The colour green has long been synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. From green leprechauns and lucky clovers, to delicious green beer. However for me, the colour green has a different meaning entirely.
“Green” has been an integral part of my life, literally following me around the world in ways you might not expect. In India where I grew up, it is commonplace that schools are divided into houses. Each house has its own colour and naturally, I was in the Green House. I was even the captain of the house for a time, representing Green to my entire high school.
I spent ten years in Nepal, working for a five star hotel in Kathmandu. I was an organizer of an employee-led initiative called “Beautify Your Kingdom.” Prizes were given out to the departments that kept their workspaces neat and beautiful, and to employees that went above and beyond in adding those special touches to the hotel. Points were also given to the best recyclers, as waste diversion was a cornerstone value in the program. The land around the hotel used to be a desolate field – employees took to their spades and planted trees all around, not only beautifying the grounds but cleaning the air at the same time. Take a look at the hotel. Those trees weren’t there just a few years ago.
Coming to Canada, I was happy to start working for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, an organization that cares and thinks green.
My connection to green doesn't cease here! I volunteer my time to the Tibetan Women’s Association of Ontario, an organization represented by the colour green.
So on the day when everyone is Irish, when you are enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures out on a patio somewhere and drinking green beer, I challenge you to think about the other ways in which you can be green.
Here are a few easy things that I do everyday to decrease my environmental footprint:
- I don’t like to see water dripping off a tap. Water represents wealth in Feng Shui science; losing water equals losing wealth. Obviously, no one would want to see his wealth going down the drain for nothing.
- Traditionally green vegetables are not a part of Tibetan diet. My grandpa would always make us laugh because he would say “Don’t give me greens I am not a cow”. I don’t like eating them either, but there is one Tibetan dish called “Thentuk” wherein “then” means pull and “tuk" means noodle. It’s a handmade pulled noodle and it tastes awesome with lots of green leafy vegetables. So for those of you like me, I recommend finding few dishes that taste good with green vegetables. This way you eat what you like and also stay healthy.
- I recycle paper as much as possible so that it saves some trees from being cut. Protection of trees I believe is protection of the earth.
- I make sure I turn off lights when it’s not needed.
- In order to save water and energy, I do laundry full load. Doing laundry in bulk saves money and time too.
- When it comes to transportation, I always use public transport and with a monthly pass I save money and also share it with family to maximize the use of public transit.
I could probably list many more things, but I would love to hear your daily being green tips.
- Namgyal Dolker, Executive Assistant, Grants