You are on page 1of 43

A Tree Can Save The World Sadhguru

Copyright 2012 Isha Foundation First Edition: December 2012 ISBN: 978-81-87910-59-6 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For comments and enquiries regarding the book please contact: Published by: Isha Foundation Velliangiri Foothills, Semmedu (P.O.), Coimbatore 641 114, INDIA Tel: 91-422-2515345 Email: Website:


What kind of world will our children have to deal with in the future? The World Bank recently released their report on climate change titled, Turn Down the Heat, which suggests that unless human beings take action to reduce their impact on Mother Earth, the world is likely to be warmer by more than 4C (7.2F) in the next hundred years. This will not be the end. Further warming of over 6C (10.8F) will follow in the centuries to come. This warmer world will be radically different from ours. The heat waves of today, such as the 2010 heat wave that struck Russia killing 55,000 people and destroying 25% of their harvest, will be the new norm. Extreme weather patterns which cause dry areas to get drier and wet areas wetter, will proliferate. Rising sea levels could put a hundred million people at risk of coastal flooding every year. Perhaps worst of all, within forty years, global warming could leave us with less food per person.

This book is a call to action. Sadhguru, the founder of Isha Foundation and the massive environmental movement Project GreenHands, outlines the role that individuals, corporates and governments can play in controlling and reversing ecological degradation. Making it clear that when it comes to ecological work, it is not somebodys work, it is everybodys work, Sadhguru links the responsibilities of people, business and governance to address the problem with both short-term action as well as long-term vision. Humanity and life on the planet are fast approaching the point of no return. The decisions we make today will create our childrens future. We hope this book moves you to make the right decisions and begin by planting at least one tree, because believe it or not, a tree can save the world.
English Publications Isha Foundation


We are living in a time when we have to think of protecting the things which have always nurtured us. The planet always took care of us, but for the first time in the history of humanity, we have to protect this planet which has nourished thousands of generations of human beings. None of those people ever thought that a day would come when we have to take care of the planet. If you look at it in terms of its age, we are like a week-old infant talking about saving the mother. But thats the reality. We enjoyed the bounty of what this planet has offered us, but we have lived so blatantly in the last hundred years that a time has come when the just-born infant has to talk about the mothers wellbeing, not the other way round. It is no longer a myth. The facts are clear. If we carry on the way we are going right now, it is a disastrous path and the planet is in for a very serious turndown in the way it functions. Fortunately, probably like never before, the number of people aware of this progressing calamity is at its highest. Thats a good sign. People are talking about it, but unless we bring about a fundamental change in the lifestyles that we have adopted, talking about climate change will be a wasteful effort.

Right now, large populations around the world are striving to achieve the comfort and wellbeing that one segment of the population has achieved for itself. According to the Living Earth statistics, human beings today are consuming one-anda-half planets worth of resources. And nations like India, China, and many other countries are aspiring to develop themselves. What module are they following? Everybody wants to become like the United States. Everybody wants to have the lifestyle that an average US citizen is living. That is the aspiration, and everybody, either knowingly or unknowingly, is working towards it. The Living Earth Report says that if all the seven billion people on the planet find access to the comforts and conveniences that an average American citizen has, we would need four-and-a-half planets to sustain us. But we have only one. We are surviving only because there is a disproportionate situation. The world is going on only because of the unfortunate in the world that half of the population who are hungry and living under trees or bridges. If everybody on the planet becomes fortunate, the world will end in ten or fifteen years time. The planet has enormous capability to recoup from the damage that it goes through, but for that to happen, we have to allow a certain amount of time. Either we consciously handle this or Mother Earth will do it for us in a cruel manner. This possibility is looming in front of us, but we are still in a selfdestruction mode. I am not making this out to be a doomsday prediction, but it is important we realize the gravity of what we are facing.

