How do I reduce my carbon footprint?

Rishi Singhal
4 min readMar 14, 2021


The following manual is developed and designed over 4 years of active practice.

Some of the following steps started in 2016 and 2017 as ways to minimize misery at my corporate career.
Since I focus on continuous growth and learning, I was able to enhance my mental models and connect some dots.
Here are the actions I have observed which help reduced my carbon footprint. Unknowingly I also found the way to live a blissful life.


  • My first preference is walking to my destination.
  • I have chosen to live within 15 mins of walking to my office, parks, metro stations and shopping centers.
  • When I can’t walk due to any reason, I cycle.
  • If my destination is still too far, I plan for public transport buses & metro.
  • In some cases, I have no option but to pick up a petrol powered 2 wheeler.
  • I only use a car as last resort, or when I travel with others.
  • I haven’t purchased any assets for personal use, I prefer shared services.
  • I used bike taxis in Gurgaon since buses were practically absent.
  • I transported a 6 year old bike by train, instead of a new purchase.
  • I took shared autos in the suburbs of Mumbai.
  • I used services like Vogo, Bounce and Yulu wherever available as needed.
  • I have learnt to game the metro systems of Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida; Surfed the Mumbai Locals and its singular metro line so far.
  • Whenever I traveled to a new city with a metro line, I have their pre-paid cards. 7 cities so far.
  • I choose intercity buses and trains over flights.
  • I avoid traveling for leisure in a car, but never hesitated to witness the terminus of various Mumbai locals and metros.


  • I live in dormitories when I travel for work or leisure. (Maybe this could be another article)
  • I support homestays when traveling for leisure, instead of large hotel chains
  • My house is devoid of possessions except stacks of books as they come.
  • I don’t own a Television.
  • I make sure I have an amazing kitchen fully stocked; No compromises.
  • I have a yoga mat.
  • I choose to sleep on floor mattresses.
  • I have lived out of 1 suitcase for 4 months in 2018 and 2019 each.
  • I have practically survived all of 2020 with 1 trekking bag and a single 15kg suitcase worth of belongings.
  • I plan my day to reduce costs and time wasted for sustenance and life maintenance.


  • I buy grocery and essentials on the way back home from work, etc.
  • I buy essentials like kirana, fruits and vegetables from the local vendors
  • I don’t buy lays, maggi and biscuits.
  • I don’t buy cold drink in plastic bottles and similar over the counter beverages.
  • As a general rule I don’t purchase processed food.
  • I avoid eating fried and oily food.
  • I have reduced my chocolate and coffee consumption
  • I don’t buy a new gadget every time the media hypes it.
  • I use a laptop or phone untill they get unbearably slow to be used.
  • I buy only the clothes I need, not the ones I like. Same with footwear.
  • I purchase clothes without relying on free returns, mostly from offline retail stores.
  • I tend to buy Indian made goods because Chinese goods travel large distances over seas.
  • I hate myself everytime I buy a plastic water bottle, shampoo, etc. It causes too much waste.
  • I carry my own bags for shopping.
  • I don’t drink, smoke or indulge in hedonism anymore.
  • Similarly, I don’t use Facebook, Insta, YouTube and Netflix type apps anymore.
  • I don’t use Amazon type E marketplaces.
  • I don’t use Ubers.
  • I hate myself for using Swiggy, Zomato.
  • I sleep without Air conditioning
  • I don’t like to eat out in pubs and cafes of typical south Delhi.

I write this article as a letter to my friends and family who wish to understand how to be a part of climate change activism.

While most experiences and individuals are unique in their preferences my experiential learning has taught me the following.

Before I’m an NIT-IIM graduate,
before I’m called as an Indian,
before I’m judged financially,
Remember I’m only human.

We have the same needs,
We have similar desires,
We have a common destiny as
We are creatures of shared consciousness..

Despite our belief in individualism,
I will regardless spread love and joy.
Shiva is the Universe and so are you.

Om Namah Shivaya

Concluding thoughts

Kuch yun meri kahani,
Ab tak jo hai pehchani
Bus do hi rastay hain.

Aur bus do hi rastay hain,
Chahe jitnay dikhtay hain
Asal mein do hi rastay hain.

Jo hum ko jantay nahi,
Pehchantay nahi woh hum pay hastay hain. (Credits Mehdi Maloof song)

Option One : Consumerism
Option Two : Minimalism

It’s your choice, choose wisely. And you could find eternal bliss instead of fleeting pressures.

I have had the same vices as most of you, maybe more. But along the way I developed some extremely strong fundamentals. Hence I can be empathetic to your problems. If you ever needed a non judgemental ear, do reach out to me.

Rick says “Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game Son". Took me some time to understand and how it may be applied. Ever since I started blaming my friends working for Amazon, Uber and other companies, I forgot to empathize with their reality. A reality where the Game of life belies you into consumerism.

I pity the fool, who doesn’t question the fabric of society.

Found the tree of life at Auroville, India



Rishi Singhal

Forever Curious, On a Quest