Areille - the Lioness of God

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Green is in!

This year it really is all about going green. And since I am such a trend follower and ofcourse I love our dear mother earth, here are a few changes I have made or am trying to make to 'go greener'. Some of these might seem insignificant, but if frail and puny Gandhiji thought that way - we would not be the proud independent nation we are today.

Also, I would love to hear what you all are doing, so that I can add them to my list.

Things I do:
1. Wash clothes only in cold water - supposed to be big savings in this!
2. Always clean the lint thingy in your dryer.
3. Use cloth grocery bags
4. Donate clothes I don't use - a way to recycle.
5. Reuse containers / glass pottles etc.
6. Resuable water bottle at work!
7. Resuable wash cloths for kitchen counters and brushes for bathrooms instead of the disposable paper towels - we waste too much paper towel!

Changes I am making this year:

1. Switch off unnecessary lights around the house.
2. Try to refrain from using the ac/heat as much as possible.
3. Shut the tap as I brush my teeth.
4. Say no to tissue-wrap while buying clothes.
5. Buy less.
6. Find recycling stations - I only have paper in my apt. community. I don't buy much of plastic, but would love one for cans and bottles.
7. Shorter showers. (toughie)

A cool site with lots of info that I heard about on Oprah is


  • At 1/22/2008 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anand said…

    It took you so long to realize that you neeed to close the tap as you brush your teeth?? :)

  • At 1/22/2008 11:20 PM, Anonymous 'Go Green' supporter said…

    Come to think of it, with regards to u'r "The way i see it #289" posting, who has the time to read what's on a Java cup, much less - care about what's written. But with people like u noticing such stuff and acting on it, there's a good reason for hope for a greener planet :)

    Needless to say, great that u posted it on u'r blog, 'cause am sure it does have a hefty readership.. (including readers like me, who though hardly comment, thoroughly enjoy reading it!!)

    Now, as hard as it is to change one's lifestyle in a sustained manner to go the 'green' way, I've realized that it is indeed a lot harder to convince others (even some of u'r best friends) to do so.. Probably, u'r #289 post is the only post to still have 0 comments. Maybe u were looking in for some responses from people abt the thought of going green, maybe not. But quite thoughtful of you to bring it up in this posting, with some easy-to-practice changes. Hope that interested readers follow atleast some of these changes, to help in their own small way.

    Here's some more I would like to share:

    1) Change all house bulbs to "CFL" bulbs, one of the brands - GE EnergySmart CFL bulbs :)

    2) Avoid ATM receipts whenever possible. There's a tremendous volume of ATM transactions generated, and so a huge potential to save paper and thereby trees.

    3) We sometimes leave the tap running while washing utensils, which amounts to a lot of water wasted. Try and control that, whenever possible.

    4) Is is really worth doing some of the above? - watch "PLANET EARTH" to marvel at the beauty of our splendid earth, and to feel the need for conserving it.. Amazing series (in fact the "MOUNTAINS" episode boasts exclusive video footage of the ever-elusive snow leopard - the first of its kind, and they have even succeeded to capture a hunt - astonishing!!)

    And some real cool links, esp the last one in the Jan 08 issue of NG about high-tech trash:

  • At 1/23/2008 7:29 AM, Blogger Charanya said…

    I just started an initiative at work - trying to get my team to recycle those starbuck cup sleeves - they are re-usable, and I am collecting them and returning them to the Starbucks Bistro in the cafeteria!

  • At 1/23/2008 7:29 AM, Blogger Areille said…

    Anand: My mom used to always tell me to shut that tap - but I hated to see that toothpaste foam settling in the basin - and now I hate to see it not! :D

    GGS: I am so glad that even though you hardly ever comment, this was the post you decided to do the honors with! :)

    I have seen bits and pieces of "planet green" and it's amazing. The sad story of the polar bear now having to swim so much more today to find ice and dying on the way ... makes me feel so ashamed! What a waste of our life if we can't undo or at the least make a difference in the damage we have done. I am an animal planet addict. Big fan of wild cats. :D

    Change in bulbs is a great one - need to work on that. I live in an apt and so just have been using the bulbs the apt. came with. But that's no excuse.

    ATM receipts - already do say no to that! I did it cause it would just clutter up my car/purse but it feels good that the choice I made was doing a lot more!

    Thanks for your suggestions! I truly believe, every little helps!

  • At 1/23/2008 7:30 AM, Blogger Areille said…

    Cha!! You inspire me in more ways than you can imagine! You go girl!

  • At 1/23/2008 9:20 AM, Anonymous anony3!!! said…

    walk to work (or) car pooling (or) how abt a hybrid car (if driving abt 30mi everyday...might as well take an apt 30mi away)

    and still can take long showers provided its cold water shower and NOT warm/hot shower!!!

    One of the largest waste of energy is from the showrooms with glass windows and completely lit..imagine if they have shutters like in most shops in India, how much energy can be saved from turning off the lights completely or automatic lights!!!

  • At 1/23/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger Improper Bostonian said…

    1) walking, cycling, using public transportation (buses/subways/commuter rails) to work is definitely a better thing to do, when it is not cold. Most ppl living in the city and in the suburbs here do that. Even though "going green" is not the reason for that, i guess, whatever helps is in boston, you might even see men/women in formal suits roller-skating to work...

