Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

Mahatma Gandhi said "There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed". I do not know if there is sufficient food, shelter and clothing for everyone in the world for now and for the future. (Looking at daily news it seems like quite a lot of people lack basic amenities.) So, it is worthy and noble to at least try and conserve our natural resources as much as possible.

In the meanwhile, humankind can come up with ingenious alternatives to sustain life. Our next generation of cars could run on H2O or Nuclear. And every home energy requirement could be powered by sunlight or biomass. Who knows, Mars may very well be our new homeland. (Homeland reminds me of the constant struggle we hear of between various ethnic groups and communities for identity and political self-determination. But that is another topic in itself) Maybe this is the right time to start buying real estate on Mars, because 50 years from now, price would have appreciated greatly :)

Looking at the irresponsible ways natural resources are depleted by us humans, it seems that we would run out of oil, forest, drinking water or even clean air within our lifetimes. I have read in my science textbooks in school that the world’s oil reserves would run dry in 50 years. Don’t know what will happen to Saudi Arabia’s economy by then?

You man have heard of a few experimental towns and communities which try to become green and conserve every bit of energy. Also they try to be self sufficient and produce their own green energy from sunlight, wind, flowing water, hot springs and bio mass. Kudos to them and hope that a million more models spring up in other parts of the world.

Many Countries & Private companies are trying to be environmentally friendly; knowing that it is the right thing to do. Governments around the world hold debates and negotiations on the lines of KYOTO protocol, reducing carbon footprint and cutting down green house gas emissions. However, it seems that the already rich and developed countries find it easier to comply with while the developing and under developed countries find it difficult to adopt such policies obviously for economic reasons. Companies too try to become green - though they say it makes monetary sense, i am not quite convinced if that is true - if it is then well and good. However, i guess the majority of them want to create a good brand image by being known as a green, environmentally clean company.
There is a price to be paid for green energy and conserving the environment. Electric cars do not run as fast and cost much more than the oil guzzling versions. While the leaders of the world fight it out and the corporates brainstorm in their meeting rooms my immediate concern is: What can I contribute to a greener and healthier world?
In our own small ways, we can play our part:
  • Walk or cycle instead of driving
  • Switch off any unused energy consuming devices
  • Keep all documents in electronic formats
  • Use less amount of water for washing or cleaning
  • Don't use disposable plastic/paper cups; Use glass/ steel instead
  • Avoid napkins if you have clean water to wash
  • Avoid plastic bags while shopping; carry you own jute/paper bag
  • As much as possible Reuse, Reduce, Recycle