I love books. I am a member of Central Library, Panjim and belonged to several libraries in Calangute until they shut down.
Recently, scanning the shelves at CL, I spotted a title that intrigued me- 'Two Minutes a day for a greener planet' by Marjorie Lamb, published in 1991 by Harper Collins. The lettering on the front has a toxic green hue. But you should never judge a book by its cover! The publishers said they would ‘facilitate planting two trees for every one used in the manufacturing of this book’. How cool is that? I hope they kept that promise.
As I read the book I realized that, in my family, we already practise many of Ms. Lamb's suggestions. They are easy to follow, easy on the environment, and easy on the wallet. For example-we use a rag and a bucket of soapy water to wash our car instead of a hose. We leave her dirty for as long as is socially acceptable to cut down on the resources used (and because we don’t have the time to clean her). We have tried different methods of rain water harvesting-buckets and tanks, pits and stone barriers. We close the tap when we don’t need running water. We switch off the lights and fans in a room when we aren’t in it.
Maybe we live this way because our parents and grandparents lived in a time of economy, of drawing water from the well, reading by kerosene lamps, making sure that everything that could be used was used efficiently and sparingly. Perhaps we should return to those economical ways. Don’t get me wrong- I am not against ‘progressive’ modern technology. I am against needless destruction and waste.
Let’s save our resources-and the planet.
Green tips - Use paper on both sides when possible. Cut up envelopes, flyers, receipts, cards and make little notepads to keep on your desk, near the phone or stuck with a magnet to the fridge.
When shopping, choose items that have the least amount of packaging. And always carry your own bag (preferably cloth). In case you buy one or two items, don’t take a bag for them- unless they are really bulky and you can’t carry them easily.
Reduce your use of air conditioning in the car. I know people who keep the AC on in winter, which doesn’t really make sense. Hello? The AC consumes extra fuel.
Use a battery charger and rechargeable batteries. Think about the number of batteries that you use on a daily basis- watch, cell phone, remote, clock. Cut down the number you throw out by buying rechargeable ones.
Simple enough, right?
It’s the little things that matter. It’s the individuals who make a difference.