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Opinion

4 UP government offices reduce carbon footprint and show how it’s done

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A set of government offices in the Agra division of western Uttar Pradesh have significantly reduced their carbon footprint by reducing electricity consumption and by planting trees outdoors and keeping potted plants indoors.

The National Savings offices in the districts of Agra, Mainpuri, Mathura and Firozabad have made carbon neutrality their mission and thus have contributed to reducing global warming. Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by balancing or eliminating CO2 emissions.

“Power generation and energy consumption, burning of fossil fuels and downsizing of plants are the main contributors to carbon emission leading to global warming,” says Prabhat Mishra, Deputy Director of National Savings, Agra Division. .

In February, Mishra sent a circular to the four offices that report to him to reduce energy bills and increase green coverage at the office premises. It worked.

For example, the Agra office energy bill in August 2019 was Rs 3,259, which was reduced to Rs 2,525 for the same month this year.

“Normally, energy bills increase gradually each year, but we have reduced them with a conscious effort,” says Mishra, who, despite being a government official, also runs an environmental protection movement called Red Tape. The movement began with the protection of trees by red plugs more than a decade ago.

The carbon neutral mission is also inspired by 17-year-old Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. Greta follows the movement of the bureaucracy on Twitter.

“She is the biggest carbon neutral activist in the world. We think about making a start in management. What we did was only a small step, but if all government offices, institutions and households follow our model, together they can make a big difference, ”says Mishra.

All four National Savings offices removed bricks from the outdoor paved areas in their office facilities and planted large-area leafy trees in those locations. Each office planted five to a dozen trees, plus croutons and aloe vera plants, known as indoor air purifiers, in pots. Apart from this, Mathura’s office hired savings agents (they promote the habit of saving money among people) to act as carbon neutral agents.

“Now, of the 600 agents in Mathura, almost 100 have also become carbon neutral agents. When they go out into the fields to promote savings, they also tell people to cut down on energy consumption, use fossil fuels, plant trees and have air-purifying potted plants indoors, ”says Mishra. The movement is growing.

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