Energy Diet

Green Guarantee? Not Always

Office Travel

Car parking at my workplace is around 1 kilometer (.62 miles) away from the office, so from the parking area I have to take another office-operated taxi. In the last few weeks, instead of taking office taxi I am walking. I can try these walks as long as weather is in my favor, though I don’t like pollution on the way.

Home-Office Route

No Green Guarantee for Escaping New Delhi Traffic

Last week, I had to travel to New Delhi from my place, which is around 35 kilometers (21 miles) away and usually takes 50 minutes. I have traveled the same route many times in last couple of years, and every time it was almost consistent that it took around one hour. I have been using my car for all these city travels. But for this green experiment I thought of taking Metro. In order to begin my journey, I had to drive my car to the nearest Metro station, which is 8 kilometers (5 miles) away from my home. I did not get parking over there, so I drove to the next Metro station. Again I did not get parking, so I went to the third one, where I was able to park.

So I had already driven 17 kilometers (10 miles) in 40 minutes to catch the Metro. Metro travel time was around one hour and 20 minutes. So I spent two hours for the same journey and had to drive my car 17 kilometers. I don’t think it was a very great idea — it saved me some money, but at the cost of time and stress. Because of the city population and traffic mismanagement, this experiment failed drastically.  

If you want to know more about New Delhi traffic, have a look at the IBM Commuter Pain Index, New Delhi is indexed at 81 on a scale of 100. This index ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most wearing. The index is comprised of 10 factors: 1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic. There is more on and about Delhi traffic.

Things I Am Planning to Do

In the Office

  • If I am printing, I try to print on both sides of the paper.
  • If I don’t require good quality printing, I set printing in economy mode, which takes less ink.

Before I Go to Bed

  • Truly unplug all electronics
  • Put auto shut-off timer in place for wireless router

At Home

  • Wash only full loads of laundry
  • Get dual-flush toilets installed (in next two months )
  • Put a shade over sun-facing balconies so that there is less heating getting inside the rooms during summer
  • Start using timer while cooking


  1. Christina
    February 22, 2011, 11:01 am

    Your experience trying to find Metro parking is stunning. And yet you don’t have a problem parking in the city? That is some irrational city planning!

  2. clipton
    February 23, 2011, 10:23 am

    Yogesh–I like what you are planning to do. Those are useful steps. New Delhi transportation sounds pretty brutal according to your story and the commuter pain index. If New York (19) and LA (25) are that much lower on the index, I couldn’t imagine driving around New Delhi (81), much less Beijing (99). Christina is right about urban planning. My favorite success story is Curitiba, Brazil. They’ve made city traveling a pleasant experience. However, it took decades of work.

  3. Yogesh
    February 24, 2011, 1:13 am

    You are right about the city planning, but if you realize the population of this city, which is 14 million, and population density of 30,000+ sq/mile, we have bigger issues to deal with -and people here understand that this traffic condition is an integral part of their daily life.