Let's ask ourselves a question...
How often do we stop and think about how our actions are affecting the environment and what are we really going to leave behind for the future generations?
I know that's a difficult question. But don't worry, you and I both know the answer: NEVER. And let's face it, this devil-may-care narrow-minded approach of ours is what's responsible for the sorry state of the environment. And believe it or not, it will also be responsible for the impending environmental crisis that our kids will inherit from us.
There are no doubts about the fact that sustainability is the need of the hour and we all need to adopt a Hybrid Mindset.
A Hybrid Mindset, if broken down into simple words, is considering both the economy and the ecology as complimentary and not competing ideas when going about your day-to-day activities. Of course, this involves changes in one's routine and preferences. That said, if we are to do any good to the environment, we will have to make these choices that form an important part of the life of any Hybrid Person.
1. 7:00 AM
Rahul wakes up early and instead of switching on a Halogen bulb, he turns on an LED bulb.
Instead of using Halogen bulbs, Rahul uses LED bulbs in his house as they consume up to 75% less energy. These bulbs only consume 2-17 watts of energy (i.e. 1/3rd to 1/30th of a halogen bulb) and they last almost 25 times longer than halogen bulbs too. Which means, that apart from saving energy and reducing his house's electricity bill, LED bulbs also light up his house in a more efficient manner.
2. 7:30 AM
After reading the newspaper, Rahul goes to the washroom and starts with his morning business. The difference is, that he does not let the water flow while he is brushing.
A very common thing that happens in every household is that we let the water run when we are brushing our teeth. However, a person with a Hybrid mindset such as Rahul, make a conscious decision and save water by closing the tap while he is brushing. Why? You may ask. Well simply because he knows this fun fact -
If you turn off the water tap while brushing, you can save up to 24 litres of water a day, which amounts to a whopping 700 litres a month! And guess what, nearly the same amount of water can be saved while doing the dishes as well. And since India, as a nation has an acute water problem, it makes all the sense in the world to save as much as we can.
3. 9:00 AM
Rahul leaves for work, and instead of using a conventional petrol or diesel car, he uses his Hybrid car.
Rahul has taken another conscious decision by buying a Hybrid car that consumes lesser fuel than a conventional gasoline car. As per the International Council of Clean Transportation, a standard hybrid car's fuel consumption is almost 3.98 litres per 100 KMs! Hybrid cars by definition are cars that use more than one means of propulsion. In the current scenario, quite a few automobiles manufacturers are using electric motors along with diesel or petrol engines. They might be in a nascent stage in India, but slowly and steadily, Hybrid cars are surely gaining popularity. Not just because they are comparatively eco-friendly, but also because they are fuel efficient.
4. 10:00 AM
Rahul arrives at his office. He works with a construction company which uses Industrial Symbiosis for better and more effective utilisation of their resources.
Rahul works in an MNC, which is into the construction of buildings, both commercial and residential. What sets his MNC apart is that they believe in Industrial Symbiosis. Now, Industrial symbiosis is the association between two or more industrial facilities or companies in which the waste or byproducts of one company can be used as a resource for the other. It is not just an eco-friendly but also a smart choice as it helps in the reduction of raw material and waste disposal costs. The companies involved can also earn revenue by reusing each other's industrial byproducts and residue. What's more, it also helps in the creation of new business opportunities!
5. 7:00 PM
After coming home from work, Rahul segregates his trash and uses different coloured dustbins to make it easier for him.
Before he calls it a day, Rahul makes it a point to segregate his garbage and put it in different dustbins. This process of separating waste into different elements is known as waste segregation. Broadly, waste can be divided into wet and dry waste. Dry waste consists of wood, metal, and glass. Wet waste refers to organic waste which mostly contains food materials. Proper waste segregation has a positive effect on climate change, as it reduces the amount of methane in the air and it is helpful as it avoids mix-up at landfills, thereby avoiding toxic emissions. Not only does this increase our 'green consciousness' but has economic benefits as well. That's because dry waste such as plastic could be recycled, which helps create job opportunities.
6. 8:00 PM
After dinner, Rahul decides to meet his friends and catch a movie at the city centre. However, instead of letting everyone get their own cars, he decides to pick his friends and all of them carpool.
Since it's a Friday and his favourite movie has just been released. Rahul calls up his friends and they all decide to go for the movie. The difference is that instead of everyone getting their own respective cars, Rahul informs them that he will pick them up and then they together will go for the movie.
He knows that not only is carpooling a great way to save money, but also a smart way to reduce the number of cars on the road and therby, his own carbon footprint.
7. 11:00 PM
While on his way back home, Rahul always switches off his car's ignition whenever he is at a traffic signal.
Another sign of being a conscious person with a Hybrid Mindset is that you know that whenever you can, you should turn the ignition of your car off. This is especially true for the times when you are standing at a traffic signal. This will not only save fuel, and to a large extent, money, but you will also protect the environment against the harmful gasses that are emitted while you keep your car in the idle state. As a rule, Rahul knows that if you have to stop at any place for more than 10-12 seconds, then you should switch off your car. Bear in mind that in addition to the money-saving and environmental benefits - switching a car off at a signal is also the safe way to go.
Not only do these small habits and practices of Rahul make him aware of his surroundings, it also helps him in enhancing his standard of living.