Our economic activity is no longer on a small scale. It has become significant enough to break the planet. Science and technology have empowered us in such a way that we are no longer small, two-legged animals. We are a mega-power. Once you become powerful, you have to be careful. If you were a small little ant, you could have walked on anybody. There wouldnt be any problem. But if you become an elephant, you must be very careful where you put your foot. Technology has made humanity into real giants. We are hugely empowered. Now, how we walk is very important. Otherwise we will uproot everything. We need to understand that empowerment without the necessary sense of responsibility can be a major disaster. We expected governments and businesses to take the necessary action and reverse the environmental degradation. But for a variety of reasons political, military or economic they are not too eager to initiate the essential steps in that direction. So, individual human beings have to take action. How? People who are living in developed countries are consuming an abnormal level of energy. How much can an individual consume and still keep the planet sustainable is something all of us have to consider. Are we at least willing to switch off a light bulb when we dont need it? Are we willing to walk to our offices instead of driving even that short distance? Individuals can do these simple things. This will not solve the whole problem, but they will bring in more awareness. Once ecological awareness becomes a popular thing, it will become an incentive for economic

leaders to devise businesses around it. When being green becomes popular, green will pay. Once it pays, people will devise businesses around it and invest money to develop more eco-friendly methods of doing things. But one of the simplest things that all of us can do wherever we are in the world is to plant at least a few trees wherever it is possible. That is the simplest thing we can do. This is what we are doing in South India right now. We started a project called Project GreenHands (PGH), which is now the largest movement in the country. Our objective is to raise the green cover in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu to thirtythree percent. When we started the project, Tamil Nadu had only 16.5% green cover. I did some rough calculations and we found that if you plant 114 million trees in about six to eight years time, then in fifteen years time, you would have 33% green cover. When I said, We need to plant 114 million trees, peoples eyeballs rolled and they said, Sadhguru, so many! How? I asked them, What is the population of the state? In Tamil Nadu, we had a population of 62 million people at that time. So I said, If all of us plant one tree, take care of it for two years, and plant one more tree, its done. If we have to do it as an organization, it is an uphill task. If everybody takes it up, it will just happen. Everybody can plant one tree and take care of it, isnt it? Even a beggar on the street is capable of doing this. It is not a question of affluence or capability. It is just that we have never thought like this because we always think, Is it my work? People keep asking me, Sadhguru, you are a mystic. Why are you planting a tree?

When it comes to ecological work, it is not somebodys work, it is everybodys work. Everybody who breathes on this planet must plant a tree because a tree is not an outside entity. What you inhale they exhale, what we exhale they inhale. This relationship is something that we cannot do without. As long as you breathe, you must take care of the environment. If you are such a yogi that you dont breathe, or you are dead and you dont breathe, then we can leave you alone. Everybody else must plant and take care of trees because a tree is like an external lung for you. Only one half of your lung is in your body, the other half of the lung is hanging out there in the tree. The essence of Project GreenHands has been to bring this experience and understanding in people, where their relationship with trees need not be taught to them. It is felt and experienced. It is something that every human being has to realize and respond to. This is not work that you need to do. Just like you tend to your own body or to your children, a tree is also very much a part of your life. It is in bringing this feeling into the minds and hearts of people that PGH has become such a wonderful success in Tamil Nadu today. Close to 16 million trees have been planted till now. This has not happened because of some great force. We started this movement and involved millions of ordinary people. It is the peasants, farmers, housewives, and school children who have done this amazing work. It is very important that we create responsible movements because today, the world is largely democratic. Political leadership depends on common people who cast their votes.

Businesses may have money, but people have the vote, which is why they can influence governments. It is very important that we build a movement which can put enough pressure on businesses and law-makers so that the necessary things are done. Normally, activists take a very violent, anti-somebody kind of mode. When you are an ecological movement, you are not against anybody, you are for everybody. That is the reason you take up ecological work. You are for every life on the planet, not just human beings. You want the insects and the worms to live well too, because you understand that our lives are not separate from each other. Our life is an integrated and connected life. How healthy the worms are today will determine how healthy we are tomorrow. Only somebody who is for all life can take up ecological work. But till now, most eco-movements have mostly been against somebody. This has to change. Eco-movements and the activists have to grow into a different level of activism. More than the trees we have planted, one thing we are proud of is that PGH has happened phenomenally well because of peoples support which has in turn bred so many other movements, which is a wonderful thing. Now the government of Tamil Nadu itself is trying to outdo us! This is what is needed it should become a part of everybodys life. Even now, it is reaching the schools and children are talking about it. Once children start talking about it, they will not let their parents be something else. They will make them eco-friendly. All these things have to be done, not as a solution, but to become a movement that in turn brings in the necessary laws.

