Skip ironing clothes to save the planet? CSIR thinks so!

A CSIR circular states that 'ironing one set of clothes for a family of five (using an iron for 30–60 minutes) can result in the emission of 1 kg of carbon dioxide'

Students participating in the 'Wrinkles Acche Hai' campaign at the CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (photo: @CSIR_IHBT/X)
Students participating in the 'Wrinkles Acche Hai' campaign at the CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (photo: @CSIR_IHBT/X)

NH Digital

After casual Fridays, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India hopes to make 'wrinkled Mondays' the new norm.

In a unique move aimed at energy efficiency and environmental conservation, CSIR has initiated a campaign called 'Wrinkles Acche Hai'.

Staff, students and all employees in 37 laboratories across India are now being encouraged to wear unironed clothes every Monday as a symbolic gesture to hold the fort against carbon emissions and climate change.

The initiative, launched under the 'Swachhata Pakhwada' to be observed 1–15 May, seeks to raise awareness about energy conservation.

As per the Indian Express, a circular was sent to all CSIR laboratories across India, dated 3 May, penned jointly by the CSIR and Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai. It said: 'The challenge requires [us] to refrain from wearing ironed clothes at least one day in a week, which means, actually not ironing clothes, as also to embrace wrinkles to reduce energy consumption and show collective commitment to environmental sustainability.'

The circular also stated that ironing just one set of clothes releases 100–200 grams of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to environmental degradation. By avoiding ironing, CSIR staff aim to reduce energy consumption.

The Mumbai-based Energy Swaraj Foundation, which initiated a similar campaign earlier, also emphasises the potential of simple lifestyle changes to combat climate change.

The foundation appreciated CSIR's efforts and in a X post said: 'We are grateful for CSIR coming forward and actively participating in our climate correction campaign: #WrinklesAchheHain every Monday!'

Furthermore, the CSIR is implementing new SOPs (standard operating procedures) across its 37 laboratories nationwide, specifically to reduce electricity consumption. These measures, scheduled for trial through June–August 2024, aim to cut workplace electricity expenses by 10 per cent, as per an India Today report.

However, the initiative has also drawn some criticism for its apparent contradictions. The CLRI, a CSIR lab, operates in the leather industry, known for its high environmental impact.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about the environmental footprint of CSIR labs as a whole.

With inputs from PTI.

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