A nuanced approach towards sustainability : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

A nuanced approach towards sustainability

A nuanced approach towards sustainability

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



V Viswanathan

NOT just in India but the world over, the temptation of using something for free often leads to its misuse. Interestingly, the mere introduction of a nominal cost significantly influences individuals’ perception and utilisation of resources, bringing in a sense of responsibility and driving a more careful and nuanced approach towards sustainability.

During my long stint in Muscat (Oman), whenever I went to shopping malls, I could spot shoppers’ trolleys scattered haphazardly outside the premises. Some residents living in the vicinity of the malls even wheeled the trolleys to their homes after any purchase, disregarding warning signs posted by the mall authorities. Such practices led to a shortage of trolleys.

One shopping mall implemented a coin system on a trial basis. The trolleys were parked in designated bays, each secured with a simple latch mechanism connecting it to another trolley. To unlock a trolley, a 50-baisa coin (around Rs 10) had to be inserted. Upon returning the trolley to its designated spot, the coin would be dispensed, allowing customers to retrieve their deposit. This system, to a large extent, ensured the prompt return of trolleys to their rightful places.

The company I worked for reimbursed employees’ residential electricity expenses without imposing any limit. One of the employees, residing in a 1BHK flat, consistently received power bills equivalent to Rs 5,000 each month. The company then decided to put an end to the policy and offered employees a flat allowance of around Rs 4,000 for electricity. If the employees incurred charges below this amount, they could pocket the savings.

Surprisingly, in the following months, the same employee managed to reduce his electricity bill amount by 40 per cent. Earlier, the airconditioners in his residence would run even when he was in office as the bills were paid by the employer. With the introduction of a fixed allowance system, he suddenly became energy-conscious.

Sustainability has become a pressing concern in today’s world. During my daily walks on the terrace of my four-storey apartment building in Chennai, I often observe water overflowing from overhead tanks of nearby flats, sometimes for hours. This sight not only disrupts my walking routine but also upsets me. I wish the residents displayed their contact numbers prominently on the tanks so that I could alert them.

Since underground bore water is not metered, people tend to be profligate about its consumption. It was heartening to read a news report about residents of an apartment complex in Chennai voluntarily installing meters for their borewell connections. Governments and organisations must nudge people not to waste the scarce resources. A nudge here and a prod there really matter a lot.


Top News

2 killed in road accident involving BJP candidate Karan Bhushan Singh's convoy in UP’s Gonda

2 killed in road accident involving convoy of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son in UP’s Gonda

The injured child has been admitted to hospital, while the d...

Delhi records its highest-ever temperature; Mungeshpur sizzles at 52.3°C

Delhi records its highest-ever temperature; Mungeshpur sizzles at 52.3°C

This is the highest ever temperature recorded so far in Delh...

PM Modi hints at conspiracy behind Naveen Patnaik's falling health, pledges special panel probe once elected

PM Modi hints at conspiracy behind Naveen Patnaik's falling health, pledges special panel probe once elected

Journalist faints in PM's Odisha rally, he rushes his own do...

Supreme Court refuses urgent listing of Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for extension of interim bail

Supreme Court Registry refuses to list Arvind Kejriwal's plea for extension of interim bail

The top court’s Registry terms Kejriwal’s application for ex...


Cities

View All