Without the necessary laws, there is no solution. It is only cosmetic. We can do it for our satisfaction, but that is of no use. We have to see that a solution happens because even if I plant a 100 million trees, that is just six days worth of deforestation on our planet. They will pull it down in six days! To plant 100 million trees takes a lot of money, a lot of effort: travelling all over the place, putting the seeds in the ground and supporting their growth it takes a lot. Then for the tree to grow, it takes another five to ten years to become a reasonable thing that you can call a tree. And that can be removed in six days. In some way, it does not make any sense to go through all this only to have someone uproot it, but we still have to plant. We cannot give it up. We have to plant and work for the solution, but it is silly to create a small solution for a huge problem and think it is a solution. What we are doing 114 million trees sounds so big and fantastic, but it is still a small solution. It is a silly way to approach a problem. It is like sending an ant to fight an elephant. But at least an ant is going, and we believe the brave ant will inspire. Expecting everybody to change by themselves is not realistic. Strict laws have to be made which consider ecological concerns. Laws will not come unless there are strong, responsible, ecological movements which are oriented towards solutions, and not in trying to beat somebody down. Movements always have an enemy. But there is no enemy here except ourselves. We are the enemy. With this, we must develop large movements which are also action-oriented because just taking the movement onto the street is not going to help. It must be action-oriented to gain respectability in the world and at the same time it must be a large-scale

movement. Only then can we change the laws. Right now, the problem from nation to nation is this attitude, Okay, I am willing to change the law and restrict my country, but what about you? You are not willing to do that. You want to benefit from my laws. Nobody is going to do it. Who is to bell the cat is the whole problem because internationally, there isnt any one body which can enforce these laws. At one time, we were building the United Nations to a point where if something really needed to be done in the world, the United Nations could say so. But that has been lost in the last ten to fifteen years and now there is no one body. Every nation is talking about self-interest. If nations talk of self-interest, the individual will also talk of self-interest. So who should bell the cat? To determine this, it must be a worldwide movement. Movements should learn to connect and become an international movement so that there will be enough pressure on the governments to have them change the laws. All the laws that need to be changed will not change in one day. It is continuous work. In our lifetime, we must change at least those laws which are destroying the environment at a very rapid pace. For example, we can make a law so that the 100 million trees that we plant dont go waste in six days time. We cannot stop industries from roaring. They have to roar, but we can make this law. Like this, we can plan out which laws need to be brought in twenty-five years, and bring them in step by step, so that it does not hurt us too quickly. People will not take it if you bring in too much of a drastic change. The change has to be gradual, giving people enough time

to understand why such a change has been made, before bringing in the next one. Right now, I dont see such seriousness in the world. We are still trying to look eco-friendly in front of somebody else. We are not looking at the drastic phase that ecology is in right now. We have not realized that if we do not take corrective action right now, we will pass on a legacy we will be ashamed of. It will be a legacy that our children will accuse us of and hate us for. We are not even looking for solutions yet. People are saying recycling and alternative power generation techniques will help. Yes, it will help, but in a very minor way. All the wind and solar power systems put together produce less than two percent of the power requirement in the world. I am not trying to beat it down, but having windmills and solar systems is more entertainment value than real value. It is still very essential, because even two percent is very big, but this will only slow down the disaster. Thats like we dont want the disaster to happen in our lifetime, but we want to gift it to our children. A point will come where it will not be a choice anymore. When that happens, turning around will not be easy. It will be at the cost of millions of lives. Not just human lives, there are more precious lives on this planet than human lives. Studies show that if all the insects on the planet die, life on this planet has a little more than twenty years before everything disappears. If the worms on this planet die tomorrow morning, the life upon this planet has only eight years left. But if you and me disappear, the planet will flourish.

