Global warning: This conversation might make you plan your life towards benefiting the planet.
I started maintaining a log of my modes of transport on 1-Jan-2017 as part of my aim of being greener. I first spoke to you about it when I had completed 100 days of logging, then when I had completed 1001 journeys and then 1-year after I started keeping track. And now I am writing having completed 5000 journeys. Scroll down for the summary chart.
[To equip yourself with more background, do read the initial article.]
If you are trying to have a minimum negative impact on the planet’s health it is best to achieve it in a multipronged fashion – what you eat, drink, wear, smear, smell, drive, and even whom you vote for. As part of that, at the very least you too can think and act a little bit more concertedly when it comes to your modes of transport.
Not in My Backyard: The City of Mumbai where I spend chunks of time each year had the slowest traffic in the world last year. That is only one of the reasons that I jokingly call it the Shitty of Mumbai, reflected in the resultant tiny number of foreign visitors to this financial capital and Bollywood capital of the largest democracy in the world. The strongest driver that has brought us to this dismal state is selfish short-sightedness along with an ignorance of policymakers about a key feature that drives human decisions – convenience. Ironical, given that they all seem to live their own lives based on short-term convenience.
On 27th July I attended a public forum in Mumbai that was packed to the brim with concerned citizens who had come to listen to speakers highlighting issues around the current plans for public transport in Mumbai. It seemed to me that this feature, i.e. convenience, was routinely missed by most of the very experienced speakers. Ironical, given that when I left the venue, I noticed chauffeurs waiting for their employers attending the session. So much for the Gandhian “be the change you want to see” that many of them spouted. [Yes, for me it was very normal-and-everyday to walk to the station, take a 35 min train journey and walk again – definitely faster than if I had called an Uber in that city.]
We often go on bouts of ‘no sugar for a month‘ or ‘vegetarian for a week‘ for our own health. It would be good for our bodies and our souls to also do the same for our planet. This year, during Ramadhaan, I set myself a target of no more than 2 non-green journeys per week. Of the 232 journeys I did in the 30 days of daily fasting, only 6 were by car (i.e. fewer than the 8 I had permitted myself). It did not move the needle for global heating but I could sleep at night knowing that my responsibility as a citizen of this world was being fulfilled in one more way. Not just by eating sensibly through 30 days, but also by careful choice of transport.
How Green are my Numbers?
Let green be your colour of focus in movement.
Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.