So you think you are a responsible “Planet-Lover”? Care to test that NOW?

Weirdly enough prayers tend to be more sincere in hospitals than in Churches. Like kisses happen to be more sincere at airports than in wedding halls.

You know what else is weird? The postman or a five-year kid or that yokel in village who stops midway, alights from a bicycle to pick up a wayward wafer wrapper is more of an environmentalist than the couture economist travelling across the world to an exotic country for a climate conference.

Or? This is going to hurt, so dare move ahead only if you have the spleen, or liver or whatever it takes to.

That ignorant housewife who bothers to watch the tap in her kitchen is more responsible than an author writing about water-crisis or a correspondent covering COP21 or those picketers posting selfies of a protest on Facebook.

Yeah, alright, let’s not beat about the picket fence and come to the point. It’s really, really easy (and oh-so-tempting – we do it all the time) to pick enemies and villains from the big bad world of capitalists, bureaucrats and rich nations around us when the urge to blame someone billows up.

After all, they have always been sitting ducks (ok, they paddle furiously underneath the water, but still) for throwing all those passionate darts, aiming those angry barbs about making dear Earth vulnerable to carbon, pollution, scarcity and ozone dents.

But have we ever looked down our own shoe-laces and paused to see the trail we leave behind too? May be, we are just small orbs on that huge dartboard of emissions, but aren’t smaller ones the hardest?

Buckle up, for here are some really unpleasant questions that might help with an autopsy of our delusional minds and hurried conclusions. But don’t tell us you were not fore-warned:

As consumers, would we be ok (not just not-grumpy or not-fussy but really cool about it) if an environmentally-responsible product or service comes with a premium?

  • Have you ordered that next big electric vehicle or started riding that bicycle or carrying that jute bag for actual mindset change? Or is it something new you can show off to your friends? Finally something that can make you stand out among the money-making achievers?
  • Do you just talk about the Paris agreements over a glass of wine and Ravioli or do you care to check how much wastage that high-star restaurant’s kitchen happens to incur?
  • If the government indeed did more cleaning, less polluting, better policing of planet’s-criminals; would you shell out an environment tax to support all that effort?
  • Have you ever encouraged a businessman for adopting a good cause or investing in a sustainable venture? (Before you jump to the affirmative, what did you pick to read in the newspaper last time – a photo cover of that billionaire’s next yacht and big party or a small column on underprivileged kids working under a NGO?)
  • Do you not re-inforce brands when they seduce you for your desires by watching, listening, window-shopping, buying, and sometimes even protesting those commercials? What would you rather hear – a video advising you to switch that smartphone off and talk to your spouse or a video telling you how that new smartphone or lotion or cologne will make you r life complete?
  • While we are at it, we will twist the knife further.
  • Will you ever work gratis for a school or a hospice or a resurrection NGO for your city’s old monuments?
  • Do you cut the maid’s salary for broken cups (or the peon’s for a missed day) but feel all glorious and compassionate donating to a charity three months later?
  • Don’t you argue with the coconut-water hawker for that one penny less but don’t mind splurging on popcorns that come with a 1000 per cent mark-up in a multiplex?
  • Would you not knit your eyebrows if a manufacturer asks for a ‘just price’ to incorporate extra efforts because he bothered paying attention to how water is used, how resources are consumed, how trees are not cut, how labor is not exploited or anything that matters during the process? Do you rush for discounts like a vampire smelling blood?
  • Would you pick that soap if it came in a raw form sans all the glossy packaging? That juice unless it was lacquered under a label?
  • Will you wash your hair with baking powder or honey instead of fussing over sulphates in the shampoo?
  • Would you accept a reimbursement from an automaker or an electronics firm when they try to slip in an apology in your pockets for that emissions-fraud or that defective battery?
  • Would you have the patience to wait for Tesla Model 3 till it sorts out those production kinks? The patience to stretch the life of a pair of jeans by maintaining it in a certain way? The patience to walk all the way to a recycle store before queuing up for the next iPhone?Would you stop buying that mink jacket or that ultra-hawt gadget just because it hurt animals or exploited child labor in some sweatshop? Would you by any chance, miss catching this information?
  • And the most ruthless one: Do you turn off the tap even if the water is being wasted for a millisecond while you brush sleepily?

Listen. We are not looking for ‘yes’ laden answers or a score board here. We just wanted to ask you and ourselves some more relevant and poignant questions than the usual ones that fill our day and desks.

Like a famous detective happened to believe: Questions are more important than answers.  Always!

The way we see it: Questions are more sincere than answers. Always.

Pratima H


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