Let’s turn our government greener | india | Hindustan Times
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Let’s turn our government greener

I am glad the ministry of environment and forests nudged luxury hotels to go green. But it is time for the ministry to look inwards and push government functioning to be greener too. I believe government employees, particularly higher level officials and elected representatives are the largest guzzlers of resources.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2013 22:51 IST

I am glad the ministry of environment and forests nudged luxury hotels to go green. But it is time for the ministry to look inwards and push government functioning to be greener too. I believe government employees, particularly higher level officials and elected representatives are the largest guzzlers of resources.

In state capitals, most officials have air-conditioned offices which are cooled even in their absence. They print out e-mails frequently. Assets like cars, are frequently used for ferrying children to school and spouses to shop. There is no mileage limit and no one monitors this massive source of green house gases.

Such recklessness must change. Monitor-able limits on vehicle mileage, energy consumption and paper is only a start. A ban on styrofoam and all non-recyclable materials is essential, so foam plates, coated glasses and multi-layered packaging lose patronage.

Free desktop computers, printers and scanners at homes of senior officials means increased e-waste in the future, since most of them use office laptops and email enabled phones anyway. And renovation of offices must be banned entirely-apart from wasting money, it guzzles materials like sand, mined from our rivers and at the cost of our environment. Only the repair of specific faults must be allowed.

Many other ways to green government in accountable ways exist. It is a moral imperative of the government, which mandates being green for others. The environment ministry will only be thanked by the planet for taking on this challenge.