Sustainable Eco-friendly Life: Only For The Rich?

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Sustainable Eco-friendly Life: Only For The Rich?

Sustainable Eco-friendly Life: Only For The Rich?
- by Priyanka Srinivas

As the founder of The Live Green Co, people ask me these questions more frequently. Why are you drinking juice from a plastic bottle? Isn't that take-out box made of plastic? And then, they roll their eyes. It seems that there is an opinion that I need to be a green activist. However, although I am a strong advocate, I am not an activist. Let me explain why.

I am a firm believer of the fact that change, with respect to sustainable eco-friendly life, can only occur if it is convenient. If one needs to deviate from their path to adopt, it will never happen. 'Green' must be a way of life, not a struggle.

I laugh when the green / natural / organic is positioned as 'fashion'. This means that it is being done as a PR / Marketing trick, not to bring a genuine and sustainable change. As a result, green / natural / organic is positioned as something only the rich can afford. An example is the Green Carpet Challenge.

Ask yourself: how often would you buy organic products if they cost more? No matter which celebrity endorses them and no matter how fashionable they are?

Change only happens if the masses can adopt instantly. Here is an example. Until a while ago, we were angels at a food delivery company based in Bangalore. And believe me when I say that the struggle to be ecological was huge ... so much that we had to leave. Viable solar / biofuel options simply do not exist. The biodegradable containers that were available were not leak-proof (or were too expensive). Very few customers were willing to pay more. Then came the government's ban on plastic. Sharks (such as Coke & Nestle) were not affected even as many SMEs lost their livelihood. The obvious results: prosperous black markets and more corrupt government systems.

So, is it a wonder when I say that no amount of activism can help? Sustainable green living has to be a way of life. And that can only happen if what's built / done adheres to 3 As - awareness (the common man needs to understand the 'why'), accessibility (wide reach, in the most convenient places) and affordability (price that is within reach of the masses).