Go green @Rs 100

Let green governance begin from our workplaces


Deevakar Anand | May 6, 2011

Fresh after paying a penalty with afterthoughts amok, it was not long before I realised my senses' improved ability to appreciate the colour "green".

It all happened in the newsroom. And who else could take a journalist to task in his own den, except the editor? My editor made me pay a Rs 100 fine for leaving my computer switched on the previous evening after I had called it a day. Of course, his decision was symbolic – save power, go green.

When you pay any penalty, more often than not, there would not be more than two to three instant trajectories of thoughts that you take. In the descending order of probabilities, they could be: First, “Oh! I got needlessly poorer.”  Second, “Wish the devil had not detected my fault and I were saved.” And third, “Forget the pennies. I learnt a well needed lesson. Why wasn’t I conscious of not committing this unjustifiable wrong?”

Though I didn’t know the rule at my office (that came into effect barely a few hours before), knowing well that nothing is as dynamic as the newsroom dynamics, I didn’t have a choice but look my graceful best while colleagues, in a lighter vein, pitied me for being the first defaulter to be caught. In the same breath, a couple of them also offered to take me out for coffee to make up for the loss (or gain as it later turned out). Fortunately, for all of us, it was a moment of renewed consciousness about preserving the environment.

There are a million ways of going green. And doing it at our workplaces is one of them.

Optimising the energy settings of our computers and other devices can be more than just modest energy saver. So, putting the machines on ‘hibernate’ or ‘sleep’ modes every time we go for that five-minute coffee break is worth it. Digitising the documents is the other way to live up to the spirit of “the greenest paper is no paper at all”. Keeping files on computers not only saves paper and our cabinet space, it’s also easier to take them along when we move to a new office. Reviewing documents online rather than taking a print is another case in point. If only we could avoid being a paper pusher by ensuring both its sides are used for printing. Things as small as having biodegradable soaps and cleaners in the office washrooms make a difference.

An idea which is in vogue is redesigning the office space in such a way as to ensure the maximum use of natural daylight which is a free source of lighting and has proven to improve productivity of the employees.

The “green is the new black” mantra advocates the use of renewable sources like wind, water, solar heat and other recyclable sources as against the fossil fuels like coal and crude oil for energy. Environment activists worldwide have been crying to tear down the existing nuclear plants and proposals for setting up new ones, more so in the aftermath of melting down of Fukushima reactor in Japan during the recent tsunami. With the Kyoto protocol which is the basis of global efforts to cut the emissions liable for the earth’s warming, expiring next year and consensus among countries on new targets eluding, a gap between the outgoing and the incoming protocol seems imminent.

We obviously are worried but even as we voice our concerns on green governance, we will do good to begin doing our bit, may be, starting from our work place. 

After all, it only costs us a little thought and in worst case, a hundred rupee note as it did to me. 



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