A school girl at the UN Environment summit – Rio

I had this video link in my bookmark archives….a very simple and straight forward speech by a school girl from Canada….echoes every environmental concern – relevant more than ever today. This undated video should, among many others, actually help us wake up…its high time…its not about money, career or expensive living. It is all about sensible minimal living which will allow existence of life on the planet.

Does it matter?
Thinking about every thing we do and not hiding behind the very oft used phrases/words – “cant help it” or “convenience” is the need of the hour. If one really wanted to make a sensible choice, they could do it. Ignorance, or lack of common sense is what makes involuntarily-earth-hating crowd, the people they are.

Being eco friendly is lot more than not using plastic bags. I am tired of being called as someone who advocates against  plastic bags.Yes, that I am, but there is more to living a green life than just that. The whole terminology kicks my soul. It is sad that we humans first take the fast lane, do some considerable damage and then trace back our steps to go back to where we were. Given this fact, all the jargonology- Green, eco-friendly all make no sense. It seems like a mockery on groups which work in favor of the planet, in favor of LIFE.

Jargons don’t matter. Actions make a difference. People need to understand that the choices associated with food, clothes and shelter (our house, furniture, furnishings etc) are all what influence our earth friendly living, or the lack of it. Fancy terms like recycling, composting don’t matter if you buy your grocery and supplies in a plastic bag and use it for throwing your trash. Think about the landfill you will contribute to or the nearest water source you will pollute by using and dumping the plastic bag. Chiffon, nylon, acrylic and polyester clothes you buy, will never bio-degrade. (Let us keep in mind that we have not considered the entire value chain footprint yet.) Give a thought to before you purchase – synthetic furnishings (curtains, upholstery etc), your kitchen chopping board or the throw away plastic spoons and forks, paper plates, tissue paper/towel, hawaii slippers/flip flops, beverage bottle, yogurt container buy etc… Everything we choose to use, has an impact and it does matter. 

You would keep your house clean by dumping out the trash..but all the junk never leaves the planet right…Look at a municipal worker paddle his way through a garbage dump (in a local city water source)


Image source: JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images
A scavenger in a dugout canoe paddles through a sea of garbage along a Manila waterway

All this is to make your surroundings look like this.

 Birds and marine life mistake our plastic garbage and debris for food and ingest them only to die. We are responsible for this. This is neither a regular cyclic change our earth goes through nor is it a natural occurrence. We should be ashamed to see such impact of our mindless actions. We have no right to disturb the eco-system.

source: thechicecologist.com

If you think it doesn’t affect your life or health. Think again, look at this cow munching a plastic bag (in india).

Cows are revered in my country. And this is what an average cow eats – both rural and urban cows tend to eat everything and anything they lay their eyes on. Thanks to the plastic menace, Cows dying due to ingestion of plastic bags is a common thing as of today. Let us not forget that the same cows and buffaloes are milked to provide us with our daily supply of milk /dairy products. And can we ignore the beef consuming population? So, technically, we end up eating these plastic bags ourselves (remember the “FOOD CHAIN” fundamentals)

Is it too late for a wake up call?
Just like that of other green-crusaders, my quest for minimal footprint lifestyle is a stressful journey too. What I dint know yesterday, I learn today. And what I learn and imbibe, I implement in my life right away. We need the will to open up to ideas and think beyond our comfort zone. This a never ending process and needs time and effort. It is worth the effort and is all for our own good!

I am so tired of people arguing with me or anyone else who speaks about going gentle on the planet. It is just their way to cover up their useless ego and be the escapists they are. It makes the job for a green crusader much more difficult because we not only need to clean up the mess these escapists leave behind but also take things forward with such skeptics in tow. It is tiring but we don’t have time to complain, how wonderful would it be if our fellow earthlings, who refuse to do their bit, at least start thinking (for now).

Time and again, I have maintained that, we as a civilized society have gotten used to a certain lifestyle and feel that shifting from usual is difficult. Come to think of it, let us consider a simple things like grocery plastic bags. There was a generation which survived without ready to eat food packs, plastic beverage bottles, and disposable cutlery. It is therefore not unimaginable to survive with out them. Let us make an effort, start with small changes and leave this planet habitable for our children. They deserve that much and more.

I won..I won….

I woke up to a very anxious day today. I was supposed to get a crucial medical report. As first thing in the morning, I sat down to check my email. And lo!…I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me….I had won a nice Green Design Book…Yippiee!!.. I am thrilled to have been picked a winner in a random giveaway!!!!!  Thank you Rachel – for the wonderful book…I am looking forward to receive it!!!

This is the book I won….:-)

Rachel’s website… – theinteriorevolution.com is a wonderful Green design and architecture resource..(I recommend that you check it out).  I appreciate Architects and Designers who advocate and really believe in Green, sustainable and eco-friendly design. I read a few articles in her website and loved Rachel for her strong will to make a (Green) difference in the design and construction industry. I am glad to have bumped into Rachel’s website. I am sure it is going to be a one stop resource to realize my long standing dream to remodel my parent’s home. Also, the book I just won, is going to be a perfect addition to my dream library.

About Rachel
Rachel is an interior designer and an active participant in the green design community. She is a Certified Green Building Professional through “Build it Green” and a member of the Sustainable Homes Committee for the local chapter of the USGBC. Want to know more about this wonderful lady >> HERE is the link

The link to her blog >> HERE

Thank you Rachel, you made my day! 

