Should Hotels Pull Out the ‘Tandoor’ to Support the Environment? 

A simple step towards Decarbonisation, to be collectively Adopted by the Hospitality industry 

Knowing the complex energy challenges of our country, the hotel industry may consider taking a phase off decision with regard to the use of charcoal in hotel restaurants, assuming there must be 5lakh tandoors, on a conservative estimate and demonstrate its green leadership for the country, and indeed globally as well.

 Charcoal production causes deforestation, it is carcinogenic and therefore the hospitality industry must migrate from charcoal to gas based tandoor. Charcoal is carcinogenic and is adding to our climate crisis, more so for the vulnerable population in the country. 

Cooking gas is odorless, though Ethyl Mercaptan is added for safety reasons for end users. I am just thinking aloud if the “charcoal aroma” can, by some benign means, be induced in gas to provide a substitute for the charcoal flavour which people like in  tandoori food. 

During the covid crisis, the vaccine was made by repurposing existing vaccines, as per our common understanding. Perhaps, time has come for some similar creativity in the blending process in gas, whereby we can eliminate the use of charcoal. Even if this does not happen, it is just a question of time before the use of gas becomes mandatory.

I am wondering whether catering to the taste of a few, which demands the use of charcoal, is worthwhile while compounding the Climate emergency challenge, which in turn impacts our monsoons, food security, sea level rises impact our coastal areas?

It’s a great opportunity for the hospitality industry to demonstrate its green proactive stance by collectively announcing a stop to the use of charcoal in the shortest time frame. In fact, 6 months are adequate to make any switch, and such a target is feasible within the present calendar year 2022. We will be setting a new benchmark for other countries for the benefit of the global common.Our forefathers articulated the word ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’, the earth is my home.

We will do well to remember that environment pollution does not recognise political and geographical boundaries and it does not need any passport and visa. Following the policy of precautionary principle would be a sign of our collective wisdom.

 And we may do well to remember what Daisaku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International, has said: 

“At the cost of few people’s luxuries and lifestyles, many have become vulnerable.”

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