Bank balance or ecological balance?
If we do not focus on balancing our material comforts and challenge of climate, we will pay a huge price for our follies.
It is less than a week since we passed another World Environment Day, but we have utterly failed in the test to see if we are capable of saving Nature. In this era of slogans such as ‘Make in India’, which is required to facilitate ourselves without losing foreign exchange, we are not equally focused on balancing our comforts and challenge of climate.
As such, the time has come to choose between bank balance and ecological balance. While ‘Made in India’ needs to be supported, the greater emphasis should be for ‘Made in Nature’.
During the recent times, products made in factories untouched by human hands get much of publicity and advertisement. In food products, they may make sense due to reasons of hygiene, but the non-edible products need not be so. As a reverse trend, especially in developed nations, now it is the time for handmade products, which demand a premier price. Maybe it’s time we take pride in the handmade, to lend a human touch to what we produce. In principle, anything directly from humans will also be equally directly from nature.
Traditionally humans picked up objects and items from around their place to create shelter; as such nearly all of such settlements were organic in character, built largely with natural products. While natural products are the most eco-friendly, the next best is to rely upon processed items, including materials such as clay bricks.
The worst products, in terms of being against nature, are the manufactured materials which consume much of resources, generate large quantities of waste and have very high embodied energy.
This simple classification of natural, processed and manufactured materials may have few exceptions, but can be applied as a litmus test before finalising construction materials. The present trend of material cost, ease of construction and immediate attraction cannot sustain an argument for eco-sensitive architecture. Eco-sensitivity should emerge from ecology of materials, not the economy it can generate. However, is it possible to reduce manufacturing?
Never in the history of human settlements have people lived in an artificial context like we are doing today.
The monetarily advanced urban population is no more living in the natural world, but lives in a manufactured world. Even the villagers, though are seemingly living in the natural world, depend upon lifestyle products which are made in factories.
As we live away from nature, our human instinct to be closer to nature also has its pull factors, driving the wealthy back to farmlands, resorts and hill stations. For many, such visits are like an annual religious ritual, without which they feel restless. It is notable to observe how people meticulously follow rules of religion, but do not care for the rules of nature.
It is time for the religious minded to realise that ‘God lies in Nature’, and for those who may not be, to affirm that ‘Nature is God’.