestyle. However, that got me thinking. With every bit of change in our lifestyle, we begin to spend even more energy per person than our Earth can afford. The amount of water that everyone around me wastes, the line of cars snaking through the streets of Mumbai adding to the pollution level, the laptops around me, always switched on, everything seems to be screaming –“Death to the Planet” and it’s not a very nice feeling at all.

When it comes to loving the Environment, I am nothing like the Vishnois of Rajasthan, yet there are a few things that I can do to ensure that I don’t leave behind a world much worse than I inherited from my parents. Here are a few things I have been doing over the past one week and I think it’s the least I can do. Any more suggestions are always welcome.

  • Switch off the AC – I have never switched on the AC in my room since I came to Mumbai. As the winter is set to arrive, I think the AC is something I can do away with altogether. I think the only persons I know who should use it are Chandy and Pavan, both somewhere in the Middle East.

  • Travel – Long live public transport. They might not be the best option in India but then with the oil prices threatening to breach the $100 barrier, I think it’s not just good for the environment, but also for the economy. The only other option is pooling a cab to your office. That should work fine too. But an AC car for yourself to office? God save Mother Nature!

  • The Power Saver option in your laptop/desktop. Yes, it’s as important to most of us just like we all need sleep, but keeping your machine switched on 24x7? I think that’s a crime. While going for lunch at your mess or work-cafeteria, ensure that you switch your computer off. In fact, a major reason I refuse to have an internet connection outside office is to have no reason to switch on my laptop at home.

  • CFLs – I hate white lights. I think the best way to light up a room is have the yellow lights in shades that diffuse the light and create a magical atmosphere in the room. But if CFL’s the answer, then so be it. And why on earth would you need all the fans in a room switched on? You may look like a freak but use only the one that is likely to have the most effect on you.

  • Paper cups for your daily intake of caffeine – I was just standing near the vending machine when I realized that people use the paper cups for a swig of water and throw it away. On an average 15 cups per person might get used up every day. Since then I pick up my cup of coffee in the morning and use it for refills throughout the day and get my bottle along to fill up water and chug it down whenever I’m thirsty. In fact, the best option would be to invest in a mug and save even that one paper cup per day.

  • Switch off every unused light source, stop every dripping tap you see and you can make a whole lot of difference to this world. In fact, I love the policy in my company where they switch off most lights on the floor during lunch hours.

And finally here’s something I want myself to do and haven’t had a success – stop using the elevators. I want to use the stairs more often than I do. That should be the next hurdle to cross.


Ojas said...

Well put. Many things make sense. Here's what i came across today:

Damn Scary!

And this is what I had written a few days back:

Archana Ramana said...

a post thats very relevant, given the kind of mess we're living in Banjo. There are two other simple things that i'd like to add - use of plastic bags and waste management.

It shouldn't be too difficult to carry cloth bags while shopping and to segregate waste into groups such as plastic/paper/metals/biodegradable (food waste). I'm doing it! :)

CJ said...

1. "somewhere in the middle east"? u B***H! :D
2. long live the disastrous hikes in oil prices! :) :)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@Ojas - I think your post shows statistics in a much scarier way.

@Archana - I try to refuse plastic carry bags at stores 50% of the times.

@CJ - :-) I still can't pronounce the name of the field.

Abhiram said...

wonderful post banjo.

one other thing i have noticed is that ppl waste resources much more when they are not paying for it directly (eg. hostel students dont bother to switch off their room lights & fans as they are not directly paying the power bills!).

Our laziness to switch off things when not in use should not burden mother nature.

keep posting banjo!

Soumya Sen said...

"amount of water that everyone around me wastes"...very well said, in this context, let me add a few thoughts of mine. I have always wondered whether it is better to use water or tissue paper to wipe off one's arse, both water and trees need to be conserved, so probably we should stop wiping off from now on and live like any other animal...any thoughts on this, Philosopher?