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Are you a Green Consumer?

April 30, 2012

Have you heard this line from John Donne’s poem, “No man is an island unto himself”…..

Few words but with a real heavy meaning!

My logic deciphers the inner meaning of the above line as follows: We all belong to nature and our daily activities are tuned to the rhythms of the ecological system that we find ourselves in…Hence, a distortion in this system caused by our activities today, might act as a boomerang for us in the near future. For example, the impounding effects of global warming, a phenomenon which has been triggered by our irresponsible attitude towards the environment, might lead to havocs like spread of epidemic, food shortage, destructive floods, groundwater contamination, stunted growth for crops etc, thus questioning our survival.

Realizing the aforementioned damage and contemplating the solution into action is what defines the attitude of a typical ‘Green Consumer’.

A Green Consumer is one who not only makes eco-conscious preferences of products and services available in the market due to his concern for the environment, but also disseminates knowledge to his fellow citizens about the ‘benefits’ of purchasing green.

Buying green (and buying local) is a kind of investment for a sustainable future with the following benefits:

  • It reduces pollution and the associated health effects;
  • It strengthens communities by retaining and creating jobs locally;
  • It reduces domestic reliance-and vulnerability-to disruptions that occur elsewhere; and,
  • In the long run, it saves money without mortgaging our children’s future.

Have you come across someone in your life till date who matches the above definition correctly? Ask that consumer sitting inside you, who visits a shopping mall with ‘exquisite’ branded outlets, or a ‘cool cafeteria or a lip-smacking food joint almost every new day!!Are you a ‘Green Consumer’??

Let us talk about the city of Mumbai.

When I came to Mumbai two years back the city seemed to be appeal to me a lot at the first go…I could feel the pulse of a ‘fighter’ in every Indian citizen here, who struggled to win the best for himself. Somewhere I also had a hunch that if sensitized, ‘green’ can become a buzzword in this city…all what is needed is awareness.

You would possibly agree with me on the fact, that if found profitable, Mumbaiites generally accept challenges the way they are and try to win over it with all their might. Hence, if explained the simple logic behind consuming ‘green’ I bet it would not be difficult to inculcate the spirit of greenness amongst the citizens in Mumbai.

People are buzzing about ‘green’ in newspapers, tv shows, ads, social networking sites, workshops, educational events, social gatherings etc. However a common misnomer which spoils the spirit is that green products cost a wee higher than equivalent brown products.  Have you ever questioned whether it is worth to pay more? Have you tickled your grey cells ever to understand why you are asked to pay Rs.5-6 for that extra plastic bag at the billing counter of shopping malls? The answer is simple…so that you save at least 5-6 times on your quality of life from getting deteriorated.

From plastic bags you use for your grocery to electronic appliances that you have accommodated at your office and residence to enjoy all the comforts of life…..every object in the universe follows a life cycle. Each life cycle consists of five stages: extraction, production, distribution, usage and disposal.

Thus, from the stage the raw materials are extracted to its disposal, there is an environmental footprint created at each step of this cycle. You may debate with me saying that as a consumer there is not much that you can do because the first three stages are beyond your control, But what about the last two and maybe the most important ones?

If you act more maturely and responsibly in making your choices as a consumer, not only do you move into a sustainable mode of living but you force manufacturers to produce ‘green’ so as to meet your demands.

Thus, you as an eco-conscious consumer stand undefeated as a ‘Leader’ who has the ability to force the system towards a ‘greener future’ just by making the correct choice of a product.

Would you not want to be called a ‘leader’ at least once in your lifetime??

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One Comment
  1. Just amazing !

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