In our mind, we think the life upon this planet is humancentric. But in natural terms, the worms, insects, birds and animals are far more important than human beings. We as human beings have become the controlling power, so we are beginning to think that we are the most important life. This mind-set has to change. We need to recognize and see ourselves and every life, as life; not seeing you as you and me as me. Unless humanity begins to recognize life as life, there is no solution. Right now, all Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ecological solutions are oriented towards making human life a little better. Using recycled paper is fine, but that is not the point. If you want to save the ecology, the bio-activity on the planet has to rise, and for that to happen, laws are needed. Right now, the first lobby which opposes any such law is definitely the business lobby. However, businesses can play a key role if there is a change of heart in them because the way businesses have grown, lawmakers have to listen to businesses. Unfortunately, except for a few exceptions, businesses are not thinking beyond this years balance sheet. There are many who are going beyond that, but still not enough to find a solution. There is enough ecological awareness for cosmetic appeal, but not enough awareness and movement in the world for a solution. This has to change. However, if you bring in strict environmental laws, many businesses may sink and disappear. We know this by experience. In Tamil Nadu, the city of Tirupur is a major clothing and stitching center. If you dug a well anywhere around Tirupur, you would get multi-colored water, depending on the color

of the t-shirts they were making on that day. When the government enacted a law that made it compulsory to recycle and purify the water before releasing it, many dyeing units just died. Hundreds of businesses sank. This does not mean that environmental laws are against business. The reason these businesses sank is because they were running on ramshackle infrastructure. They were trying to make a business out of nothing. Yes, that is enterprise, but even enterprise has to stand on four legs. Those enterprises which are tottering on a single leg will all fall. And that has to happen, we cannot help it. If you change the landscape of business, some will suffer, some will drown, but some will immediately adapt and learn to do business in the new atmosphere that we create. Somebody should have the courage to create the new atmosphere. It is because our concern for ecology is recent that we think a law is impossible; a law is very much possible. We can say, This is how you must take care of your river. If you have a tree in your house, this is how you must take care of it. If there was no law as to which side of the road you should drive, we would be driving all over. Nobody would be able to move. This is what is happening with ecology because it is a new concern. Making laws on many levels is most important. It is not in the hands of business alone, but business can play a significant role. Corporations can make a business out of ecological solutions and that is important, because only then would the solutions be sustainable. We are talking about sustaining the ecology, but first of all, the business has to sustain itself. In that sense, it is best that every ecological solution becomes a kind of business. Only then will it be

sustained over a period of time. Otherwise, people will just do CSR and be satisfied with it. If you look at CSR, though there are a few companies that are doing it differently, most corporates just allocate a small percentage of their profit. CSR does things for awareness but it will not create a solution. It cannot create a solution. If you just add up all the CSR amounts in the world, it is peanuts. You cannot change the world with that. Whats more, CSR is not sustainable because you may be doing CSR today, but the next person who takes over may not be interested in doing it. Instead of doing CSR, those companies which are already eco-oriented must do their business more aggressively. For example, PGH works with one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world. I keep telling them, Invest in bio-energy and solar energy, and put everything on your wind-turbine land. Just do business. Dont do service. Leave the service to me, because only then will you do it large scale. Otherwise you will do it only upto a certain point. We have presented various ideas to them. They can create solar villages. If the village is in a wind tunnel, they can make smallscale wind turbines for each village and provide power to the village at a lower cost. If it powers the village, all the villagers will support them. Businesses like this can be worked out on various levels which are beneficial to the local people, so that they will support and sustain this whole movement towards a more eco-friendly way of doing things. What about the other businesses whose business is not ecology? The engine is roaring somewhere. They know it causes damage to the ecology but you cannot stop the engine.

