This small 30 odd page booklet Saffron Thinking Green Living by Dileep Kulkarni, contains more of an essay rather than a book. The author talks about the Hindu concepts of green living that are so very much embedded in the philosophy itself. It focuses on consuming only that is required and not everything that is available. It tells us to thank and worship any source in nature from which we consume. I agree so much with these concept that only thing I can do is mention few quotes from the book Saffron Thinking Green Living:
Quotes from Saffron Thinking Green Living
“When ‘I’ and ‘Everything Else’ are mutually exclusive entities, there is nothing wrong if I exploit everything else. This everything may be fellow human beings, as also the Mother Nature” – This quote comes from the concept of Atma & Paramatma, where everything including us is a part of a bigger continuum. This is often quoted in Nanak’s ‘Ek Noor to sab jag upjaya’ i.e. we all evolved from the same source. Now if we all remember this, the exploitation of the other, especially the natural resources will go down naturally.
“Extravagant consumption has created a galaxy of problems at individual and social levels. The same craving for material consumption has intensified environmental crisis also” – Lot of modern day research is focused on finding the next sources available in nature to be exploited. Coal is finished, now let us use the Oil. It will be finished so let us look at plants that can give us potential oil. Let us use silicon to tap solar power. But researchers are hardly focused on reducing consumption. Why should a fry travel half the earth to reach my plate? Why should an Indian wear clothes that have been made here but have gone around the world before we wear them?
“We may be proving Albert Schweitzer right, who said: ‘Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth’” – Nothing will happen to earth, it will go on. Whatever exploitation we as humans are doing of its natural resources that sustain us in this human form will be lost. And hence human race will not be able to sustain itself. And this is not the first time that it would happen in the history of time. Civilizations have vanished in a no time when they over-exploited nature beyond replenishment. We refuse to look at history and take lessons.
“The solution to the problem of over-consumption is, therefore, not to produce even more consumables; but to control the desire for consumption itself, from within” – We are not solving any problem by producing more than we need. This notion of endless choice to the consumer is utopian. Why should all choices come packed in a box? Though the onus of bringing down consumption can be laid on businesses that promote consumption. I think it is the people of this planet who can reject the consumption economy by their control on what they consume. By making sensible choices for the products they use.
“Consumption or material prosperity per se is not detrimental. It is the transgression of the limits of nature therefore, that is detrimental. Hence, there is a limit of Dharma for consumption.” – You can put limits on what you consume. And from there will start the revolution that will reduce the overall consumption.