Monday 4 May 2020

Greening the conscious

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG 2 where some of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of May to the 7th of May, 2020.

The colour theme for today's post is Green. 

The colour Green is an oft abused colour when it comes to expressing the natural world around us. Anything environmental/eco-friendly is green. Conferences on ecology/environment have splashes of green all over and the staff members also proudly display their green coloured attires complemented by green coloured folders, pens and other paraphernalia. Of late, many news reports and conscious citizens have reduced the effects of the corona virus to mention that there is less pollution, the air is clearer, the mountains are visible and so on. Some exclaim, "The green world is happy!" While this realisation is dear, it is also a gross reduction of the whole environment that has improved in say one or two months. 

A fern that I captured with my mobile camera while on a trip to Amboli, a hill station in South Maharashtra in August 2018
This is incidentally called an 'eco-hotspot'

One of my academic peers and ecocritic, Stacy Alaimo writes on her Facebook wall,

"Just because people are hearing more birds, and cetaceans are hearing fewer ships, doesn't mean that the oceans are not full of plastic, the world isn't full of toxic chemicals and radiation, and countless species and habitats and ecosystems have already been destroyed. Those species will not magically return. . . ."

The same birds which have been there are singing everyday but given the condition of the quiet around, people are waking up to the same. Green has come to signify the earth and anything that concerns the earth but sadly it stops with just that. There is an 'eco' prefix in many activities be it a corporate company's CSR or a cosmetic product which often lures probable customers with the 'eco' prefix. Synonymous with the colour green and the prefix 'eco' are the words, 'organic,' 'natural,' 'bio, and so on. It's wonderful that many of us have become aware of the ongoing climate change and the rapid acceleration rate of habitats and ecosystems but how much could we contribute and take responsibility.

I leave you with the words of Alaimo,

"The broken and horribly unjust systems will cause the most vulnerable to suffer and die during the pandemic. And struggles for social justice and environmentalism will most likely be even more daunting once things return to "normal," given that the crisis will be used as a reason for accelerated extractivism and social austerity."


  1. Green is quite an abused colour, as you said Susan. It has become a trend that anything green should mean sustainable, eco-friendly, etc. Seeking beyond such token activities is the actual need of the hour.

  2. I agree with your friend. The ocean is still full of plastic and a lot needs to change. I have personally used the term "green" in mine or our NGO's activities relating to anything eco friendly.. its become like "xerox" for photocopier i guess..



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