Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Go Green

I don’t know how it happened but the green bug has bitten me, please don’t judge me for having jumped on to the band wagon as late as I have, I am happy to have be bitten by the bug and as the wise men once said “ its always better to be late than never”.

As I go about writing this I realize how a few decisions in my life will now literally have to pass the GREEN signal before implementation: (before you read and judge all the decisions are mundane.. but so is my life… read on)

1.Buying a washing machine(like I said redefine mundane): As I was reading articles on how to go green in one’s life a lot of them talked about running full loads on washing machines and dishwashers. For once I thanked the Lord for the simple life we lead and the new fangled machines we don’t own. We don’t have a washing machine and I have been really happy with the current arrangement of the help washing the clothes and them drying out in the good old Indian sun. I now have a GREEN reason to not buy the washing machine I have been so avoiding. I knew it did not make sense I know why now.
2.Newspapers: We subscribe to 3 newspapers and giving the two of us due credit, both of us read all three everyday. However considering all the trees that have been cut to ensure us the daily dose of news I guess now the time has come to completely embrace the e revolution and read atleast one of them online. Inshallah, in due course we shall wean ourselves away from the physical form enough to only subscribe to one of them. Amen to that.
3.Carrying one’s own Jholla to the supermarket. Like I said just get back to good old simple life of Lucknow till the late 80s.
4.Walking to where ever we can, instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the I mean this is awesome not only is this good for the environment but is also good way of containing the ever expanding waist line.
5.Simple things like switching off the lights, fans, heaters et al when not in the room.
6.Not wasting tissue papers, never using kitchen paper towels and sticking to the good old cloth wipes.
7.Using gmail (green mail) for every communication, not printing documents if not absolutely essential, printing on both sides of the paper etc etc
8.Trash management: will try and segregate waste into recyclable, reusable and compostable trash.
9.Have been thinking of joining a gym and give up the thrice a week running around the block routine. Am re-thinking it now, treadmills guzzle electricity….
10.Buying books: I am fascinated by the written word and love owning and reading books. I buy 2-3 books a month. Have never been into e books, have not been a member of a library as an adult because I love buying books. I love reading them, love the smell of new books; don’t mind the sneeze when I discover an old forgotten book in some dusty corner of the house. Books are my passion. With the green bug biting me I am rethinking the appropriateness of indulging in my passion ever so often. I am thinking about E books (shocker!!) and about joining a library. Also this amazing thing called Kindle from Amazon has caught my fancy, not only is it green it also promises a huge number of books at your disposal in less than a second.
11.Just read that 3% of global warming is contributed by airplanes. Now given that I fly twice a week, I think the only way to counter this is to in future look for jobs that require minimal traveling or better still use technology to minimize traveling.
12.Finally for the 1st time in 8 years I regretted not having gone into research pursuing maybe a PHD in “development of bio degradable plastics” ok regretted only for a nano-second and then came crashing back to reality. Now that would have taken my go green campaign to a completely new level. People who know me or who have read about my Technical PIS will appreciate the U turn I at least thought of taking for a fleeting moment from what has been a firm belief for a very loooooooooooooong time i.e. GOD did not intend for me to remain an “engineer”.

The list is endless but basically the guiding principle from now onwards is: REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE.

As I write how the green bug will manifest itself in my life I realize it’s really very simple, at least for my generation of Indians. It’s just about “unlearning” a lot of things we learnt in the exhilarated delirium after 1991. It’s about going back to the frugal and minimalist way of life our dads proposed and we tried to wiggle our ways out of. It’s about pausing and then beginning again to guzzle a little less. It’s about being careful about spending, about consuming not because it’s expensive but because it’s precious.


LoonyTalk said...

Seems like now green is also a happy color... :)

And yeah, in case the 'Green PhD' bug bites you strongly, let me know. Carnegie Mellon is an excellent place for motivated people like you! :)

Nandita said...

Yup Green is beautiful color
and no as I said it was a fleeting thought....
why havent u been posting???????

LoonyTalk said...

Well, it has been a crazy time here with questions (and expectations) about my graduation accumulating from family and faculty alike. So I've been pretty busy with work of late and it seems that it is gonna be the case for a while...
Btw, I've picked up some new hobbies and if things go well, I'll send you a sample sometime! :)