Pooja Chaudhuri Chaudhuri
The only fiction I enjoy is in books and movies.
Since time immemorial, the human race has attempted to maximise comfort, but to what end? Comfort has no meaning if we are left with no home to live in.
While most of us complained about how hot and unbearable it was last year, this 28-year old former assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Arvind Mishra, knew that change is required – a change in our daily lives, a change in our attitude and a change in our perspective.
The Logical Indian spoke to Arvind to know more about his work and his campaign.
“It is true that ours is the first generation to detect climate change, but it is also true that we are the last generation who have a shot at solving it”, said Arvind assertively. By the launch of his C-Negative campaign through his NGO, Revive Climate, Arvind aspires to make people self-conscious and responsible for their carbon footprint and convert 1 million Indians into carbon negative citizens.
The C-Negative campaign will be accomplished through the Trans-India Cycling campaign – 6 months long solution centric travel and talk program. Arvind will be going to 300 different universities, educational institutions and corporate houses, communities and individuals to encourage them to become individually carbon negative and reduce carbon footprints.
He has developed a C-Negative application which will soon be available on Google play store and iOS platforms.
Based on your emission factors, the app will calculate your individual carbon footprint and give solutions to reduce it.
You can create your profile in the app through your Gmail or Facebook accounts. The app will track your energy consumption habits both on a daily and a monthly basis. For example, transportation and food will be a part of daily data, while things like the number of flights taken in a month will fall under monthly data. By understanding and tracking your individual energy consumption habits, the CO2 emission of each activity will be shown along will solutions to minimise it.
Arvind wishes to rouse every person’s sense of social responsibility to bring changes in their lives and step out of their comfort zone. C-negative is a solution centric program which offers feasible and doable solutions, right from a person’s energy consumption to food habits to transportation patterns. The charter aims to eliminate, reduce and offset our carbon footprints. If there is an unavoidable source of emission, the idea is to neutralise it by planting trees. “C-Negative Charter is a systematically designed blueprint, and ratifying it requires just a nominal amount of emotional depth towards our climate”, says Arvind.
In 2010, Arvind met with an accident and suffered a grievous spinal injury which challenged his mobility and put him at risk of partial paralysis. However, Arvind was more than adamant to understand the condition of his body. He used his background in mechanical engineering to understand the bio-mechanics of his spine. He researched about even the smallest shortcoming of human health and discovered how grossly unhealthy artificially grown food is. He started developing a healthier lifestyle and self-providing his body the required nutrients by keeping himself physically active. He changed his diet to boiled vegetables with no sugar or salt added to the meal.
His research made him even more aware of the various consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle. After becoming an activist for climate change, he authored the book – The variable of climate change, which helped him understand the topic at a greater level. He familiarised himself on the current litigation policies, the policies of the UN, decoding the current energy consumption graph of India, the reason for the failure of the Kyoto protocol, and the like.
Since then Arvind has spoken at various TEDx conferences in India as well as in Pakistan. In 2014, he made it on the Guinness World Record for delivering the world’s longest lecture on Scientific Computations which lasted for 139 hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds.
“Out of the 7 billion people in the world, around 40% have access to energy. The remaining 60% have not even burnt a drop of fossil fuel, and these are the ones who are most affected by climate change”, revealed Arvind. Climate change is such a grave issue that the UN has listed it as a global threat equal to terrorism and nuclear power. “When I travel to the interiors of our country, I notice that these are the areas that witness the maximum rise in heat. The ten warmest years in human history happened in the last 20 years. People in the urban areas can deal with it by the turn of a switch”, he added. He stressed the importance of educating people about climate change as India is not a climate literate country, even though climate change continues to be a significant element of public discourse.
Arvind will commence his entire journey on cycle, travelling 10,000 km across India in 7 months to promote a minimalistic way of living. He wants to urge people to understand the benefits of low consumption of energy. “I want to tell people that minimalistic way of living is possible as it is healthier and less expensive.”
His cycle has a solar panel attached to it, which generates 20 Watt energy per day – enough to charge his laptop and phone. He carries one pair of change of clothes with himself and refrains from staying at a hotel. He uses a portable tent and sleeping bag. Therefore, his domestic energy consumption is also nil.
So far, Arvind has cycled 1500 km to give lectures at 35 universities, thus impacting 25,000 graduates. He has planted 800 C-Negative memoir tree in every campus visited to remind them of carbon neutral exercises. Leading PSU National Fertilisers Limited with 6000 employees was the first to ratify C-Negative charter.
The Logical Indian congratulates Arvind on his initiatives and the success so far. You can follow his work, journey, and updates on his website.
Climate change is real, and we are the only ones with the means to combat it. It starts with you.
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