Monday, April 6, 2009

The green post :)

This is a 'green' post that has been in Draft for long. Finally with Earth hour the environmentalist in me decided to publish it :)

On 28th of March the worldwide event called Earth hour was 'conducted' at 8.30 over several cities all over the world. An alien viewing the earth from a distance would (hopefully) observe a dark belt of 'lightlessness' moving across the globe from Japan to US. Many countries, notable India and China, lended support to the movement in terms of publicity and awareness. In India Aamir apparently campaigned for the movement in a big way. Infosys and some other firms had an earth hour at their offices. In Gods own country even, Trivandrum and Kochi apparently had a lot of EH support (though everyday in Kerala is practically an Earth hour day anyway :) )

EH is just a symbol. A gesture. And a warning. Wake up, humans.

Yes.. you.. who ridicule the guy out there who switches off lights because he's worried about the human race and you're not..

You, who dont give second thoughts about turning off your computer simply because its too inconvenient for you to reboot the comp the next day..

You, who wont speak out against unnecessary usage of plastic or paper because it seems unfashionable to be environmentalist..

You, who think the world is too big to run out of oil anytime soon, so why worry about the energy crisis or renewable energy?..

Theyre all among us. I may be one of them. You may be. Well, its time to change , to speak out and tell others too. Lack of awareness is often what leads people to being complacent when in comes to taking a bold step in saving the environment.

I have sometimes found myself ridiculed when I take a green step. 'What change could it make if you did this?' is what people may ask. So much that often I hide the raging environmentalist inside me who is actually longing to shout out loud "Losers.. dont you see.. its not just me who should be doing this.. its everyone of you.."

So here is the cliched part of my blog. Here are a few simple steps that we all can take. We've heard of some, not heard of some, yet we dont follow any of them. Maybe considering them a second time wont do any harm :-

1 Monitor at a time

Change the power settings in your computers to automatically switch off your screens if you're not using them for, say, 15 minutes or so. Make it hibernate or sleep if its not being used for a longer time. Monitors consume so much power that saving the power on monitors itself could bring down your bills by a lot.

2 Cycles is better than a car

Use public transport when possible. Dont be the lone guy taking the car out, treating yourself and yourself alone to gallons of petrol every year. If possible, switch to cycling or walking for smaller distances. Not only healthier for you, but for the environment too.

3 R's

The golden words. Reuse, reduce and recycle. Minimize your ecological footprint

4 my shopping, use my bag

Carry your own plastic bags or jute bags when you go for shopping somewhere.

5 star appliances

Heating and cooling appliances take up a lot of power that can be saved by a few simple steps. Make sure it has more energy stars so that it is energy efficient. Use sun-drying if its possible, try to insulate your heater to save on heat, and try to use your ACs only as much as needed and avoid overcooling or overheating.

6 CFLs make a sun

Wherever continuous usage is needed, replace an incandescent bulb with a CFL. A CFL may not be as durable as the normal bulb, especially if you turn it on and off more than 4 times a day. But the power saved is enormous, and the light quality is not too bad either.

7 (sorry, cant think of any ideas :) )

Start shifting to renewable energy slowly. In cities, Solar energy maybe our only option, and currently, may just be catching up in terms of price with the other power options. But this is the only way we can encourage renewable energy to come up, and the only way the economics of renewable energy can improve.

(Please excuse the really really really corny catch-lines. Results of a brain gone crazy in the night)

And last but not the least, be aware of environmental issues around you. Happenings and events. Try to help out at plant-a-tree sessions or the like. Or even if you dont, atleast dont discourage one from doing it :). What is needed for us to make a change is fear. A state of fear of our own extinction (ironically, the controversial Michael Crichton book deals with another view on the environmentalist issue :).. its truly worth a read)