Wake Up...The Green is Fading - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Wake Up...The Green is Fading

Mar 29, 2016

Wake Up...The Green is Fading 

'It's a dead tree,' I told my cousin as we walked through what is often referred to as the 'lungs' of Bangalore, Cubbon Park.

I'd been to the park many times in my childhood. On Sunday mornings, we'd get up early to get some fresh air, exercise our stiff muscles, and sip on nariyal pani.

Walking through Cubbon Park is always a nostalgic and comforting experience. It takes me back to the time when, as kids, we'd ride on the small toy train that ran through the vast green space.

But here was a dead tree, a picture of the macabre, calling out for help. It had either died a natural death or was chopped down for lack of better maintenance.

It lay there like installation art... But now life was imitating art and not the other way around. And it was making a statement...

It was telling people to take care of the world we live in.

When I visited Bangalore last weekend, the temperature got as high as 38 degrees Celsius. This was the hottest I had ever experienced in the Garden City. It reflected how quickly its green spaces are eroding.

Most cities nowadays have become so congested with new developments, malls, and multiplexes, that there's little room left for open green spaces. And the ones that are left are often neglected, with few new trees planted and no change in the landscaping.

The dead tree stirred the philosopher in me.

It made me question urbanisation and what it had done to us. We no longer cared for 'a walk in the woods'... We'd rather be mall rats, scurrying through cement and glass, scouring the latest collection of jeans or watches or phones.

Or we'd prefer to be ensconced in the melodrama of movies...where two to three hours of make-believe keep our brains numbed and our behinds glued to our seats...where mind and muscle need not be exercised.

And the tree made me realise how infrequently I walk amid the greenery of parks...how spotting the odd squirrel or resting under tall bamboo trees has become a luxury.

Have we given up the 'real' luxuries of life in our quest to lead 'rich lives'?

Are the green spaces increasingly elusive, or is 'living rich' just a life of more consumerism?

Then it dawned on me: The nostalgia I felt was not for a lost childhood, but for the experiences that we've freely given up.

We could easily bring these experiences back into our lives. We could indeed return to innocence...if only we stayed closer to nature...and nurtured nature just as it nurtures us. The benefits of a green living are many. Here's how to add more green to your life...

  1. Follow the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

    Reducing consumption is probably the simplest way to a greener life. Before you shop for anything new, ask yourself if you really need it. Reduce your consumption of paper and plastic. Reuse what you can instead of throwing it away. Recycle old clothes and newspaper.

  2. Save energy: Water, electricity, and fuel

    Turn off. Turn off. Turn off. From water taps to electrical switches to running cars, save what you can when you can. Every little bit helps preserve the environment and save the planet for this generation and the next.

  3. Plant more: Indoors and outdoors

    Indoor plants add oxygen to the environment. They help us focus better and calm our eyes too. And outdoors, gardening can be therapeutic and helps connect us to nature. The government now also allows you to plant trees. An entrepreneur I met who runs a cab service told me his taxi drivers plant one tree each month to help reduce the damage of any emissions.

  4. Revel in nature: Take walks and stay fit

    Do away with wheels and cabs altogether if you can. Increase your footsteps and reduce your carbon footprint. There's nothing like walking: It clears your mind, brings you closer to nature, and keeps you fit...all at the same time!

  5. Make the 'right' choices: Sustainable and eco-friendly

    From taking cloth bags to the supermarket to buying organic foods...from printing less paper to using carpool services...'thinking green' and 'living green' is about making conscious and sustainable decisions. It's about taking small steps toward environmental change and living a truly rich life that brings us closer to ourselves and nature.

Cubbon Park, where I saw the dead tree, has introduced 'open streets' every Sunday morning. No cars are allowed to ply, and citizens can walk, run, and jog freely. It's a concept that has caught on in most cities...an initiative that brings out the child in us, keeps us active, and provides an alternative recreation option.


