Environment Heroes and Leaders Stories
Posted on 15-05-2013
The first in our series of Inspirational stories is that of a woman who doesn’t fail to inspire anyone who comes across her story. The numerous achievements and accolades she has amassed for her contribution to Nature conservation and awareness over the years speak of the impact she has created with her efforts. This is the extremely inspiring story of Vasu Ritu Primlani, who shows how to make the way when you have the will!
Ritu Primlani, a resident of Gurgaon, has devoted her entire life to the cause of environment and conservation. Armed with a Masters in Geography from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she went on to work in various capacities across the globe, in the domains of energy conservation, water conservation and solid waste minimization. Back in India, she now continues to work in these areas, all of which are critical to India’s well-being given its electricity and water shortages, and garbage piles in cities and villages. Here is her story in her own words:
“I have devoted my life to the environment. My full–time job is part of my environmental commitment. I manage to get 25 km/liter fuel mileage (when my car is rated for a maximum rating of 23 km/ liter) due to my driving. I cycle to work once a week (70km round trip). I have changed the plumbing of my house to cut my water consumption by 50%, and during the monsoons, by 95%! I take public transportation for most of my other work around the city. For some distances (up to 15 km) I occasionally run to my destination rather than take a vehicle with carbon-based fuel. I prefer to travel by train where possible, even though I am encouraged to take flights.
I have planted papaya, banana, pomegranate, grape, tulsi in pots around my house. I would have generated 2.95 metric tons of carbon dioxide from my car emissions to work. I have cut this by 60% by cycling to work once a day, and telecommuting two days a week. I have cut my environmental footprint at least by 60%.
I have cut down my water consumption by nearly 61.9%. Annually I save 6,750 liters of water. I designed the plumbing system myself and a filter for my water systems; I do not have an engineering background; I am an environmentalist and geographer.
I have been an environmentalist for 17 years now and have volunteered for the environment and helped in running non-profits. I received the US EPA’s highest environmental hero award, the prestigious California Governors environmental and economic leadership award, and was selected among the top 50 most powerful environmentalists in the US by Organic Style magazine.
The results of my initiative saves critical water and energy for India; approximately 500 million liters of water in five years, 20,000 tons of CO2, and reward the businesses we work with, with crores of rupees in immediate financial savings. “
Ritu’s efforts make one realize the opportunity in making a difference with everything that we undertake in our lives– only if we have the will to go the distance and run the extra mile! With many more such efforts, one can only imagine the kind of impact that can be generated towards conserving the environment.
We salute all such efforts and hope to spread the word to as many people waiting to be inspired!