Earth Day 2009, anyone?!

Posted on April 22, 2009 by Priya Tuli

Filed under Viva Gaia! | 3 Comments

Today, in celebration of our fragile blue-green home-planet, I plan to turn off all non-essential lights, including those in my head, which I do every day anyhow. I also plan to skip showering, just for today, thereby conserving 80 gallons of water per shower x 3, that’s a staggering 240 gallons in one day. So don’t come too close; fair warning, as you’ll probably smell me approaching a mile away.

I am also going out into the garden to hug my glorious 10-year-old ficus benjamina, planted way before tree-planting was even remotely fashionable. This particular Tree has history and much character, with huge aerial roots that have turned into part of the trunk.

It started out as a spindly indoor plant , and sat in my living room by the French windows for several months till it reached the ceiling. Then the cats began to use it as a scratching post; in fact, it still bears those gouge-marks on its incredible 186 cm. circumference. I moved the pot out into the garden for a few months of respite from feline attentions and lo and behold, the roots actually broke out, smashing the pot, and one very persistent aerial root simply grew into the soil, canting the Tree over at a precarious 50-degree angle. It resisted all my efforts to straighten it up, eventually righting itself as it grew, tall, strong and proud.

I later realized that bcause it had leaned over like that, I got to see it from my bedroom window, which faces out onto the garden. So when it grew so tall and I couldn’t see any leaves, just the trunk, I moaned about it to the Tree. In a few months, it responded…I kid you not…by putting out new branches at window-level, so I get to enjoy watching new leaves appear year-round. That Tree really hears me.

Anyone visiting my home stops and stares, exclaiming at the Tree, which is the first thing you notice in my exuberantly overgrown tropical-jungle garden. That Tree has a certain something that makes you stop and take notice. The local Feng Shui man told me that I’m lucky the Garden God has blessed me by choosing my Tree to reside in, of all the others in my area. This is true; I have always felt safe and protected in this house, and I am connected to that Tree in an inexplicable way; perhaps because my father bought it for me when I first moved in. I feel it still connects me to him in a real and tangible way.

So today’s agenda: fewer lights, no showers, hug the Tree, take my own shopping bag to the supermarket, which I mostly do anyway. That’s part of my contribution towards Earth Day this year... for the rest of the year. What’s yours going to be?

Here’s a humble suggestion. If you do nothing else today to celebrate our planet, you could do just this one little thing. Go check out  and watch the video, browse some of the issues on that page and sign up to receive campaign alerts and find out how you can make a difference. Get involved; by now you know that every voice is important, every person counts. So come on, people, let’s see a show of hands! Stand up for your home-planet and do one thing to make a difference each day. It’s such a small price to pay for the privilege of being here, innit? :-)


Dear Priya,

I stumbled upon your blog months after being disconnected from your regular weekly columns appearing in the Weekend of Khaleej Times. So you can imagine my delight in knowing you haven't stopped yet. To keep it short, continue spilling your humor on to the paper (or the blog !), and come back to KT, if you can !!

Posted by Darshan on May 03, 2009 at 02:01 AM WIT #

Hi Priya. Thanks for the visit to our site. We're not selling t-shirts, but selling the idea. So help us spread the words :) and stay tune in for our updates


BOLBAL t-shirt

Posted by bolbal on July 24, 2009 at 08:03 PM WIT #

Dear Darshan,

Sorry I missed your comment, haven't updated the blog in ages. And happy you found the blog! I do still write, though sporadically, for the Jakarta Post. Maybe it's time to kick-start the blog again...

Thanks for writing in!

Posted by Priya Tuli on August 01, 2009 at 11:28 PM WIT #

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