Saturday, March 30, 2013

Waterless Holi, Crackerless Diwali, Crash Diets and Earth Hour

A Waterless Holi, a crackerless Diwali, a crash diet and earth hour may seem very different from each other, but in reality they are not very different. Each of the above is an event as opposed to a habit. Promote events as much as you want, but the effect of it is short-term at best.

Let us go one by one.

The most recent one is a waterless Holi. Now, Holi is not exactly my favourite festival for a variety of reasons, but not playing Holi (with or without water) is not really going to solve your water problem. If you really care enough about water, you would do many other things. Reduce usage in general, use gray water, promote rainwater harvesting, work in rejuvenating lakes, plug leaks around etc etc. Not only would you do it regardless of where you were, you would also get others to do it. Just by not playing Holi one day is not going to save you too much water if you go the very next day and waste water from washing your car to leaving the tap open while you brush.

Ditto for a crackerless Diwali. The amount of smoke a Diwali cracker (or your entire collection of crackers) lets off on Diwali day is far lesser than the amount of pollutants your car (or even bike) spews in a week (assuming you take a not very long journey- and it goes up as your car gets bigger or your distance gets longer.) Most people who argue for a crackerless Diwali lead a completely opposite life on all the other 363 days of the year. They own polluting cars, will not go anywhere near public transport and wont think twice about driving a kilometer to buy a liter of milk or use a 1000 kg SUV to drop a 25 kg kid to school (instead of using a school bus). If you truly care about the environment, then do many other things - like, perhaps, taking public transport once a week to begin with?

Ditto for Earth Hour. Earth hour is a big farce. Read about it here.

And crash diets, well, you starve once in a year and then hog the rest of the days is hardly going to help your health. If you care about your health, then a combination of food, exercise and controlled eating will do more to you than a stupid crash diet once in a few months.

So, why do people still do it? Because it is easy. It is easy to do an event and then be careless the rest of the year. It is easy to campaign for a waterless Holi while having bath twice a day. It is easy to campaign for a crackerless Diwali while driving around all day in an SUV. It is easy to turn off the lights for a hour, while letting the electricity burn for the other 23 hours each day. And yes, it is easy to crash diet once in a way while hogging away at other times.

Yes, hypocrisy is another word for this... 

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