New Delhi: Chetan Pandit takes environment issues very seriously. And not just at the office — the man is chief engineer at National Water Academy, Central Water Commission, Pune — but at home as well.
Apart from using a solar water heater and a solar cooker, Pandit, for whom being environment-friendly is a “way of life”, does some very, very simple things to minimize the carbon footprints his family generates.
For instance, his family soaks the rice and lentils overnight so that they cook with less fuel the next day. Says Pandit: “We take things out of refrigerator a few hours before use so that they warm to room temperature without the use of fuel. We switch off the iron before ironing the last cloth, because we know the residual heat is enough to do a good job. These are just a few examples.”
The Pandits also always carry a jute bag when going out to buy vegetable and small items such as bread, butter and jam. When the grocer offers to put their purchases in a polythene bag, they refuse to take it.
The car his family uses has the smallest engine capacity available in the market, and is check regularly for emissions.
Pandit adds with concern and pride that “Earlier when I was posted in Delhi, I either used a chartered bus, or a car pool, to commute to office.”
But he feels people are not taking the eco-friendly messages seriously. “It is apparent that those who lecture others on environment themselves use big cars, travel executive class, stay in 5-star hotels, and generally follow a jet-set glob-trotting life style,” says Pandit.
He adds, “Ask people to adopt rooftop RWH in order to recharge ground water, and they might do it. But tell them tap water supply is an evil introduced by the British, and should be discarded, and that every house in Delhi should have a well in its backyard — as was the practice in Bahadur Shah Zafar’s time — no one will take you seriously.”
Well, back-to-basics can sometimes provide solutions.