When I wrote my previous post on the Global Warming challenge, I was all fired up with the information I had gathered and the ideas I had in my head. It seemed pretty obvious to me that everyone reading my post would feel similarly too. I guess that’s a mistake most of us tend to make when we feel passionately about something.
With hindsight, and after taking the husband’s feedback, I realized that my post might have come across as a sudden and impulsive whim to some. Here she is writing about her life, her family and other mundane stuff for so many months, and suddenly one day she comes across a television programme and thinks up some crazy challenge when she has no idea what she’s taking about!
That’s how some of you might have thought and perhaps you are right too. I am a bit impulsive like that. But I’d like to clarify a few things here. When I mentioned watching the programme ‘today’ I did watch it the day I wrote the post, but that day was not yesterday! I’ve been chewing on this post and gathering more information for quite a while now. And only wrote this post after I was sure I truly believed in this cause and it was not just a passing fancy.
So although I may not be the best-informed person on this topic, my intentions are the best and I am completely open to, nay, I’m actively looking for your feedback and suggestions. This is going to be your challenge friends! Having said that, I do have a few ideas that I’d like to bounce off you.
1) The first step would obviously be to brainstorm and come up with some cool ideas that we agree to implement as a group.
2) I think we might be better off starting with simple ideas that would be easy to implement. I’m not saying this is going to be painless, but lets take it one small step at a time, shall we? So relax, no one is going to badger you to sell off your dream SUV tomorrow, but it would be nice if you could replace some of those high-wattage light bulbs in your bathroom sometime soon!
3) A nice way to keep things on track might be to have something like an ‘Idea of the month’ series, wherein we go on making one small but helpful difference to our lifestyle every month, making sure we continue the good habits of the last month of course!
4) Group approval and peer pressure are perhaps the greatest motivators ever, so why not have something like a ‘Concerned Individual of the month’ badge, awarded to the most diligent implementor of the month? I know we have lots of talented and creative bloggers around, so making a cool badge that we could proudly display on our blogs should be a piece of cake, right? 🙂
5) Spread the word. Beginning at home and making a difference individually is wonderful, but what’s really going to help is making everyone around you equally aware. When I was reading up on climate change online, it seemed obvious to me that this was probably THE most important issue we should all be talking about and working towards.
But apart from a handful of organizations and some global conferences, hardly anyone seems to be aware of what we are facing here. Ever seen climate change news splashed on the front page of a mainstream newspaper? Becoming the centre-piece of an election campaign? I have no idea why this has not happened till now. Vested interests perhaps?
Again, I am no expert on this and all my information comes from online sources such as this one. It may or may not be a 100% authentic, but even the slightest chance that it might be, is enough for me to want to do something about it. Plus, who can deny that most of the simple measures we are talking about here make great economic sense too! Who wouldn’t like to reduce their electricity or fuel bill if it can be done? 🙂
And if all this is true, we cannot really overestimate the power of spreading the word! Doesn’t it seem obvious to you that working to prevent global warming is a selfish need. We talk of giving our children the best possible education and the best available lifestyle, how about giving them a healthy planet to live on and clean air to breathe in? Because this is what it really boils down to, to be honest.
Okay, that’s all that I can think of right now. As for the actual ways in which we can make a difference, there’s a lot of handy tips online, but let me mention a few simple but important ones as a sampler here.
1) Move your thermostat 2 degrees down in winter and 2 degrees up in summer. Better still, my suggestion would be to rethink if you really need a cooler/air conditioner running fulltime in summer. I can understand needing a heater in bitter cold winters, but am not so sure of summers. Especially in places like my hometown, Mumbai, where the air conditioner is not really a necessity but a luxury. Do we really need it? No. Is it nice to have? Sure! (Thanks to my over-zealous parents, I have practiced this myself, so I think I can speak about it!)
2) Carpool with your friends or coworkers while commuting to work or going on a picnic. This one is self-explanatory and plain commonsense really. Easy on the pocket and great fun too!
3) Cover your pots and pans while cooking. Better still, use a pressure cooker whenever possible.
4) Use double-sided single-spaced options while printing your office documents. And before you print, ask yourself – do I really need a copy of this document for each person attending the meeting? Could two or three persons share a copy? Is anybody going to even scan through my copy or are they going to chuck it away without a glance after the meeting?
5) Plant a tree. Moved into a new home or apartment complex with lots of open space? Planning to go for a picuture-perfect landscaped lawn look? Why not think of a nice foresty nook with lots of tall trees instead? Looks great, lots of natural shade and fresh air and a wonderful space for your kids to play in too!
Think about it friends, how many of these measures require great sacrifices on your part? Aren’t they more about making some conscious and well-thought choices and simple adjustments to your lifestyle? And think of the benefits involed! So let me ask you again, are you ready to participate in YOUR climate change challenge on this blog?