A recent post by Arun on how Indians are the most environment friendly triggered a thought which had been running through my head all of last month, while i was in Dallas on a business trip.

My hotel room had 2 table lamps, a study table lamp, 1 bulb over the kitchenette, one light over the the washbasin, 2 in the bathroom and one in the center of room. Even with all of them switched on, the room was ‘comfortably bright’.

Almost everybody drove a car alone (whether to office or to the the pharmacy) and public transport was almost non existent. It gave new meaning to the words, oil economy. The air though was surprisingly clean and pollutant free.

Compared to that Bangalore’s sea of autos, two wheelers and packed ‘company cabs’ and buses seem really efficient, never mind the civic quality of driving here.

A large number of 3-4 storey apartment buildings have elevators these days. People actually switch on/off the lights and fans in them while getting in and out…and some of the buildings actually switch off the lifts to conserver electricity at night.

A friend’s parents came over and the first thing they commented on the house was that we still used tubelights in the house. For them, tube lights are highly cost inefficient compared to CFLs. The thought never struck me even though i am quite aware of ‘energy-efficient’ lighting and the carbon footprint. Ironic !

So yes, its not surprising that Indians still rank as very environment friendly, but i doubt its because of a function of consciousness about our enviornment. I think it has more to do with our parents generation concerned being cost/value conscious.

Not too sure if when ppl of my generation “grow up”, will India still reign as one of the most environment friendly nations in the world.

P.S: I am not sure if its even worth talking about the copious amounts of tissue paper /styrofoam used in the developed world, and its alarming growth in India. That said, try and use a tissue less, the next time you feel like snatching a few to dry your hands.(Even better if you can use a handkerchief:)