Lockdown. If there's one thing I've learnt during this time, as an entrepreneur who cares about the environment, is that- I should have listened to my father.
Wait, what? What's my dad got to do with anything? Let me explain-
He told me to start saving early. When he was my age, I was already going to school. And as a banker, no matter how uncomfortable it was for him, he started saving money early, in his 20s itself. Now, at the verge of retirement, he has a tidy sum to carry him through the rest of his life.
Now that the world has come to an (almost) standstill, I know that my dad was right. We should have started saving early. Not money, but resources like water, for instance. It took several hundred people testing positive for COVID-19 for us to get indoors and then use our heads. When we started storing for the lockdown, we showed our true colours in excess. Instead of rationing our supplies, we hoarded.
That's what we're doing with the planet. The earth has the capacity to naturally regenerate its resources, but we're using them 1.5x faster. Basically, we're cutting the earth's lifespan by 50%.
There are two ways we can rectify this- we can either wait for COVID-19 to kill the excess human population in the world so that balance can be restored, or we can be wise about the way we utilize resources.
By now, your office, your family, and your government have told you that your life is more precious than money or productivity. Our fast-paced lives have demanded us to be so focused on making money that we've been unmindful of the things that we had to treasure. With the growing commercialization and population, we have put the resources and the balance of nature to the ultimate test. But obviously, we're not in the mood to slow down. Are you, maybe, willing to get smarter instead?
Let me paint you a picture-
As you sit there at home, all cooped up, you're beginning to face internet bandwidth issues. If your internet usage is any indication, imagine what's happening with your water consumption? How about electricity? How's the summer treating you? What will happen when your electricity bill arrives next month? I know you're looking at your air-conditioner right now.
As an entrepreneur in technology, I know that a solution already exists for this. Big companies that have large buildings use several types of building management systems. That doesn't mean it's not for you. Right now, it may be as expensive (or cheap) as spending ₹500 per month. But imagine if your apartment association decides to make all your homes smarter. What would happen then?
Yes, I'm talking about the same apartment association that's banning you from taking a walk in your complex, banning home deliveries until the lockdown is over, and the one you pay maintenance to. The same people who strive to cure our problems are the ones who can prevent it in the first place.
I live in Hyderabad, and with the way groundwater is depleted here, we've never managed to get through a monsoon (let alone summers) without getting water tankers. In the summers, my city gets water transported from 400 km away. Basically, if we hit any water below the ground right now, the dinosaurs probably used to drink it. Tell me, buddy, on top of everything that's stuck without transportation, who's going to bring us water also?
We've advanced enough. We're just too slow to start using the technology we've created. We didn't start wearing seatbelts before it became a rule. It's the same way we're not using our knowledge and being resource-efficient just because nobody made it compulsory.
The ball is in your court- are you going to use the tools you have, or are you going to take us all down with your denial?