Priyanka Chopra sings the Green Anthem!

 source: ndtv.com

What is Priyanka Chopra doing on the Green Crusader?…She has been chosen to be the Green Ambassador for NDTV’s Greenathon.

In the due course of my research for green issues and statistics to strengthen the purpose of this crusade, i came across this video on youtube. It is in hindi, however, impact of the visual media can break every barrier, including the linguistic barrier, and can definitely convey what it intends to.

I wish that her efforts go beyond this video and she is actually a Green Champion! I hope to see a considerable impact of a famous hindi film star on the younger Indian population.

Green Crusader Mentioned – thank you – The Earth Sign

I was supposed to publish this post a long time back, a system crash and ill health delayed it by a few weeks. Better late than never..right!!

I am elated to have been mentioned by a fellow blogger – Poornima who blogs at “The Earth Sign”. It is a honour to be acknowledged in the blogger world for posting off beat and not so interesting set of topics.

Why I say this…
In my experience as a blogger, I find it really difficult to get people interested in Green topics. It is sad that many allied topics get prominence over very important ones.

Facts…
There are few blogs and e-magazines which publish posts and articles on home design, cooking, technology, children and green /environment…I hardly see comments for the posts under the green or the environment section (excepting a few)..but a load of them for the other segments. I do know that discussing and posting in forums do not move mountains but what hurts is the masses’ lack of interest in such issues

Going green is not a fad or a fashion for few. It is a non existing or uninteresting topic for the rest of the population. I find only a few who are working towards tackling issues related to our planet, the least one could do is start by making small lifestyle changes and grow to being more eco-friendly. However, I do not see it happen in most cases.

People still ask for plastic grocery bags as if they were their life lines and as though life couldn’t exist with out these flimsy bags. More so, there are a few others who ask for extra bags without giving a second thought to their action and its impact.

Surviving among all these people and their carelessness, I still like to believe that everyone is doing their bit, and maybe are not vocal with their thoughts…this keeps my spirits up and striving towards pooling more number of people into the crusade to save our lives.

Thank you  – from the bottom of my heart

I would like to thank Poornima for mentioning A Green Crusader at Work and all the encouraging words she has said in her post (with a special mention about my green balcony!)…I am elated and very honoured :)…

I loved the fact that she is trying to do her bit and wants to make a difference. We need more such youngsters to be a part of this race against time in protecting our planet from further damage.

Milk delivered in earth friendly packaging

I have been scouting for a local diary farm so that I could buy milk in my own container and stop bringing in plastic milk cans. I feel guilty about the grocery store plastic milk can every time I have a cup of tea or gulp down a spoon of home made yogurt.

source:americanprogress.org

My friends who buy milk (including Soya) in cartons aren’t doing the planet a favour either. Plastic lining and the lid section on the terta pack and even other biodegradable raw materials which went into manufacture of these cartons are to be given a thought, in terms of their necessity and impact.

 source: svna.org

Until a few years ago, milk men delivered bottles filled with milk and used to take back empty bottles to the dairy/delivery centers.

 
source: momentumspk.co.uk
 source: theprudenthomemaker.com

In the eastern world, even today, we have a milkman delivering milk to our door step. He measures out portions for every household and pours it into our own containers. I would like to share a very nice video about a milkman from Punjab from youtube. In a way, reducing food miles and green choices were/are a part of everyday living with people in this part of the world. ( Simply put, food mile is the total distance traveled by every morsel that reaches our plate and its impact on the environment.)

However, the scene is changing for the worse. With each passing day, this naturally eco-friendly population is leaning towards a non-green lifestyle.

There are milk co-ops and large scale dairy companies which sell plastic (Sic!!) pouches or tetra packs. These small prepacked  portions are delivered door to door or at local distribution stations every morning. Although these options are not very green, they exist. There are a few organizations working on helping the dairy industry making earth friendly options.

source: picturejockey.com

source: chillycrap.com

During one such research, I chanced upon this website which provides a list of Diary farms in the US, which sell their ware in eco-friendly glass bottles. (ah! so much like the old times!!)…I was however disappointed to see that none of the diary farms in the state of Georgia were a part of the list…The website, aptly called Mindfully.org, has provided a list under the segment. here: Dairies Using Glass Bottles for Milk in US

One of the eco-friendly alternatives to plastic cans and tetra-packs would be milk vending stations at grocery stores or public locations. Milk would be supplied to these location from local dairy farms and dispensed into containers we carry from home.

 source: whytraveltofrance.com

These vending machines could be set up by local diary farms and there by reduce food miles. Is this a far fetched thought, not at all. It is very much with in reach of retail chains to set up vending facilities and there by promote local dairy industry and enable supply of fresh milk every day or atleast alternate days. What we need is more number of people in the corporate decision making teams to work on feasible eco-friendly alternatives and think beyond sales figures and return.We as consumers need to think and make wise choices..We have to strive not to leave a claustrophobic planet for our children to live in….

An old proverb always holds good…Long term vision and gains always weigh more than short term returns…

Fake Plastic Fish update

I had done a post on a co-green-advocate and blogger, Beth. I was glad to see her being featured on CBS for all her effort and struggle to live a plastic free life. I am glad to be have a blogger friend who feels and thinks as I do.

Here is the video.

A lot more needs to be done and can be done..its just that we need to stop and think and do what we need to. Better late than never …right!!