Invariably we human beings have evolved to become a species that believes that we are not just intelligent but also powerful enough to use that intelligence to do anything. And to undo anything.
Undo? Unsure. Very unsure.
Yonder means at a distance or over there. And while sustainability seems to be over there and one just needs to get there, why does this continue to be a question that doesn’t seem to have an answer?
Well, maybe the answers lie inside the questions we ask. The answer is and will never be a one-time, let's solve the challenge and is an ongoing dynamic process that we need to be aware of constantly. While we may all be talking of the same solutions in some form or the other, here's what we think can help us close in on the sustainability gap, and help us get closer, if not get there.
1. Choose - the power of choice is the power of sustainability. To simply be aware of the impact of our choices, and then making a choice that helps us get closer - is the best beginning.
2. Measure - after having made a choice, sure go by the claims of the product or service manufacturer, and yet put in a constant and consistent effort to measure the impact of your choice. A need to be present and more aware (yeah, with the number of distractions, this one is an effort)
3. Substitute - the beauty about taking up the challenge of sustainability is you can, and you always can, better something either in the process or the product, that makes it more earth friendly.
We speak of these as we ourselves at Qreative Qick (QQ) look to adapt and close in on the gap of sustainability. While earlier we have chosen to buy our raw materials & accessories from shops purely out of accessibility, we have slowly started shifting to making a choice of buying them from those who are also aligned to sustainable solutions.
Our packaging started with an attempt to ensure absolutely no damage in transit and we would end up using the plastic bubble wrap thrice in volume, which may be needed, we observed some of our client feedback and the way they reached them, to reduce that to a one-third. In the process, we learnt that there is a specific thickness of bubble wrap which is better than the one we were using and now steadily substituting to biodegradable bubble wraps for the products, which currently are higher in pricing.
No - we aren't doing anything heroic. We are moving in a direction where economics can take a substituting hit to better the environment. Each day at QQ, we are building a sustainability culture of choosing, measuring and substituting - everything that goes into making & delivering our products.
A recent discussion internally propped up an example of a famous courier company that owned a fleet of flights. The company got to know that the purple color used to paint the outer body of its flight was heavy and added to the overall weight and hence in turn more fuel consumption. They then chose to remove that and moved to the base white color with just the logo in color. This little shift might be observed as an economic choice as much as an environmental - yet, highlighting this here as the process of choosing, measuring and substituting - helped make a better decision, that in turn, takes us closer to sustainability.
Whether it is large organizations replacing their urinals into waterless ones to support "the save groundwater campaign" or a small organization that decides to have different garbage bins, whether it is an apartment's association that decides to set up solar panels for common area electricity or an individual who decides to switch from a daily shower to a bucket bath - every single step, is going to help us get closer to sustainability and keep us in sync with the planet's working.
And for us as individuals - the questions of choice looms larger than economics. Would you bribe someone at the Pollution Control Board just because you have an excellent sustainable product manufacturing unit to start - and be in a position to justify that the bribe will ensure a better planet? Or does bribing fuel greed which most believe is the beginning of the end of sustainability? Questions to ask. Choices to make. Make one keeping in mind - the most silent stakeholder in the process: The Earth.
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