When the gray cells turned green…
Homemade, all-natural, organic, herbal, fair-trade are the buzzwords all across the globe. And many are cashing in on that like never before- from groceries to clothing, from toys to schools. The benefits of opting for such products are known by all us – they have low ecological footprint.
For thousands of years, drawing from the nature for all the needs, and at the same time, making a conscientious effort to conserve the nature has been the way of life of our ancestors. In past couple of decades, lifestyles changed, food habits changed, thereby, alienating us from the nature. But now, thanks to the Rujuta Diwekars of the world, the trend is reversing, and products with the above labels are flooding the markets.
I have been using these products for quite some time now, but it’s the economics of these that intrigues me more these days. The pricing of these items clearly indicates that it is meant for the upper middle class which, ironically, leads a high ecological footprint lifestyle. The larger part of the population, though mostly uses less resources, pollutes more because they (are forced to) use low-cost, environmentally damaging products. It compels me to ask myself this question: Do I deserve to consume the green while not making a slightest effort to think green?
We want land and other natural resources to build the modernest workspaces, houses, marketplaces. As sitting at home makes life boring, we want resource-guzzling recreational spaces. So where is the land and labor left to grow organic food for all? We want the purest water to drink but do not want to take the slightest effort to save a drop of water or to protect the water bodies. We want to unwind and recuperate in the lap of nature, but in return do we ensure to leave it clean, let alone to preserve it? Organic, handcrafted cotton clothing is back in vogue, but is the land capable of producing the cotton to meet the demand arising from lavish lifestyles? Without the help of neat packaging all the goodness of nature can never reach us, but why the goodness we consume does not give us the wisdom to dispose the waste correctly? How many of the brains fuelled by the organic food are busy in working towards finding sustainable solutions to the pressing problems and how many are busy in fabricating unnecessary demands and provide for them, and in turn, give rise to more problems?
At the risk of sounding delusional, I will put a brake here to my speeding thoughts. I take solace from the fact that increasingly, more and more people are becoming aware of the situation and talking about it. As people with power go about doing their job in this regard, the best way we can do is to stop complaining, questioning and start contributing in some way. Let us all plant a tree this weekend and that I think would be a good start. What say?
- Meera Mahajan Rotti
Samuchit Enviro Tech. firstname.lastname@example.org www.samuchit.com