Go Green!

Tinsel town’s boasting a new colour these days. What impact will celebrity power have on the green campaign?

Green is in vogue these days – two recent mega events, IIFA and Live Earth Concert, chose to spread the word about environment conservation. Finally mainstream celebrities are taking up the Cause in a big way. These efforts undoubtedly will go a long way in humans’ fight against their own excesses.

Spreading the word, however, is the relatively easy bit. Some people, of course, are still cynical about this environment mumbo-jumbo. But even those who have converted in principle need a mighty push to walk the green talk.

Ban neon signs used for outdoor advertising. Don’t buy frozen veggies. Prefer train instead of the jet whenever possible. Carry a bag next time you are out to buy groceries. The experts suggest that these are just a few of the many steps which will reduce our carbon footprint.

As you can see, it takes only small changes in our lifestyles to make a difference. The small changes, however, require a larger change in thinking. E.g., it doesn’t take much to reuse envelopes. But we find it difficult to make space in the drawer to store the used envelopes. Also, to reuse the envelopes, we need to open them neatly with a penknife in the first place. As an exercise, try doing this for about a week, and you will realize how tedious it is to change our habits.

Now that the ‘message spreading’ is well on its way, we need to concentrate on this second step, implementation. Here the hammer-stroke should be the strongest. The principle of the green way of living is neither new nor innovative – live according to needs and resist greed. Unfortunately celebrities knowingly or unknowingly are perpetuators of the greed-based lifestyle. So, they aren’t exactly the right candidates to tell the masses to live within their needs. Their lifestyle is the exact antithesis of the green way of living.

And for that precise reason they are in the best position to spur the masses into action. Imagine the reactions if Amitabh Bachchan traded his Bentley for a car that consumes less fuel. If Taj were to announce that they will now use only seasonal vegetables in their preparations. If Madonna, Enrique, or anyone else at the Live Earth concert were to hold only daytime concerts to save a bit of electricity. Imagine the statement these celebrities will be making.

Some would say all this is impossible. E.g., it is impossible to have a good concert without lights and pyrotechnics. It is impossible to run a 5 Star kitchen with only seasonal vegetables. But the greatest of human achievements have invariably faced seeming impossibility. Only, in the 21st century the nature of challenge has changed – our progress should be in harmony with nature. Will the human race respond to this challenge? Will our celebrities lead the way?

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