All of us need the engine to roar, but businesses have to ease the throttle a bit on the law-makers. If businesses have to exist, people have to live. If people have to live, the ecology has to be good. We have to run the economy a little more gently, both upon the humanity and upon the ecology. There is a whole lot of research work and data available which shows that we can run the economy of a state just by growing trees in so many different ways. It is just that the first ten years will be a challenge. But we can definitely make tree-growing into a very profitable business. We can do it by growing fruit trees, through forestry, through all kinds of eco-oriented tourism, with bee-cultivation, bird and animal breeding there are so many things one could do. We have worked with some farmers who have seen that forestry is more profitable than agriculture in certain kinds of land. They have taken to it and they are very happy. They are earning much more, and they are saving the planet they have the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile. There are so many things we can do, but all these things can take off only if there are laws and financing. Unfortunately, there is ambitious business going on on the planet. There is no visionary business. In my experience, many companies do not see the possibilities. When I tell them, Please support us, we want to plant 114 million trees, they ask, Will you plant it in my state, will you plant it in my factory? Ecological work is not about my part of the world and your part of the world. Wherever it is planted, everybody will benefit from this. Tree planting is most useful only if it happens from the equator to thirty degrees latitude. This

means India, segments of Africa, Asia and America are the places to plant. That is where you find maximum benefit. We have approached just about everybody in the airline and automobile industries. We worked out intricate plans for them where the pollution that a car would release in the next ten years is taken care of by the tree we plant. The cost of the trees can be divided between the manufacturer, the dealer and the customer. It is a question of a few dollars. I am sure the customer will be willing to pay, knowing fully well that when he drives, he is compensating for what he is using up. But these plans havent gone anywhere. They have considered it and considered it. They seem to be considering it forever. We are in a mode where humanity as a whole has still not faced reality the way it is. This is the unfortunate way of humanity that disaster has to strike, only then they will know. This could be true for the larger humanity. But the more aware humanity, humanity which is in positions of responsibility and power, this part of humanity has to act now. It is very important that we get these things in the right perspective. When I look at very highly placed people, they have no clue about even the simple ecological statistics that are available to everybody and are published every day in the newspaper. Just about everywhere in the world, people holding very responsible positions are not even conscious about it. It is shocking that many law-makers and others have never even bothered to acquaint themselves because they are busy with something else. It is very important that it sinks into everybody because the rate at which we are biting at the

cake, there will be no cake left in twenty-five years. Humanity as a whole must learn to eat the cake slowly. Another thing is we must be able to produce more cake out of less dough. Another thing is we need to reduce the number of mouths which want to eat the cake. One thing we need to understand is that all ecological

problems have come because of irresponsible reproduction among human beings. With medical advances, we are now capable of seeing that every child who is born survives, in most countries. Though it still needs to be worked upon in many countries, the infant mortality rate has been considerably brought down. On the other hand, medical sciences have postponed our death, which means that our reproduction should be much more conservative and conscious. But we are refusing to postpone birth. We have, to some extent, but at 7 billion people it is not an effective postponement. Without reducing human population, there is no solution. Whatever you do, people will gobble it up. Instead of trying to reduce human aspirations, it is better to reduce our rate of reproduction. It is a much simpler thing to do. In a few villages in Tamil Nadu, we suggested that villagers take a voluntary oath that this year will be a no-conception year in this village. Just enjoy your honeymoon, dont make babies. These kinds of initiatives will take a lot of effort to implement but if we dont control the population, whatever you do will go waste because the United Nations estimates that the population in 2050 will be 9.5 billion. At 9.5 billion, all of us will have to live with forty percent less resources than we are right now enjoying. When I say

