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)


Hari said...

Nice tips!!

I've been regularly following your environmentally invigorating posts. This one's real good, in that aspect.

Few comments:

"Carry your own plastic bags or jute bags when you go for shopping somewhere."
DON'T USE PLASTIC BAGS!! Maybe we must do something to reduce or even ban plastic as a whole. Hope some scientist comes up with a great idea on that regard! :D

The Crichton book is actually bullshit! :D. I'm a HUGE fan of Mr. Crichton who actually was born on my D.O.B., but I'm fully against what he has written in SOF. I feel it's highly propagandized and biased. You know what, Bush invited Crichton to breakfast after he'd released this book!! Book, as you know, is a very famous anti-Global-Warming guy. Even he had to accept the potency of climate change in the end!

Hope bloggers like us can make a change in the world by our meagre contributions! :D

s said...

Nice tips indeed!!
If each one of us become conscious about these little things in our daily lives, we could make a big change. Nice to see that a lot of responsible posts are coming up from our blogging community which would help to inculcate a sense of responsibility towards our environment.

Quest said...

We degraded the environment in our life cycle of just being born-living-dying not contributing an iota of help for the survival of other species if not for their betterment.....

Nice green tips you have given viruu :-)

1)My monitor-off time is 1 min as I usually sleep with the laptop on and mom says 'keep away from radiations from laptop' and hibernate in less than half hour :)

2)I love walking and so avoid vehicles went it comes to to-distances of around 4 km..

3)Its always been reduce and reduce further

4)Shopping is usually confined to buying chocolates only ;-)

5)I don't use a heater nor a cooler and not even a washing machine since my college days :)

6)CFL definitely is cost-power saving...I prefer darkness when not reading something....what happened to advertised campaign of govt subsidizing them for atleast one every household. Gone with the wind?

7) Could be implement your own ideas for promoting green energy and clean environment :-)

angad said...

the 7th one could be "plant a plant" ;)
i like the way u put the 5th one "star appliances"! LOL

Mahesh Mahadevan said...

Earth hour was purely an awareness message. However, god alone knows how many people got back to extravagant power use the second earth hour ended :-P
Mega events on such a scale speak a lot, but only sustained effort can make "the change :-D ).

The monitor comment is something that all of us do. I would like to add on to some of the computer stuff.
Several computers (and quite obviously, all laptops) come with a sleep/hibernate mode that saves power without stopping your processes - so if you're so worried about turning off the computer, use hibernate.
Another thing is (again, it is happening real fast) to switch over to LCD monitors - they save a ton of power and a lot of material. CRTs should be on their way out for TVs as well.

Shopping with your own cloth/biodegradable plastic bags should be another top-of-the-list. Several people here use paper/plastic. Removal of plastic is not a viable option as paper demand will rise and so will deforestation. There are many biodegradable plastics in prevalence - if you wish to pay a rupee extra for a shopping bag every time you buy. Here, supermarkets give you discounts for using your own bags.

With transport - that's a sad thing here; public transport is pathetic. The university offers special bonuses for people who use a bicycle/walk/use public transport. I'm a "push the skateboard, not the gas pedal" guy :-)

I've read "A State of Fear". You have to understand that the novel speaks more about the _politics_ of so-called-environmentalism and climate change. Michael Crichton acknowledges climate change, but provides a distorted view of the facts to reinforce his storyline.

Go green, and make sure you have better contrast in your text.

Hari Vishnu said...

hehe yes, we surely can hope for such a non-polluting environment friendly cheap plastic substitute. but until then, like mahesh mentioned, it may be impossible to totally ban plastic as of now, because it will mean plastic substitutes like wood and paper will have to be used more, which is equally dangerous..

yea .. that crichton book very conveniently uses statements and facts misrepresented in several paper publications throughout the world.. crichton knew, like us research aspirants down here, that even a published paper is not trustworthy enough to be called the truth :)..

Hari Vishnu said...

while we consume enough of electricity just by blogging, the least we in the blogosphere can do is to spread awareness by blogging about such things :)..

nice point.. i totally forgot to include that.. i had wanted to mention it, too..

Hari Vishnu said...

looks like ure a step ahead of me in all these :).. even starting up a blog for earth..

im thinking of copy pasting this post to that blog too..


lol yes many of these trends are luckily catching up in society, somehow unconsciously the message seems to be hitting somewhere.. CFLs, LCDs, jute bags - all of them.. if only it were faster and more widespread..

too bad the US public transport system sucks to the point where buying a car is the only way to get anywhere.. and no wonder the pollution index is so crazily high in the US too.. atleast in that respect, india has a bunch of smoke-chugging trains to replace a million cars per day :)

+1 on ur take on 'state of fear'. and double lol @ 'going green and keeping better contrast' :D

Quest said...

Join Earth Matters viruu lying idle for long

Anon said...

Nice post dude..Reminds me of ur WALL E post..
Its high time humans woke up and stopped plundering the only home we have...
And very true abt the so called fashionable people who laugh at the environmentalists.(I usually ask them to stuff it)

Harshad said...

good to see we have a community of eco-bloggers commenting here :)
great post Hari!
apart from climate change & global warming the problem of e-waste also needs to be tackled. Continuous demand for newer mobiles, laptops and other consumer electronics has resulted in vast e-waste and disposal systems for such waste are almost non-existent in India and other developing countries.

Read through some of the recent articles on mother nature by Thomas Friedman in NY TImes. Thought provoking ideas...

Vinitha Vasanth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vinitha Vasanth said...

Good post , Hari :)
I do agree with Harshad - e-waste is on the rise too ... hope you can enlighten us on that in your future posts ...

Hari Vishnu said...

@krik krak
hehe.. sometimes i too ask them to stuff it.. its time 'tree-hugging' is stopped being taken as a joke..

@viajero - joined :)

Hari Vishnu said...

thanks for ur support dude, and ya ur point is true.. e-waste.. is the new waste problem of the current generation.. not even recycling is easy in this case.. wonder what solution we can come up with for this one..

im aware of this problem, but havent read much on it to enlighten anyone yet, i think :).. still its a worrying problem that needs to be tackled, just like the thousands of other environmental issues we have..

Quest said...

Exams wobbled you up? ;-)

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Dorm Bedding said...

Great tips...every little drop in the proverbial bucket adds up :)

Dorm Bedding said...

Great earth-friendly suggestions...I need to adopt a couple or three of them :)