A problem of plenty?

A recent study (via CNN) spoke about how people tend to eat depending on the size of the portion of food served. The article explains it well, so here goes:

It’s “unit bias,” the tendency to think that a single unit of food — a bottle, a can, a plateful, or some more subtle measure — is the right amount to eat or drink, researchers propose.

“Whatever size a banana is, that’s what you eat, a small banana or a big banana,” says Andrew Geier of the University of Pennsylvania. And “whatever’s served on your plate, it just seems locked in our heads: that’s a meal.”

I’m getting to the point.

Most of us have running water and electricity in our homes. We are used to running water and electricity. Because we have running water, we leave the water running when we’re washing our hands, or if we’re having a shower, etc.

If we didn’t have running water and had to carry water from one floor down, we’d use much less water for washing our hands, bathing, etc. If you live in areas where power-cuts are a problem, you’d have experienced this–your family members will tell you not to waste water because the water pump cannot be switched on.

I was at a resort recently where they provided a mug and a bucket and had a framed poster telling you how you could conserve water. Just having a poster there made a difference–I used the mug a lot more than I would have.

Enough of water, let’s talk about electricity. The amount of power that we consume in cities has gone up in the last ten years and this isn’t because of the population increase. If you look back at how many households had washing machines ten years ago and how many households have them now, there’ll be a staggering increase. It’s a similar situation with air-conditioners, you see more people owning air-conditioners.

Earlier, people were content with a fan or an air-cooler, now they buy air-conditioners. And, because they have the AC, they tend to use it–that’s a natural tendency.

Where does that leave us? The power consumption goes up. The water consumption goes up. We face power-cuts, we face water shortages. So, we buy inverters, we buy water.

Imagine if you have only a certain amount of power and water available to you and that you have to make it work with that amount. Maybe we are coming to a situation like that–where a person’s energy and water use is regulated by the government or some organisation.

Self-regulation would be a better choice, don’t you think?


2 thoughts on “A problem of plenty?

  1. You made point there. Easy availablity has made the thing priceless things valueless.

    When , in past, tap water available , people had bring from village well, people used water with proper discretion.

    Now, we only hear loud talks about power and water conservation, nobody is interested in saving these things. :(

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