Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Carbon-ing down

For the last few days, the newspapers have been full of ' The Copenhagen Summit', 'greenhouse gases', 'carbon footprints' and 'emission standards'. Not that the issues have sprung up overnight. They are long standing concerns, most of which we think about happening to the rest of the world and affecting them rather than us. Until we find food prices rising at an alarming rate, without any dearness allowance to compensate them. Until the monsoons appear unexpectedly late and even then, rains take place sporadically in the city and the state. Until one whole year passes without there being any signs of the onset of winter and we are unable to flaunt our expensive woollens. Until the news of an Aila, a Tsunami and flash floods all over the country are discussed so much in intellectual quarters and the newspaper editorials that we cannot shut them out of our lives any longer. Until Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' wins him the Nobel. Until one apocalyptic morning when we wake up to find everyone conscientious talking/blogging green.

This morning I sat still with the newspaper for several minutes, trying to recall what I do in my everyday life to minimise my carbon footprints. I was able to take pride in remembering :

1) To switch off the lights and fans in all rooms whenever I leave the room, besides unplugging chargers and switching off the laptop instead of putting it in stand-by mode.

2) To minimise AC usage in my apt in Somerville, NJ,USA and at my parents' in Salt Lake. (Since we don't have an AC in Kalikapur yet, it doesn't figure).

3) To use buckets of water while bathing most of the time, limiting my shower use to shampoo sessions.

4) To use herbal products, be it my toiletries or my domestic cleaners.

5) To buy and grow potted plants so as to keep my own microcosm as green as possible.

6) To avoid polythenes when doing my groceries (the fact that 'Stop N Shop' gave us a 5 cents discount on every one we re-used was just an added motivation).

7) To avoid throwing polythenes here and there, which the Marwari family next door in Salt Lake seem to have made a record of, taking great delight in clogging our gutters during the monsoons (once even forcing Baba to don surgical gloves and Wellingtons and stand knee deep in polluted water to clean them out).

8) To use CFLs in all the light fittings at home, even the bedside lamps, although they cost quite a bit more initially.

9) To avail of public transport whenever and wherever possible, for instance buses, autos and the humble, eco-friendly rickshaw, and walking short distances rather than taking an auto or the car.

10) To turn off the tap when not in immediate use, for instance when brushing.

11) To keep used utensils wet and soapy to loosen the grime and grease on them, before rinsing them out.

Maybe I could do lots more. But it gladdens my heart to think I've made some smart choices and I did them of my own volition. There is much among these that my family members don't bother about and might even interpret as interference or an invasion of their respective private spaces, should I dare to shortlist their questionable daily habits. Well, at least I'm clear to my own conscience. What about you ?


Sujoy Bhattacharjee said...

If Maneka Gandhi is to be believed, going veg would be a good idea:

Casuarina said...

@ Sujoy : I find little meat in the argument, to be honest ;-)

Haddock said...

Good points there.
Some simple things that we neglect in our daily life.........

VENNILLA said...

Hi friend this is vennilla here.. ur doing a really good job.. can we exchange links..

little boxes said...

I,on my part,have started buying milk in a 'can' rather than buying two one-litre packets.we end up using around sixty plastic packets less in a month :) and i try drinking soft drinks mostly from glass bottles


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