Someone asked this question during a wonderful Q & A session with Dr. Chandrashekar-Hariharan, Executive chairman, BCIL Zed Homes, on the future of green homes in India. The written transcript of the interview on "IBN Live" is here but I'd like to reproduce part of his answer to the question whether going green is a fashion statement.
He doesn't deny that is the general perception in India and then lets us know how and why that perception should change. It is obviously in his interest - he builds and sells green homes - to say so but I believe what he has to say about it being in our own interest to go green.
Human activities put gases like carbon monoxide, carbon-,sulpur-,
nitrogen-dioxide into our atmosphere. Besides breathing them in we
them through our food chain because they have seeped into
our soil and waters. Green Homes not only help us save on our bills,
they also help us reduce the production of these gases.
articles on why these gases are deadly dangerous and what exactly they
do to our health and medical bills please visit my page, "Fumes We Breathe In Besides Oxygen". The same articles are on the "Green Dream Foundation, India" blog.]
And now, over to Dr. C-H
"... we are going green in OUR OWN interest. We must
go green because it enhances our security on energy and water; because
it saves us money on energy and water bills.
We pay today nearly Rs 130 to Rs 180 per thousand liters when we import
water by tankers! And this cost will only rise. We have to get smart on
the demand for fresh water and energy.
We have to reduce -- if not altogether eliminate -- our dependence on
the city civic infrastructure for energy, water and waste. We must go
on-grid with local solar/wind solutions for powering our homes and
offices. The cost is very attractive today, and the savings are immense.
We must stop exporting all waste from our apartment and office blocks,
even from our individual homes. We must stop relying on the Govt water
supply boards for fresh water. We must avoid making deep borewells, and
work on shallow aquifers with water and watershed management systems
that ensure water availability in open wells, like in our grandfather's
Yes, there will be challenges at the extreme specific levels of a
building in your personal context. That can be easily overcome with
inputs from professionals who have domain expertise."
Here's the link to the rest of the interview again and it is absolutely worth a read. Questions are from ordinary Indians.
Finally, to end on a positive note, here's good news for our air, our soil and our waters. It is an innovation known as "Bloombox". It is just a tiny little box which has (to date) a small carbon footprint and has been sold to huge companies like Google, Ebay and others. This little box produces electricity and is the brainchild of K.R.Shridhar. His customers seem to be very satisfied with the bloombox claiming their regular electricity grids are at least four times more expensive. Go, KR.