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9 Responses to "Wake Up...The Green is Fading"

Sarita Pandya

01 Apr, 2016

Worship and respect to the Nature is embedded in Bhartiya culture. When we read the verses from the Vedas and recite the Shantipath we revere the Nature . We should highlight the importance of Shantipath in our education system so that the coming generations realise that Green is life. Om Dhyoha Shanti ( Let there be peace) Antriksha Shanti  ( Let there be peace in  Space ) Prithvi Shanti        ( Let there be peace on the Earth) Aushadhaya Shanti ( Let there be peace in the Medicine) Vanaspatayaha Shanti ( Let there be peace in the Tress and Woods) vishva deva shanti      ( Let there be peace amongst all Gods) Brahma Shanti ( Let there be peace in the Universe) Shanti Rev Shanti ( Let there be peace in peace)  I will past this Verses down below which are in Sanskrit  Om Dyauh Shaantir-Antarikssam Shaantih  Prthivii Shaantir-Aapah Shaantir-Ossadhayah Shaantih | Vanaspatayah Shaantir-Vishve-Devaah Shaantir-Brahma Shaantih  Sarvam Shaantih Shaantireva Shaantih Saa Maa Shaantir-Edhi | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

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Shripad Narvekar

30 Mar, 2016

Dear Ritika, It was a very good article about the Green Revolution . Our Cities like Bangalore , Pune and Mumbai are warming up like anything due to reduction of Trees and Plants all over. Yesterday only I came from Udaipur after my 3 days stay . This city is so cool due to lakes and trees.The buildings are not more than 4 floors. I feel please forward this article to one of the well known news paper so that Our Honorable PM also will read similarly with Swatch Bharat Mission.  This is very important for our country. Thanks and Regards     

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30 Mar, 2016

Dear Ritika, After Swapnil's article 'Let us not take this Planet for granted!' You have brought great awareness on the subject of Global Warming and showed the 5 ways to make one's life greener. However, coming to the  subject of eroding of the green spaces of the Garden City, l would like to state that the authorities are not taking any steps to make the city green. Kindly give me one Source to whom I can write about the tragic condition of the one specific locality in North Bangalore, near Geddalahalli needs immediate attention to make the place green. Regards

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Peter James-Martin

30 Mar, 2016

Science supports your observations. I would suggest having a look at the new publication "The Silent Killer" by Dr. Elizabeth Hanna.

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ak anand

30 Mar, 2016

Very emotive , I will correct my style

Hurendrarai Shah

29 Mar, 2016

A well written and meaningful article. Exposing the younger generation, particularly in early stages of life to the benefits of green revolution is a must today.  The Government and education department at all levels and particularly at school level must take steps to include in the curriculum, importance of nature and greenery in life. Probably the best way is to include in the school curriculum regular periodical visits to parks/open spaces and let the students grasp and appreciate the nature and its benefits in life. Till the child is made to know n understand  this aspect, not much can be gained. Will the Government, some NGOs and school authorities take action? It is a must .

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29 Mar, 2016

Good to know about a positive initiative. And for anyone who is reading this post sipping coffee from a paper cup purchased at a shop next road after a short drive with AC switched on: where we are now, is already a past. And there is nothing wrong with it as long as we walk in the right direction from this point. So it will be a mighty big step, towards supporting the green, to change all of just that bit which we can control. Next time, you are my champ if you walk down the stairs and to the shop, to buy a reusable vessel for next morning's coffee. Oh yes, please do set your default printer setting to both sides (and 2 pages per sheet, if practical). The fitness gain is only a bonus. Young Gaur made a post few days back on a similar theme. It is good to read this, really good. Do keep them coming.


29 Mar, 2016

One of the most important recommendation left is to check population growth. In case population growth is checked, probably other recommendations will automatically follow.

Dr Yogender Sharma

29 Mar, 2016

Beautiful write-up on raising our sensitivities towards our planet earth and saving it from degradation. The sprawling cities are destroying our ecology. GREEN is no more green. Blue sky is no more blue. The water is becoming a precious commodity, which we are soon realizing with every passing day. Air is no more pure and city pollution is our biggest worry. When will we wake up and realize the value of GREEN?   

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