resource, I am not talking about gold, diamonds or oil. I am talking about water, food and air to breathe. Can you even imagine forty percent less air to breathe? So either we control our population now consciously, or a time will come when we will have to put a meter on your nose. We will have to charge you for how many breaths per minute you take. And those who cannot pay That is why I said we want to give a legacy of disaster to our children. The problem is not small, but some people in a resigned way say, Nature will correct it. Yes, for sure it will correct it. The correction will be reducing the human population. But whenever human populations are reduced, you dont see it as a solution; you see it as a disaster. Mother Earth is not even supposed to flex her muscles; she is not even allowed to stretch her hands or legs. If she does something, a hundred thousand people will die because human beings are everywhere. She cannot even sneeze. If a volcano erupts, right there people have built towns around a live volcano! We are too many. We are wonderful, but we are too many. We need to reduce our wonderfulness. If all the countries in the world take it up that they will reduce the worlds population by 2050, and if we succeed, that itself is a great solution. Technologies are continuing to refine themselves. The amount of power we are consuming, lets say to light up a place, is almost one-tenth of what we would have consumed twenty years ago. Technologies are improving and our consumption of power is reducing. Bringing down the human population by at least twenty-five percent in forty years time is achievable, if only the necessary laws are made.

The Chinese have done it, but everybody just comments about it. They think making politics out of it is a great solution. Population is definitely the single, most important problem. And the quickest solution will come only if we reduce our population. Nations must have the courage, and the religions of the world must have the sense to see that increasing the population is going to be a disaster for all of us for every creature on the planet, not just for humanity. The planet is for all of us and we cannot exist here by ourselves. We are living here because of the natural process that is happening, not because of our economic activity. Right now we are made to believe that we will live well because of the percentages of economic growth that is happening in the country. No. We will live well here if everything is green, beautiful, water is flowing, and air is pure. This has to be clear in every human beings mind. The preservation and nurturing of this planet is not different from aspiring for a good life for ourselves, because there is no good life without a good planet. Right now, we are looking at ecological concerns as some kind of an obligation that we have to fulfill. It is not an obligation, it is our life. People are identified with their creed, religion and nationality. But the most fundamental identity is that you are a piece of this planet. The very body that you carry is a piece of this planet and half your lungs are hanging out there on the tree. I want you to feel it, not just think it is a great idea. It is not an idea, it is a reality that we are living. This reality has to sink into people. You dont have to talk about identifying yourself

with the tree. If you sit in front of a tree or under a tree and breathe consciously, you know there is a big difference. Sitting in the building and breathing, or sitting under a tree and breathing there is a big difference. One can feel it. I want people to feel it. But there are not enough trees for all of us to sit under. We need to plant them.





What kind of world will our children have to deal with in the future? On the heels of the recent release of the World Banks climate change report Turn Down the Heat, we at Project GreenHands a grass-roots level environmental movement founded by Sadhguru list a few of the major concerns that will face our children in the future.

Unless human beings cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, the world is likely to be warmer by more than 4C in 100 years. This will not be the end. Further warming of over 6C will follow in the centuries to come.

The frequency and intensity of heat waves across the globe has increased. In 2010, a heat wave hit Russia, killing 55,000, destroying 25% of the crops, burning a million hectares, and costing Russia 15 billion dollars. In a 4C warmer world, such temperatures would be normal, and heat waves never before experienced in the 20th century would occur regularly. The coolest months in such a climate would be substantially warmer than the warmest months were at the end of the 20th century.

image credit: wikipedia

In a warmer world, dry areas will become drier and wet areas wetter. The drought in the United States in 2012 impacted about 80% of agricultural land. By 2100, half of all farm land in the world is expected to be drought-hit. In a warmer world, dry areas will become drier and wet areas wetter. The drought in the United States in 2012 impacted

about 80% of agricultural land. By 2100, half of all farm land in the world is expected to be drought-hit.

image credit:

An average of 500 weather-related disasters now take place each year, compared with 120 in the 1980s. The number of floods has increased six-fold. Rainfall levels in wet areas could increase a further 20 to 30% in a 4C warmer world.

