Thursday, June 4, 2009

World Environment Day – 5th June

This is my foray into the world of green blogging – “A Greener You” .

But yet another green blog..why? As Karen puts it – “we all touch lives of different people. Let the other green bloggers touch the lives of people in their part of the world and this one will touch the lives and tell the stories of people in our part of the world.”

The ABC of becoming green is a 3 step process :

A – Awareness

B – Belongingness

C- Commitment

This blog will create awareness – with inspiring stories and information about anything in the shade of green, belongingness you will need to develop, commitment will come the moment the realization sets in that – we belong to this earth and it belongs to us.

“Now as never before, the old phrase has more meaning. We are all in the same boat.” – Jacques Costeau.

We are at the beginning of the fourth revolution of human history. This is the green revolution…We aim to achieve a balance between our consumerist ways and the new greener ways – some call it sustainable development.

“Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on earth is an endless game, the endless expressing of generosity on behalf of all.”Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest

Green is about worrying more than oneself. It is being sensitive to what your actions could cause to not only your immediate neighborhood, but understanding its larger ramifications. Even something as simple as the food we eat has its ramifications. “We sit down at the dinner table, pick up a fork, take a juicy bite, oblivious to the double helping of global ramifications. Our beef comes from Iowa, fed by Nebraska corn. Our bananas from Honduras, our olive oil from Sicily”(source National Geographic : End of Plenty – The Global Food Crisis June 2009).

Becoming “A Greener You” is your choice and you can fool yourself into believing that one person does not matter. But believe me living in tandem with nature is cheaper and healthier and we can become green and more greener with patience and perseverance.

I chose June 5th- World Environment Day as the day of my first blog. World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day's agenda is to:

  1. Give a human face to environmental issues;
  2. Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
  3. Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
  4. Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

So what better than 5th June to start this Green Blog.

Today I will tell you about a story of a certain doctor couple. In the neighborhood I grew up in – in Nagpur, central India, our immediate neighbors were Dr and Dr(Mrs) W. Mrs. W’s father was a keen gardener. As was the case in the early 60-70-80’s independent houses had big gardens – with front gardens for flowers and back gardens for fruits and vegetables. With the demise of Mrs W's father, the house was divided among the children – the ground floor for the son, the top floor for the daughter – Mrs. W and the second floor went to the other son – who constructed his office and cordoned off half of the garden to make way for parking for his staff. The front garden was half its size and was reduced to just a small portion of greenery.

The first floor had two big terraces which used to be rather bare. We used to play there with Mrs W’s kids when we are little. A few months after her dad’s demise we started seeing loads of potted plants arriving. Within months the bare terraces where transformed into a formal lawn sit-out(yes on the first floor!) and loads of plants from various places. Watching the bare space turning green gave me immense pleasure – as if it was Mrs W’s way of paying homage to her departed father. So why mention this story here – well its about how you can include just three green plants in your apartment and improve the air quality inside your house. A few months earlier I was checking out LEED certification courses and stumbled upon Kamal Meattle’s talk on TED. With its air-filtering plants and sustainable architecture, Kamal Meattle's office park in New Delhi is a model of green business. Meattle himself is a longtime activist for cleaning up India's air. He talks about three common plants – the Areca palm, the money plant and mother-in-laws tongue. These are not very high maintenance and are available anywhere in the world!

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Each of these indoor plants have their specific specialties – but they all help in improving indoor air quality – which in turn improves the health of the people living therein. Work environments with healthier indoor air quality have reported lower absentees, fewer sick leaves, lesser allergies and increased productivity.

We may not be plant lovers but we all love our families and all offices would like their employees to be more productive – so please do go through Kamal Meattle’s talk on TED and get these three amazing plants to become the showpieces of your home or office.

So creating fresh air for yourself is easy and it could be your first step in turning into a beautiful light shade of green(for a beginning!). I move houses often (between countries) – but wherever I have lived I have had my plants and pots. On departing the country I leave my plants with plant loving friends.

Recently my hubby went for a training session - ‘How to make better business presentations” – session was interesting and the speaker very good. Now why I am going off the context – well – they were all asked to give a talk on any topic of their choice – my hubby gave a presentation on Longwood Gardens (visit his blog on Vignettes on Photography (using Olympus E-30)). His colleague Sumathi chose to talk about these house plants and Kamal Meattle. So there was Puru – sitting and nodding his head – Suni will like this – or she must have already seen this..!! So thanks to Sumathi – I decided to write my first blog on these three humble houseplants.

So this is my first blog post – leave your feedback, comments and let me know incase you want to share your big or small green effort, will happily include them. Counting on you all to make this a beautiful dark green blog!

CIAO

Sunita

5 comments:

  1. Yay Suni! This is awesome. I am into being green too. Do my share of recycling at work & home. Best part, I have the 3 plants you have listed at home and lots more.
    Good Luck with your blog!

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  2. Thanks Vanitha...Saw the TED presentation by Kamal Meattle..?

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  3. nice.

    looking forward to hear more real stories regarding the green initiatives..

    Now thinking to plant atleast one of the three plants, you mentioned.

    Can you please send me the link of TED presentation referred in your blog?

    Naval

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  4. Naval,
    thanks..
    Click on the "Kamal Meattle’s talk on TED" in my blog..it will take you to the presentation..
    Sunita

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  5. This is great begining!

    keep it up :-)

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I would be interested to know your views on this blog.