    2) glitzy electronic equipments, like a trendy music system with lots of light emitting diodes (if thats the right word for them),could be turned off when not in the past, I have found them to be drawing significant power

    3) christmas trees with plenty of lights...i understand its a religious thing...but these lights consume lots of power, most of the time...its probably ok to have it until new year, or a lil later...some people have it for months...

    4) if you do weekly volunteering work in your community and if you interact with people from foreign countries, who may not be able to speak good english, it might be a good idea to talk to them abt ideas listed in this post...they would appreciate them as well

  • At 1/23/2008 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anand said…

    Charanya: Why dont you convince them to use their own reusable cups (or maybe gift all of them a coffee mug as a late christmas present)? Surely that will save a lot more than just recycling the sleeves.

  • At 1/24/2008 11:47 AM, Blogger Charanya said…

    Anand - I am trying to do that as well, but that seems to be a harder sell for some reason - no idea why - so am taking baby steps to get workplace in facts charges less if you use your own mug - but I still don't see folks switching to it! Weird!

    You have to start somewhere though I guess!

  • At 1/26/2008 7:54 AM, Anonymous GGS said…


    Being truly passionate abt nature and wildlife, I kinda *had* to reply this time (needless to say, some of u'r other posts are equally thought-provoking!!). It always feels nice to come across people, who are not only enviromentally conscious, but actually do something about it :)

    Oh! I too am hooked onto A.Planet, and do also watch lots of nature documentaries. The 'Planet Earth' series is really fascinating. The video on the snow leopard - no one had ever captured it before, and witnessing such unique animal footage is indeed a treat. Cats are so majestic, esp. the Bengal tiger, which I have been lucky enough to glimpse, in the legendary forest of Kanha. Since u like wild cats, here's a cool documentary - one of the best i've seen: (Watch Program 2 - Chasing Big Cats - u could borrow it from the County library, say!)

    U said it! As with the polar bear, and many such endangered creatures, We are driving them towards extinction. Its a sad plight, and we should atleast try and make a difference. Its such a waste not to do anything abt it. And of course, every individual matters, and every little helps. To me, the very joy of experiencing nature's beauty is realization enough that we owe it, to help preserve such beautiful places.

    Ok, here's a couple more quick points I saw on Oprah:
    1) Keeping devices plugged in draws 40% of the electricity, so unplug them.
    2) A spectator on the show mentioned about her explaining to her kids, that when one says - 'throw it away', there's no "away", and so she took them to a Landfill to show what happened to the trash we throw. Mighty impactful perspective, I'ed say- 'cause children are after all our future heroes to be.

    (My true idol - Dr.Jane Goodall, and she has targeted her 'Roots and Shoots' program, towards the youth; her book- 'Reason for Hope' is just too-good..)

    Anyways, u r sure to have my response atleast on any green issue, if not others :) [Sorry the comment's gotten long..]

  • At 1/27/2008 11:10 AM, Blogger Ankit Chadha said…

    Hats off to all you guys thinking so much about all kinds of things for saving our planet.

    I have nothing else to say I am speechless.

  • At 1/29/2008 3:07 AM, Blogger zaph said…

    bah, all this is way too much effort to eke out one miserable decade out of a planet headed to hell. i say let's party with all the lights on while it's still there (the parties i mean, who gives a damn about the lights anyway)

  • At 1/29/2008 1:10 PM, Anonymous TwoPenny said…

    Looks like we are coming full circle here-- I thought most of the stuff you plan to do this year is what we already do as Indians....maybe we just forget those habits once we get used to the way of life here. But, I can't help but wonder how economical our habits were in India & how wasteful we become once we get used to the lifestyle here.....

  • At 1/29/2008 1:14 PM, Anonymous twoPenny said…

    I also agree with anony3....why can't people just carpool? Ever been stuck in a traffic jam and seen just cars with solo passengers in them? Car pooling would quickly cut down the traffic to at least half of what is on the road at that it just not convenient enough to get out of the house 5 mins early & pick up a friend/colleague?

  • At 1/29/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger Charanya said…

    Agree with 2penny! A lot of the things you listed on your post - we used to do back home in India or Singapore where I grew up! Switching off lights, not using ac/heat unnecessarily, washing clothes with cold water, air-drying the clothes rather than using a dryer, washing with water rather than Toilet Paper (a biggie if you think about it!!),filling up a bucket of water to take a bath, rather than wasting tons of water on a full length shower, carrying cloth bags to the market for grocery shopping etc!

    Life here has indeed caused us to become more wasteful in the name of convenience and luxury!

  • At 5/01/2008 2:35 PM, Anonymous neetu Jain said…

    we are having a nice discussion on "going green" these days in our weekly AID meetings --anybody is welcome to join.

    few of the points i can add to this post are :-

    1) there are Bio-degradable -laundry detergents, dish washer liquids etc --try using them

    2) compost all you day to day kitchen waster material

    3) try to combine your trips --grocery , friends, trekking e.t.c

    4) for outdoors --you can by --green furniture ( made from reused materials--like coke cans)

    5) carry your own coffee mugs to coffee house, own cutlery --to restaurants where they use styrofoams

    6) on potlucks -- try to avoid disposables use -- ask some of yoru freinds to bring plates --adn everybody can wash his/her own plate later

    7) as such avoid --soda --they cause water depletions , pollution with cans and have no health benefit

    8) Re-use is the best way to go --try to think hard --how to use this thing --which you are about to throw

    9) I might organize a Solar cooking workshop in coming months --not sure about the details --but that's another way of going green

    these are some points contributed by people in past CSH( we call it community service hour) in addition to the points mentioned!


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