What does green signify to you?
If I asked you to list just three thoughts on GREEN, that immediately come to mind, would you be able to? And enumerate its advantages as well? I’d like if you did this exercise now to check if any or all of your thoughts match with those of mine listed below.
Commonly speaking, green has always been the colour that bodes well for most things. When the traffic lights turn green, for instance, it indicates that it’s good to go. Whether it’s what you eat or wear, there are myriad reasons to go green, lockdown or no.
While reflecting on the colour green, it occurred to me to narrow down my thoughts to 5 reasons to go green during the lockdown.
1. Grow Green
Do you own a garden or does your housing society maintain one? Well, even if you don’t, no one would ever say that a green yard or a greenhouse hasn’t made a difference. One good reason for growing green plants in your front/backyard is the resultant “photosynthesis”. What exactly is photosynthesis? If you don’t know its definition – and that would be surprising – photosynthesis is nothing but light energy which is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and other substances into oxygen and more compounds. More oxygen allows you to breathe easier. Easy breathing has more relevance in the present times when respiratory disorders threaten the system. I don’t mean to prescribe photosynthesis as a remedy to what’s threatening our fabric presently. Nevertheless, I’d be emphatic in promoting it as a means to healthier lungs and one of the ways to go green at home.
Given the general space constraint common to most homeowners, not everyone enjoys the pleasure of owning space in the form of garden patches or yards. An alternative to outdoor tree growth could come in the form of indoor plants. Certain plants can do with minimum sunlight and water. Any plant nursery owner would be happy to proffer advice on an appropriate choice of bonsai and indoor potted plants. Having green plants adorn your aisles or terrace gardens makes for ambient green surroundings.
2. Wear Green
Coming to the topic of wear, if green isn’t the colour of your choice for garments, at least let your bedspreads or pillow covers bear a green hue. Green brings a natural vivacity, and if you notice, hospital drapes and linen are often green. It is believed that green was added to operating surgeons’ garb to take the edge off the glare of conventional whites. Also, it lends a calming effect to patients who are naturally in no mood to relax. Green has a substantial affiliation with growth and recovery, and wearing green is one of the easiest ways to go green.
Even the famed artist, Picasso echoed this sentiment in his quote, “certain colours have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eye strain.”
As far as my contribution to the green chapter goes, I chose an olive green formica to set apart my kitchen herbs cabinet. The colour isn’t excessively green but one that gives an otherwise clinically black and white kitchen a lift. Olive green puts me into the mood to cook and even enjoy a meal across the collapsible dining board from the herbs cabinet. I get a special joy in gazing at the cans of paprika, chilli flakes, herbs and infused oils neatly arranged inside the olive green cabinet. I am often struck by the many shades of green, red, brown herbs and spices, which eventually convert into dishes so aromatic. Like cardamom, fennel seeds and such.
3. Think Green
Have you ever longed for an escape from it all, from the monotony of work and life’s pressures? Hasn’t it occurred to you that COVID-19 has managed to offer some amount of escape in the form of a lockdown reprieve – at least to the majority who don’t belong to the essential services category and don’t have to trudge by conventional modes of transport these days. By convention, I mean walking on foot or even hailing a State Transport bus in the absence of rail transport. Haven’t you wondered how much more restful you may be now than ever before even if working for prolonged or odd hours from home? That you have more time to think, with greater tranquillity too without the scurry of rushing morning feet and evening workday traffic.
Well, psychology has it that the colour green enables the mind to visualize. It’s no wonder that psychologists advise anxious and stressed professionals an exercise to merely sit still in a garden for at least fifteen minutes. To shut out the stressful din of the mind, to picture in the mind’s eye the lushness of green; of green-carpeted hillsides, regal green conifers, and dense green woodlands. Sight, as you know, transmits visual information from the eye to the brain. As the brain receives an optical transmission, it releases a hormone that influences moods, mental focus, and even subscribes to physical zest. It’s no wonder then that advertisers do so well, in packaging products as it is often the eye that makes you want to buy the marketed products even before your mind has decided to. You may recall that sudden rumblings in the recesses of your tummy, the hungry urge you experience at spotting well-presented food, with savoury toppings and crisp garnishing. Good thoughts translate to sound brain transmission and subsequently to good energy.
4. Green Revolution
A higher reflection of “go green ideas” is demonstrated in the Green Revolution of 1965, which was nothing but the introduction of “high yielding variety” of seeds. The Green Revolution stepped up employment of fertilizers and irrigation procedures. It started six decades ago, primarily to help improve our foodgrain production.
The key benefit of the Revolution was to make it viable to grow more in the same amount of space with the same amount of labour.
I was curious to understand why the word “Revolution” was attributed to the project. I came to learn that it was a term christened by a William Gaud. And, about a decade later, it was associated with Norman Borlaug known to have taken crores of people from the mouth of starvation. He was known as the “Father of Modern Agriculture” all for good reason. In India, it was MS Swaminathan who had an impact on the poor farmers by planting HYV of seeds in their fields.
Despite its seemingly great benefits, the Green Revolution had its flip side too and was considered unfavourable to the environment. Because of soil erosion, pollution of underground water and global warming, among others. However, its pros outnumber its cons, and that is what eventually matters.
5. Eat Green
This is my favourite area of interest and among the best ways to go green in my view – the culinary section. While there are various colours to choose from, vegetables are no doubt the most accessible besides being everyone’s preferred choice – the vegans, vegetarians and the non-vegetarians. Be it in the form of green chutney, beans stir-fry or salads – vegetables are green and have a finger in everything.
There is more, however, to eating green than colour alone. For one, green vegetables have fibre and are a great source of minerals and vitamins. Fibre is a synonym for good digestion and the secret of dieters. It generates a feeling of satiety which in turn helps keep hunger pangs at bay. For instance, spinach has potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, among others and is extremely nutrient-rich. French beans are a terrific source of dietary fibre too. If the benefits of all the green vegetables were listed here, the article would take on the form of a documentary!
And since we are on the topic of green, you can also check out the modern take on the traditional green okra recipe. If you have unique Go Green ideas, I’d be happy to incorporate them here – with a summary of the why and the how. Give green an opportunity by sharing an awareness of the importance of green to the environment.