Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Red-use, Re-use, Recycle

Yesterday (April 22nd) was Earth Day. If I were not in US probably I wouldn't have known about it. Lot of people here are concerned about their carbon footprint. It's a different matter that US does most of the climate damage.
There's a lot of talk about Recycling. That's nice but the other problem is that the US economy is primarily driven by consumption. For a variety of reasons (cost, convenience), there is excessive consumption. This is really bad for the environment. It's economically cheaper to buy a new good instead of getting it repaired because of the labor cost. Just dump it and buy a new one. And yeah we can recycle it. There is extra cost for recycling it. It would have helped the environment a lot if the good was reused and extra goods were not manufactured at all.
One fact I realized is that there is a lot of food that gets flown via flights to different parts of the world. This contributes to significant amount of global warming because of the fuel required for transport. Often the cost to environment is not considered in the economics.
Individual can do considerable help in reducing global warming. Some of the things are:-
- Switching off lights when not in use
- Carpooling/Biking/Taking buses etc whenever possible
- Avoiding using throwaway plastic cutlery and styrofoam plates
- Reusing stuff as much as possible

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as much as possible.


Sravan said...

Other things that one can do is to switch off your laptops, TVs, music systems and other electronics completely. Don't leave them in stand by mode. It takes a little bit of persistence to cultivate it as a habit.

Try switching to Fluorescent Spiral Bulbs (from incandescent ones), which work out to be economically and ecologically better.

Those of you planning to build homes might consider using a lot of sunlight to lighten up your home and wallet.
In the same vein, try using solar powered heaters.
Simple things like harvesting rain water will long a way in increasing the water table in your area. Talk your neighbors about it and encourage them to do it as well.

Small changes in our lifestyle at an individual level can go a long way at a global level.

Sravan said...

Lead batteries are the one of the worst culprits in polluting underground water through landfills. I really don't know if there is any way to recycle used batteries in India, or if there is even any awareness in this regard in the public or in the govt. US on the other hand has much better awareness and systems in place. It pays to collect all your old lead batteries and dispose them at you nearest hazardous waste disposal facility (if you are in the usa).

If have the advantage of working from home, use it but make sure your manager is happy with the arrangement. It save money and environment.

dhiru said...

Very basic and effective ideas. The basic problem is that many of the people don't even give a thought about it. Minor savings at an individual level will turn out to be very effective as a whole.