In the next decade alone, a 100 million women and children are expected to join the already existing 500 million of them who are undernourished. By 2050, fisheries and livestock will

collapse, and agriculture will suffer under prolonged droughts and heat waves, resulting in less food per person. Resources will get scarcer. Elizabeth Hadly from Stanford University says we may already be past these tipping points in particular regions of the world. I just returned from a trip to the high Himalayas in Nepal, where I witnessed families fighting each other with machetes for wood wood that they would burn to cook their food in one evening.


A billion people, mostly in Asia, live in coastal regions. In a 4C warmer world, sea-levels are likely to rise by 0.5 meters and possibly by almost a meter by 2100. These predictions do not include the melting of much of Greenlands and Antarcticas ice. They could contribute a total of 64 meters over the centuries. An average of a 100 million people a year will experience floods due to coastal storms, which will have increased in frequency and intensity. During extremely powerful weather events, this number will rise significantly.


Based on United Nations, World Bank, and other organizations research, we have put together a map that shows what problems will dominate different regions of the globe by 2100.


heat rain

drought crop failure

sea level rise



Studies show that global warming is unavoidable. The last century of human activity has made a rise in global temperatures virtually inevitable. The question is no longer whether temperatures will rise, the question is how much will they rise. Hearteningly, numerous studies show that there are technically and economically feasible solutions that will probably hold warming below 2C, and well below the 4C mark. Will we make it happen? Will our children hate us for what we did not do, or will our children thank us for what we did? As individuals, the easiest way we can reduce our carbon footprint is by planting trees. Ishas Project GreenHands, recipient of Indias highest environmental award, plants trees on your behalf and lets you track their exact location. All you need to do is donate just 1$ or Rs.50 per sapling. Visit


What more could you do to reduce your carbon footprint? Wed say start with your home. Studies suggest that almost one-third of carbon emissions originate from the household. Here are 7 easy steps to reduce emissions:

Turn off appliances when not using them: Appliances that are left turned on or in stand-by mode, draw electricity even when they are unused. In the United States alone, residential consumers spend over 4 billion dollars for such electricity consumption.

Shop with a reusable/cloth bag: Plastic from single-use plastic bags never decomposes, and toxic particles can enter the food chain when they are ingested by unsuspecting animals. Approximately 14 million trees are cut every year for paper bag production.

Lower the brightness of the computer screen: Reduce the brightness of your monitor, and if you are still using a boxy CRT monitor, switch to a LCD. LCD monitors consume only about 30% of the energy that a CRT monitor does.

Telecommute and Teleconference: You dont have to really fight your way through traffic or fly to a business meeting in another city to talk to your colleagues. Also, one good reason to ask your boss if you can Work at Home.


Buy local produce: You would be amazed to know how far an item of food has travelled before it reaches your dinner

table. A bowl of fortified cornflakes and tinned fruit juice may look simple, but is not so. Encourage local produce and small farmer groups for fresh veggies.

Pay attention to packaging: When you are out shopping, try to go to stores that keep packaging to a minimum. For example, choose to buy loose tomatoes rather than boxed or plastic wrapped tomatoes.

Avoid bottled water: Bottled water has a huge carbon footprint because of manufacture and transport. Most of the plastic water bottles in India are not recycled, making the footprint even larger. A reusable water bottle is a good alternate.





Yogi, mystic, visionary and poet, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that yoga is not an esoteric discipline from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Probing, passionate and provocative, insightful, logical and unfailingly witty, Sadhgurus talks have earned him the reputation of a speaker and opinion-maker of international renown. With speaking engagements that take him around the world, he is widely sought after by prestigious global forums to address issues as diverse as human rights, business values, and social, environmental and existential issues. He has been a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit, a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders and Alliance for New Humanity, a special

invitee to the Australian Leadership Retreat, Tallberg Forum, Indian Economic Summit 2005-2008, as well as a regular at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) for the year 2008 for Isha Foundations Project GreenHands efforts. With a celebratory engagement with life on all levels, Sadhgurus areas of active involvement encompass fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, sports and music. He is the author and designer of several unique buildings and consecrated spaces at the Isha Yoga Center, which have wide attention for their combination of intense sacred power with strikingly innovative eco-friendly aesthetics. Listeners have been ubiquitously impressed by his astute and incisive grasp of current issues and world affairs, as well as his unerringly scientific approach to the question of human wellbeing. Sadhguru is also the founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the wellbeing of the individual and the world for the past three decades. Isha Foundation does not promote any particular ideology, religion, or race, but transmits inner sciences of universal appeal. Sadhgurus Youtube Channel


