Global warming? – that’s too global a concept for me. Vanishing glaciers? Thinning ice layers at North Pole? – never wish to be near a glacier nor will I ever be anywhere near the North Pole.
That has been my attitude to talks of global warming. I thought that, as an ordinary individual, I could do very little to contribute in this cause. It must be the task of the big corporations, the developed nations and bodies like UN to investigate, research, plan and work out methods to arrest and reverse the climate change process that we, the homo sapiens, have so meticulously orchestrated over the centuries, more so in the last couple of hundred years.
Then I saw the film “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore at a seminar on carbon credit at the training centre of the CA Institute last month. It’s a very hard hitting film. The realisation dawned on me that “we have entered a period of consequences”. We have already begun to face the effects of our past actions. The Katrina hurricane of 2005…… the Mumbai deluge of July 2005 …the total absence of winter in Kolkata in 08-09….things are really coming closer home now.
I have now realised that my attitude of avoidance and thinking that ‘the problem is not mine’ must change. Even as an ordinary individual person, I must take it upon myself to do my own “small” bit to turn the tide around. And if several of us start doing the same, aggregation effect will be consequential. In our day to day lives, there are many things that we do or don’t do or could do differently, which can contribute in cumulation to the reversal of climate change of the earth. It needs a modification of lifestyle for all of us.
Complied below is a list of 16 simple things that we can do at an individual level and small businesses, apart from, of course, what can be done by big corporations and bigger nations and government. The focus is on conservation of energy and on using renewable energy sources and these two elements form the basis of the lifestyle change approach that is recommended.
1) Switch off your computer, monitor, printer whenever you are away from office for a while or out for lunch, and surely at the end of each day.
2) Extend the usage life of IT hardware – unless they are energy inefficient
3) Go for ‘green’ desktops – low energy consuming models that consume one-tenth the power of a regular computer.
4) Reduce usage of paper – disconnect or turn the printer off.
5) Unplug all chargers, whether at work or at home, unless they are charging something, and switch off stand-by mode TV, radio, hi-fi.
6) Change light bulbs to CFL or better still to LED lamps.
7) Move the AC thermostat temperature up by a degree or two.
8 ) Make a carpool to and from work
9) Stop using disposable plates and cups – instead invest in a dishwasher
10) Opt for using solar, wind or biomass energy
11) Walk or bike or use mass transit as much as possible
12) Recycle as much as you can – carry your own bag or packet to the shop
13) Use less hot water – heating water takes up lots of energy
14) Use a clothesline instead of a dryer
15) Plant a tree – it will absorb carbon dioxide
16) Read, learn and spread the word – knowledge is power
For more information please refer to the following sites