What has been your carbon footprint for the day? Did you forget that you had the geyser on as you caught up with the morning news? Or was the stove on as you rummaged through the fridge to fix breakfast? In the environmentally fragile times that we live, time is ticking away for those who continue to be ignorant of a more responsible lifestyle. The good news is that changing over has become a lot more simple, practicable and cheaper than it used to be. As the Green Energy Fair, organised by WWF India, demonstrated, where there is a will to embrace environmental responsibility, there are several ways.
Held at Basva Bhavan, Basveshwar Road, recently, the two-day event had manufacturers of renewable energy solutions showcase their wide range of products for households. Like the compact biogas plant, solar panels, solar water heaters, solar lighting systems, solar cookers and even a solar refrigerator. Hari Somashekhar, Bengaluru state director, WWF-India said, “We want people to know that solar energy is financially viable and physically feasible. Moreover, such equipment is not expensive any more. If not today, then surely some time in the future all of us will have to look towards such energy solutions because we cannot forever depend on fossil fuel. There are no two ways about the fact that renewable energy solutions are the way forward.” The fair was part of WWF’s global campaign ‘Seize Your Power’ which calls upon ‘governments, institutions and individuals to act immediately and make the transition to renewable energy so the future is powered by the sun, wind and water’. “I think the message has begun to percolate among common people. At the fair, I saw many who had their mind set on reducing their electricity and water bills and were looking for long-term investments in renewable energy solutions,” said Somashekhar.
What has been tougher to budge, despite decades of campaigning for a greener earth, is the outlook of policy makers. “The government needs to take steps to make renewable energy solutions look right. Through subsidies and sops, they can effect an attitudinal shift,” added Somashekhar.
In that purview, it seemed apt that WWF-India identified those Bangaloreans who have already adopted such solutions into their homes and are benefiting from it. Among them Shreyas Jagdish (his family has been using solar geysers for the past 5- to 6 years), Sheshadri (his two daughters study under solar lanterns) and Vikas Das (he bought a solar-powered toys, a robot and a train) shared their experiences at the Fair in the hope that it encourages more to ‘transition to clean energy’.
“I am just back from Kerala where I saw how rainwater harvesting systems have been widely adopted by households. Bangaloreans can certain take a leaf from their book in the judicious and resourceful use of water. Even the solar geyser has been shown to be a success. It does not take much any more to try these options. Converting kitchen waste into methane gas to use for cooking is another wonderful solution that in fact big institutions like hotels should come forward to adopt,” said Somashekhar listing things that ordinary citizens can do.
The fair attracted a footfall of about 500 people and for a first-time initiative, Somashekhar is happy with the response. “WWF is typically involved with climate change and wildlife conservation. So this is a new frontier. But just like our Earth Day campaign, this too will hopefully grow, “ he said.