So what does it feel like?

Try this:

Take a plastic bag (the one you got on your recent shopping trip will do).

Cover your nose and mouth with the opening of the bag, making sure that no air escapes from the sides.

Start breathing normally.

Keep doing it.

Feel the air in the bag (and that you are now breathing) getting warmer? Feel the uncomfortable feeling as the oxygen in the bag gets depleted, and the CO2 level starts increasing? Feel the lightheadedness and the headache that slowly comes on?

That is what we, collectively, are doing to our planet.

It isn’t enough to point a finger at the (mis)developed nations like the USA, UK and parts of Europe, saying that they are the ones to blame. They may be the biggest perpetrators, but we here in Asia have an equally big role to play, by encouraging the west to continue what they are doing to pollute the planet.

At FOSS.IN, we decided to do away with plastic bags last year, and gave people eco-friendly cotton bags. Over the months since FOSS.IN/2006, we have received countless calls from people asking where they could get such bags, including from some megacorps like ABB. And we have heard of other events following our example.

Over the year, I have progressively replaced incandescent bulbs at home with energy efficient fluorescent ones. Not only did they last much longer and were much brighter than the earlier ones, but my savings on my electricity bill paid for the investment in 3 months.

I know there are many ways more ways to undo some of the damage we have caused to our planet in the past 100 years, and while you may not think that your own contribution will amount to much, I can assure you that it will.

Remember the hot and oppressive summers we have been going through these past few years? When you wondered what had happened to the pleasant climate we used to enjoy just a few years ago?

Remember that plastic bag you were breathing into?

Awareness, and pro-activeness are no longer an option – they are a necessity.

This is no longer about our children and the planet they will inherit.

This is about you and me.

SOS – Answer the Call