The miles to go before I sleep...

  • Start teaching science at school and incorporate demo
  • Research, design, implement comprehensive teaching module on science, civic sense
  • Interview social change agents working @ ground level
  • Pilot peer-to-peer teaching programme

Friday, April 24, 2009

Going green should be easier to cause desirable impact!

I have come across enthusiastic appeals to contribute towards saving the environment by modifying the way I go about my everyday life. For example, I am piling up dozens of used batteries simply because I am yet to find an environmentally safe way of disposing them, even after actively searching for a recycling plant or safe-disposal facility close to Hyderabad. The same predicament applies to anything that can be connected to electricity from cellphone chargers to television sets. More importantly,

I find it very difficult to avoid using plastics. I buy juice in a tetrapack as against a plastic bottle, only to find that even they use plastic linings to make it waterproof. After little research I come to understand that there is no environmentally safe, affordable water-proofing alternative to plastics available to common man. If such a solution is not available, how is one going to avoid plastics?

Often those who make the transition to the green lifestyle would be forced to spend more on a regular basis!(either as cash or as time trying to figure out a green work-around). As a result, such a community will always be small. Worse, there will always be someone who says, "You know. Its too tough to be green" and will get back to the bad-old ways! (Consider the poor. They generate a lot of waste, but don't participate in waste management in proportion. But is it their fault?)

On the other hand even when solutions are available for an environmental problem, common man is not effectively sensitized. Consider the case of disposing kitchen wastes. Composting them to manure and using them as manure for plants is a tried and tested solution. However, the process of composting or the fact that such small compost bins are available in the market are known only the to environmentally conscious. Good intentions of appeals to be environmental consciousness not withstanding, a tangible impact can be achieved only if proven green alternatives are available and affordable so that common man doesn't really have to subscribe to the green movement to be green

6 comments:

Sejal said...

Hey, just a suggestion, try to drink fresh juice instead of the ready-made ones, as they are healthier. Tetrapack are effectively used to make those paper dishes now a days.

It's true that to find an alternative to plastic might be difficult. But you can always re-use plastic and avoid as much as possible.

Green lifestyle might cost you more time, but I'm doubtful about the monetary cost of it. Also I dont at all agree with your statement that poors generate lot of waste. Most of the time it's us, the elite mass who generate more waste, and poors are at the receiving end of the sufferings due to it!

Badhri said...

Sejal,
I didn't mean to say that poor generate more wastes than people like us. It was not an attempt to draw a comparison. But they do generate a lot of waste. Look at any of the slums. But my point it their participation in waste management is very less. Again, as I said, it isn't their fault. My point is about sensitization!

Monetary cost. Well my point no effective solution is first available... and if such solution is available, like in any other business, it will first be expensive and will gradually become cheaper.. Now in waste management, we don't have a solution to begin with.. sadly!

Sej said...

There are pilots implemented in Vellor and Kovalam for Zero Waste Management. We at AID Bangalore are trying to have one pilot for a village near Bangalore. Once they are successful, hopefully it will be implemented at large scale. True these models can be costly, but thankfully they have proved to be good at income generation too, along with creating enough employment opportunities.

Some links :

http://ngopost.org/story.php?title=Zero_Waste_Management_-_replicating_Vellore__Bangalore

http://www.zerowastekovalam.org/

Sej said...

"But they do generate a lot of waste. Look at any of the slums. But my point it their participation in waste management is very less. Again, as I said, it isn't their fault. My point is about sensitization!"

- Perhaps you haven't taken into account the fact that, slums are often not facilitated by any waste management programs. E.g., your house may be cleaner, as you get someone to collect your waste, for poors, they don't have such facilities in most of the slums.

Sanitation and other issues related to awareness are still there. But things aren't as Blake and white.

Goli said...

I guess the best way to go green is to become more and more independent, like grow your own garden, buy from local vendors, reduce the transportation costs etc.

Anand said...

Thought you guys might be interested in reading this:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/06/08/0041205