Friday, April 7, 2017

The Sustainability Series: Priya Pawar

A multitasker, she is an architect by profession, simultaneously doing her PhD, learning German and being an excellent cook. Hard to miss, with her vibrant red hair, she's sure to be the center of the crowd. She believes in this philosophy as quoted by her, "Most of us are out and about to care about the human race. The animals who have few advocates against anthropological actives need us too. they deserve a fair chance in this fight too, which I believe is denied to them. This planet is as much theirs as it is ours and human race is being pretty selfish where it doesn't care about its own kind, save the animals."

1)      How do you think you have contributed or are contributing to sustainability, professionally or personally?
Professionally, I am trying to present a novel idea through my doctoral thesis that could work as a framework to ensure energy efficiency of high- rise buildings in equatorial tropics through high performance building envelopes. This can contribute towards reduction of ecological footprint of our future buildings not just in Singapore but many other mega cities in SEA region (where the future of the world economy lies). Personally, after becoming a Greenpeace Volunteer through social networking platforms, I was able to educate myself on my issues that I was unaware of before. I started shopping and travelling much more responsibly to ensure I could contribute towards sustainability practices associated with it. I have started to separate my waste more intensely and refuse to use plastic where ever possible.
2)     Name one measure/innovation in sustainability that has impressed you in the past. 

There are many that come to my mind. Two of the most impressive ones are: ocean cleanup ( and solar farms on the water bodies (

3)      Mention five small steps every individual can adopt in their daily life to make our planet more sustainable.
                                i.            Refuse disposable plastic.
                              ii.            Shop less, don’t shop cheap, shop sustainable and if you don’t need don’t shop at all.
                            iii.            Advocate a cause (any cause- but dedicate whatever time and resource you have to that cause). It is a very fulfilling experience.
                            iv.            Travelling enriches your mind and body- but find sustainable ways to do it and stick to them. Business class/ first class are so last season. Sustainability is the new “black”. Flaunt your cause instead of wealth. Take PUBLIC TRANSPORT as much as possible.
                              v.            Always carry a foldable cloth bag, refillable water bottle and if possible your ow cutlery set on your person

4)      What are your inspirations to work towards sustainability and aspirations to contribute more to sustainability?

Inspiration- the beautiful Arctic and its ecology. I aspire to become a full time environmental activist in next 15 years.

5)      If you were a renewable energy, what would you be and why? (You do not need to be technical; you can choose the one that suits your personality most.)

Tidal energy. I fear and respect the ocean the most. Its might humbles me.

6)      What is your idea of a utopian world and a dystopian world?

Utopian- When in 1986 Oil and Gas industry research had predicted climate change due to human activities (drilling for oil) and would have made a more sensitive choice instead of choosing monetary profits
Dystopian- How different could it be than the one we are already in?

7)      Would you rather (and why):
a)       Shower on alternate days or drink less water, if there was a water crisis? :P

Shower alternate days

b)      Hug a tree for a day, for preventing it from being cut or impose on someone a prohibition of eating shark fin soup for life?

We have way passed the time for either and or. I would do both- I believe in the need for both actions to be taken now.

c)       Be vegetarian or consume human flesh after they are dead (not from disease, let us say) to save on resources to burn/bury their body?

No brainer- be vegetarian. It has both ecological and physiological benefits.

d)      Dedicate your whole life fighting against pollution or spend it saving endangered species?

Both. When your ultimate “life time achievement” target is to be an environmentalist, you work towards all causes. Also both causes are closely linked to one another.

e)      Be born in this era/generation, in the past, or in the future (speaking solely from the sustainability point of view)?

I am glad I am born now. There is a lot more freedom to work towards these cause. There are many platforms to spread the word and we are at the cusp of making or breaking the future sustainable. I would be in place to make the contribution then reap the fruits of it.

f)        Take public transport for the rest of your life or travel by plane only for business to minimize your carbon footprint?
Both need to be done to ensure that our actions bare maximum benefits. I would do both. Rather I do both. What I do not agree to is taking business class/ first class flights for those meetings. I feel there is very little need for us “comforts” for people who are fit to travel for work and pleasure.


  1. A lot of these thoughts, initiatives apply to next tier cities as well. in county like mine, it takes ages to develop basic infrastructure like puic transport and by the time it comes up we already have outgrown it (specially in growing cities). The awreness of masses on these points is crucial for our next gen to really see some of these initiatives.

    1. Thanks Sunil for your insight. Let us all do our best to spread the word.

  2. Great points.As a mother I have been trying to become role model for my son so that he understands " sustainability" in a simpler way. And i think if every mother takes this responsibility, our future will be bright for sure.

  3. Thanks Anshu. We will do it all... It most certainly is for the future generations. We leave a more habitable world for them. Allow them to see and experience what we have known and allow them to be just as sensitive towards the planet.