Isha Foundation is a non-profit human-service organization, supported by over 2 million volunteers in over 150 centers worldwide. Recognizing the possibility of each person to empower another, Isha Foundation has created a massive movement that is dedicated to address all aspects of human wellbeing, without ascribing to any particular ideology, religion or race. Isha Foundation is involved in several path-breaking outreach initiatives: Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) enhances the quality of rural life through healthcare and disease prevention, community revitalization, women empowerment, the creation of sustainable livelihoods, and yoga programs. Isha Vidhya empowers rural children with quality education. Project GreenHands (PGH) initiates mass tree planting and creates a culture of care for the environment to keep this planet liveable for future generations.

Ishas unique approach in cultivating human potential has gained worldwide recognition and reflects in Isha Foundations special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. The Foundation is headquartered at the Isha Yoga Center, set in the lush rainforest at the base of the Velliangiri Mountains in southern India, and at the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences on the spectacular Cumberland Plateau in central Tennessee, USA.


Project GreenHands (PGH), Isha Foundations environmental initiative, has grown out of a deep concern for the global effects of deforestation and land degradation and in particular for the rapidly degrading ecology of Tamil Nadu. Initiated by Sadhguru to create and nurture a society which will develop a deep culture of care towards the environment, PGH aims to take corrective measures to increase the green cover in Tamil Nadu by planting 114 million saplings. PGH also seeks to restore soil health and manage natural resources appropriately. PGH has partnered with corporates, NGOs, educational institutions and individuals in an effort to grow saplings and plant trees in a big way. The activities of PGH are not limited to just the planting of saplings but also extends to survey of land for planting suitability, monitoring and evaluation of tree planting, establishment of nurseries and development of planting areas, maintenance of comprehensive records, awareness campaigns and social mobilization programs.

On October 17, 2006, to raise awareness about the desperate need for action, PGH undertook and accomplished the seemingly impossible task of planting 852,587 saplings across the state of Tamil Nadu in three days. This achievement earned PGH a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. From its small beginnings, PGH has already achieved remarkable results. By the end of 2012, PGH will have successfully overseen the planting of more than 16 million trees by over 2 million volunteers.

On June 5th 2010, PGH was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) for the year 2008 in the Organizational category by the Government of India. IGPP is the highest award in India bestowed on individuals and organizations for significant contributions in the fields of environmental protection, conservation, regeneration and awareness creation. PGH is an action-driven organization that is committed to developing a hands-on approach that can be easily replicated

in rural communities worldwide. Through its activities it aims to inspire people around the world to appreciate the true value of trees and the vital role that they play within human environments. As individuals, the easiest way we can reduce our carbon footprint is by planting trees. PGH plants trees on your behalf and lets you track their exact location. All you need to do is donate 1$ or Rs.50 per sapling. Visit



Isha Yoga Center, Velliangiri Foothills, Semmedu (P.O.), Velliangiri Foothills Coimbatore 641114 India. T: +91-422-2515345 E:

Isha Institute of Inner Sciences, 951 Isha Lane, McMinnville, TN 37110 USA. T: +1-931-668-1900 E:

Isha Foundation, PO Box 559, Isleworth TW7 5WR, UK. T: +44-79 56 99 87 29 E:

Isha Foundation Australia, Suite 1.5, 173 Lennox Street, Richmond VIC 3121, Melbourne. T: +61 433 643 215 E:

Isha Singapore, Block 805, 05-636,Chai Chee road, Singapore 460805. T: +65 96660197 E:

T: +60 17-366-5252 E:

T: 961-3-789-046, 961-3-747-1 E:



Related Interests