May 19, 2011

Use only what you need

"I walk around in my house without putting the lights on till the last rays of the Sun bid farewell ....I know the exact place of things, I don't need the light even in the night to locate something." Yet another influencer-friend of mine. Someone who NEVER preaches, but ALWAYS practises sensible green thinking. And has been practising for the past few decades.

While visiting another friend of mine, I couldn't but notice the contrast I saw there. The family lives in a palatial mansion, if I could call it so. A really beautiful house. What I liked the most is the abundance of natural light in the house. You can practically live without lights in that house; well, only if you choose to. All the rooms have huge windows; so huge, if you open them you can practically walk in and out of them! The roof is really tall, which makes the rooms airy and leaves you with a very 'breathe-easy' feeling.

But until I left the house, I was overcome by guilt and grief. I felt suffocated through and through.

I am no rebel when I stay in someone else's house. I try to go by their laws. If I stay long enough, I try my influence-tactics. But, only if they show an inclination.

As soon as my friend is up, she puts many lights on. Including a beautiful chandelier that adorns the dining space. That is 6 CFLs. I kept opening the blinds just to let the natural light in. They stay in a well-lit part of the world that is so blessed with the Sun. But, to this day, I cannot understand why we put thick blinds and then cover them up with at least 2-3 layers of expensive curtains. All this, just to block the sunlight from coming in! The whole house is so well-set that if you move a curtain here or there, it looks like the order of the house is disturbed. It gives you a feeling that you have put an unwanted blotch on a beautiful painting.

I notice the huge chandelier in the living room is on; another 8 bulbs that is. Then, 2 in the kitchen..and then I lost count. I noticed six tall windows in the living room. It opens to the beautiful backyard. Once I opened all the blinds and stood in awe looking at the greenery outside. The peaches and apples dancing in the breeze. I almost thought they were making faces at us! As if asking;' What are you guys doing in there when its so beautiful out here?'

The TV is literally on all the time, but no one watches in particular. And every one the least bothered.
Yes, we are not bothered at all. But, we do bother about the vagaries and vicissitudes of weather these days.

'It was never like this. Why is it getting so hot by the day?'

'It has never rained like this in NY. We have no idea when its going to end.'

Back home, when I speak to people in India, they talk about the number of airconditioners that neighbours are buying. And with a sigh, they say, ' if its so hot in April, what will May be?'

'Just can't step out. The Sun is very harsh'

We have everything at our disposal. Including the will to display some basic discretion. Why do we consume more than we actually need? We may get a huge pay check at the end of the month that will easily pay off our power bills. But, can we at least exercise a little bit of caution? We love to play the moral police. Can we police our own morality here, a bit? The morality of our consumption. I hope the day comes sooner when we count consumption as one of the building blocks of morality.


€mmanuel said...

Great article. And I like that 'Use what you need' picture too. Well sums up the point.

Tharuni Vincent said...

Very good one.Use only what we need:)
many times impossible for me(:[definitely not only for me]
Elements like necessity and luxury are crystal clear in this article..

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