Living a Carbon Neutral Lifestyle
All of us can be involved in our own distinct ways in the drive for a more a sustainable lifestyle and pattern of growth.
Asia symbolizes the striking progress that has been achieved in reducing poverty but also the daunting gaps in environmental destruction and climate change. It’s rightly said that the war on climate change will be won or lost in Asia. The Asian Development Bank is uniquely positioned not only to support a more environmentally sustainable development agenda but also to lead in important aspects of this endeavor.
With ADB primarily involved in infrastructure development, the great challenge would be to make its portfolio in this sector—which totaled $8.7 billion in 2011—carbon neutral. Even though this volume is a small share of Asia’s infrastructure investment, the nature and direction of ADB’s portfolio could encourage all development efforts, especially with infrastructure components, to adopt carbon neutral characteristics.
Asia symbolizes the striking progress that has been achieved in reducing poverty but also the daunting gaps in environmental destruction and climate change.
Coming back to our personal lives, the commitment and drive ADB staff displayed during ADB’s No Impact Week was truly remarkable. Nearly 1,400 personnel participated in the weeklong campaign to reduce environmental impact, trying out more sustainable options in transport, food, energy and water use.
As for me and the Evaluation Group I represent, I can flag at least three directional changes:
- First, we’d like to go fully paperless, avoiding printing of reports and circulating a fraction of them in hard copy.
- Second, we’d like to contribute to greater energy efficiency through vigilance on cooling and lighting, as well as voluntarily flying economy on short trips.
- Third, I have always wanted to go vegetarian. The No Impact Week program gave me the extra motivation to go meatless every other day from now on.
- When you think of these steps, as well as the bigger picture of a carbon neutral world, what is striking is that they do not really involve sacrifices or discomfort. Whether it’s going paperless or using less energy or turning vegetarian, such actions testify to a more responsible way of living—and with greater satisfaction and joy.
All of us can be involved in our own distinct ways in the drive for a more a sustainable lifestyle and pattern of growth. Taken together, the actions of all can make a crucial difference to progress in the fight against poverty—and to a better life on our planet.