Tomorrow is Earth Hour(8:30-9:30 PM, IST). A celebration time for people who advocate green living. Switching off lights for an hour doesn’t save much of fossil fuel neither does it stop pollution. In fact it increases both when people spend fuel to come to a gatherings with burning candles. Still this symbol gives us a feeling of having done our part for the year and a licence to violate nature and environment once again. Is this style statement enough or it should be avoided? Can saving fuel really help or will it only make us more dependent on it? There are always debates, researches going on but the fact is that fossil fuel governs our life today and we have to come out of it. Greenmoksha brings to you five simple pledges for urban Indians to make starting tomorrow for the coming year as a contribution to environment.
Efficient- Efficiency in consumption of energy, water, fuel should be the mantra. Slowly shifting to electrical goods which are energy efficient like LED lamps, star rated appliances, induction cooktops etc. will decrease energy consumption. Less energy used daily for 365 days saves more fuel(less pollution) than an hour of switching does. A simple calculations for any home will show the effectiveness. Small, beautiful and fuel efficient cars are better for city roads than big style icon fuel guzzler cars. Efficiency will save fuel which is most important. In fact if we study the energy alternatives all other sources are dependent on fossil fuels  in one or more ways from their cradle to grave. Till now no alternative source is developed which will not require support from petroleum products in either manufacturing, transport or maintenance.
Conserve- Conserve! Conserve! And Conserve! Prudent use of resources like water, fuel and food will see us through for many more years and our next generation will also enjoy the benefits of technology. One wastage which I see in urban living is water. Cleaning of water and bringing it to our house also requires lot of energy. Using required amount of water will also see a decrease in energy consumption.
Free of Petroleum Products- When we talk about limited fossil fuel we always think about use of petroleum for different modes of transport but most of us don’t know that about 90% of our daily life is dependent on petroleum products. To make the huge list short I will mention only a few… plastic products, creams, lotions, soaps, detergents, shampoos, medicines, clothes and many more. Once petroleum gets over our life will come to a standstill if we don’t come out of all these products. Unlike energy these daily use items always had alternatives. We just need to look for it.
Local- The benefits of going local are many. Starting from reducing carbon foot prints to having fresh and healthier food stuff. Goods from far away require fossil fuel to transport, energy to keep it fresh, as well as use of chemicals. Now a days in any supermarket you will see shelves full of imported goods be it fruits and vegetable or packed goods. Be Indian buy Indian should be the slogan for environmentalists this year.
Maintain- Maintaining the gradual change to a life which contributes to the well-being of our earth should be our main pledge. All the above promises can fail after the initial enthusiasm dies out. That is the reason the Earth hour is not able to have any impact. Instead of taking it as a symbol of our pledges for the entire year it has become more of a celebration time.
A day at a time will see us through. For starters during tomorrow’s earth hour period stay at home, spend a time with family and friends instead of crowding the streets with candles. Switch off all appliances not used. Have a simple food made with local stuff. Till next year keep the pledges.