If you have known me or have read my earlier posts on how we have made a lot of efforts around our home, office and life in general you know where I stand on being green and sustainable. Every activity that we do at home involves factoring in the sustainability aspects. So much so that I thought I was right behind Al Gore on the sustainability activist leader board.
But all that changed on a recent trip to Pismo beach where we stayed in a hotel for three days. While I am against waste of all kinds, I began noticing that my big fat green resolutions were not consistent everywhere. Here’s why
- Leaving the lights on most of the time did not bother me. TV was running even though the sofas, beds, chairs and tables in the room did not like the programming. In my own house it did, very much I might add. Sofas, chairs and tables are not allowed to watch TV by themselves without human supervision.
- My kids wasting food in the complementary continental breakfast lounge did not bother me. In our house wasting food is very much a no-no. We constantly keeping showing our kids the plight of all those kids in Somalia and elsewhere where they are not afforded the simple privilege of a decent meal.
- The same thing applied to water in bathroom, shower, kitchen and you get the drift.
So I started thinking about the grave indifference that I was demonstrating towards activities done at home and away from home. It did not take me a lot of time to figure out why (as you all must have done too). All these precious resources that I hold so dear to my heart and ensure they are spent wisely, was in fact closer to my wallet than to my heart.
The hotels, by providing all these resources unlimited, were releasing this green (of a different kind that is in my wallet) discipline I was having. At home there was this additionally incentive of saving green (money, that is) by being green. The feel-good factor of being green (nature, this time) was an icing on the cake.
As I realized all the green initiatives that I have done at home – the solar attic ventilator, the robust insulation that keeps my house 15 degrees cooler than outside during summer and all the other “noble” things I had done whilst climbing up the Al-Gore sustainability leader board, all happened because there was an implicit/subconscious kickback of sorts to my wallet.
I know this is not a earth-shattering finding – most of you smarter than I, must have already done this calculation before/in doing the project. Even the though I went into those projects for the real good reason, it somehow was driven by the monetary benefits. The bottom line as they say.