Towards a greener campus
Over the last year and a half, I have often asked our batch-mates about how we can make our campus greener. The answers have varied from “We already have enough of plants and wild life on campus” to “we have lots of wasted space where more trees can be planted” to “we need to reduce littering and have more dust bins etc placed at different locations within the campus”. But these are very limited view of being green.
In today’s parlance, being green does not just mean having or planting lots of trees. In layman’s terms, “going green” refers to individual action that a person can consciously take to curb harmful effects on the environment through consumer habits, behavior, and lifestyle. An individual’s impact on environment can now be calculated easily using simple tools available on the net. The unit of measurement is carbon units.
With such a definition in mind, I think our campus can be greener – a lot greener.
Without even our realizing it, a lot of wastage takes place on our campus. And all the wastage makes our campus a little less green. Take electricity for example. Massive amount of electricity is wasted everyday. Many of us do not turn off our laptops, coolers, lights and fans when we leave our rooms. Few people actually bother to turn off lights in common areas like corridors and parking area. There is no reason why lights in all washrooms should be on 24/7. Despite notices that have been put up on doors, people simply choose to forget to turn off the lights are they are done using these facilities.
And it is not just students who seem not to be paying attention. Lights in mess are always on, even after night mess hours are over. All fans in mess are turned on almost all the time, even when it isn’t meal time. Lights of some offices on the first floors of PGP Block and Library are also on throughout the night. Computers in CC are never turned off. The systems on first floor of CC, a section which is now defunct and remains locked at all times, are still powered up!
We should remember that ours is electricity deficient country and bulk of electricity is generated by thermal power plants, so each unit of electricity wasted leads to additional pollution.
We also need to better manage our resources. We don’t just have leaky taps, but many a times, in our rush, we forget to turn the taps off properly. We also need to pay attention to how our garbage is being disposed. Each day our campus generates a large number of used plastic glasses, empty bottles, wrappers etc. I believe most of these are disposed of with general garbage, and at the moment little measure is taken to recycle such wastes. Incidentally, the two garbage drums lying in mess were each meant for different purpose initially. One was for bio-degradable wastes and the other was for non-biodegradable wastes. Re-implementing such system will not only enable proper disposal of waste material, but also recycling of a large part of garbage generated!
We don’t need to take strenuous measures to make our campus greener. Simple steps will go a long way! And one can begin by calculating his/her impact on environment.Those who are interested can find the Personal Emissions calculator at http://gaganagrawal.blogspot.com/2008/10/personal-emission-calculator.html