This month, we celebrate World Environment Day – so the colour that dominates our senses is green. To mark the occasion, some may plant trees while others switch off the electricity for an evening. Everyone is happy under the bright illusion that we’re making a difference. But the one thing that really makes a difference is money. Indeed, money talks; and it speaks a universal language. Though we may not admit it easily, it is money that’s making the world go green.
The global economic slowdown that’s presently clouding our lives has a silver lining. Money is a far stronger incentive to change consumer behaviour than increased environmental awareness – says the recent survey by National Geographic. Since 2008, more consumers are found making energy-saving efforts like minimizing the use of fresh water or adjusting their thermostat settings.
Buildings are the single largest user of energy, and are known to consume half of the world’s energy resources. Thanks to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), it’s not just intuition that’s leading us. Today, we have access to scientific knowledge about how to conserve this limited resource. Consumer choices are dictated by the same impulse that governs industry: getting more for your buck. This can lead to greener choices only when environmental interest is profitable. So, now is the time for innovation that can make or save money by using fewer resources.
When we visited Baroda to photograph India’s green ambassador on the verdant grounds of the Uttarayan Art Centre for our cover, he revealed that he has stopped making a heartfelt pitch for sustainable architecture. Instead, architect Karan Grover prefers to speak eloquently about the vast amounts of money that can be saved by using different elements of green design. In the process, he finds he can convert people more easily. Come to think of it, green is also the colour of money.