So it isn’t the first time that I’ve spoken about ‘going green’ and making a difference in small ways to the state of the future of our world on this blog. From the time I’ve been involved with my older children’s activities (read this post for the CO2 footprint that was compared between two countries) and volunteering at their school, trying to reduce our carbon footprint has been a sub-conscious alarm ticking away silently. What still annoys me is the ridiculous and I repeat ridiculous usage of information sheets/paper and one-sided at that too that come from schools. I had two of them going and so got double sets, which I promptly stapled and made use of the other side for various scribbling purposes. Things have changed dramatically since those days and I couldn’t be happier!
All that aside, I suppose it all started as a kid back home, when my mother would give us a hard time if we did not switch off the ceiling fan or light when we left the room. She did it to conserve money those days, as budgets were tight. We would only use a single bucket of water for a shower (It only later had something to do with Madras’ water shortage in the late 80’s and early 90s’s) and measure out as we rinsed and washed our clothes. We watered our gardens once the sun set and with great vigilance watching the clock all the time and after 5 pm, so the ground (and plants) would get most of it rather than evaporating.
I don’t think there was a huge awareness of messing with the climate back then. Well, partly due to ignorance, and partly due to the fact that the environment, our climates and the green earth was not undergoing any noticeable change to create an alarm among scientists, leave alone the common man.
Then just like that the past ten years have accelerated our home’s aging process. We are aging rapidly, at a faster pace than before. Things are showing signs of decay, slowing down and not regenerating as quickly as they used to. Add to that the external factors that would just exacerbate these signs and symptoms, and we are left with a fairly terminal state of our earth.
Increase in population, Pollution, cities are swelling and bursting with influx, people are more concerned with getting things done and moving on, rather than the repercussions or how those get done, the ease at which motors are available and being used, and so on and so forth.
So, it’s established beyond a doubt that we are where we are. To reduce we must consume less. Simple. It’s just like our good old diet plan eh?
So now what do we do?
1. You can go ahead and change just ONE habit of yours to reduce your carbon footprint.
In other words, Just choose one today (I had this awesome list up here, that I now can’t find! Such organization skills indeed!) and stick with it till Labor Day. I promise you, it will become a habit. Just one at a time. You ask if you alone will make a difference? Yes, you will. On an average I have about 200 subscribed readers (last I checked and that doesn’t mean all of you are reading anyway) to this blog. Not much, but it’s a start, and if each of you decided to make a difference, AND were able to motivate ONE other person to do so, then that’s something significant yeah?
Just trust yourself and do it for you. For your progeny that will continue to be here long after you mix with the dust. If not for your neighbor and the stranger at Timbuktoo, hey, this is your flesh and blood we talking about. Do it for them.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have it all under control. Am no environmentalist. Am just your average common (wo)man that’s making an attempt like everyone of you to ACT on what’s being told and shown to us. If you’ve seen Gore’s movie, I speak no further.
2. Subscribe to online magazines like New Scientist - It’s awareness, ideas, information and news. Good stuff, ideas and broken down into different categories and feeds. There’s even one for kids.
3. Being aware of organizations that pro-actively make a difference. For instance – Check this site out – Ashoka.Org (I had no idea of its existence until recently, when a friend’s daughter won an internship there) that promises an ambitious dream and a path for realization. No matter the field. The site’s exhaustive and one is impressed upon what’s accomplished and the possibilities and avenues that are available, if we can only dream it.
So, as an example, we are asked to go green, recycle, carbon footprint awareness, and tons of other jargon thrown at us. How does one go about it? How do we measure? The before and after an action to realize the change that we brought about? Are these effective at all? How do we know that for sure, and not just trust what’s laid out for us? How much of a difference can we bring about? Is that just a tiny drop in the ocean? Can we make it larger? How else can we make a bigger impact?
Did you know that you could actually track your CO2 and energy efficient homes among other things? Read this blog here , written by the intern I speak of above, where she’s listed out the various tools that help us get some answers to a few questions on the road map that we are being asked to embark upon.
The questions are numerous and frankly, am not really known to be a heavily inquisitive person. Imagine extrapolating this germ out, hundreds of times, and more, just in your own head.
It should account for something?