The time is now, and the person is you! Let that sink in. As we hurtle towards a climate crisis, drown in the plastic waste we are creating and choke on the polluted air of our cities and towns, it is imperative that each of us stop, think and act. Here's the story of a bunch of Indian entrepreneurs who are making that possible.
Narayana Peesapaty’s sustainable solution to reduce use of plastic cutlery is simple. Cutlery made with millet, rice, and wheat. Once you’re done eating with these grain-based crisp spoons and forks, you can simply munch on them. And if you're not in the mood, toss them in the bin or compost pit, they will decompose within a week. This cutlery is sturdy enough to eat hot dishes and is free of preservatives. Plus, they come in a variety of flavours and can stay in your pantry for up to three years.
2. Project Patradya
A student-led initiative by Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College, and supported by The Enactus Group, Project Patradya addresses the issue of plastic waste disposal. Their edible and environment-friendly utensils are similar to Bakey’s, and are made using healthy grains such as millets and wheat. The products have been certified by FSSAI and an NABL accredited lab. The initiative employs women from the Afghan refugee community, settled in the Bhogul district of Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, and teaches them to make biodegradable spoons, cups, and bowls. The inclusion of the refugee ladies is a step to financially empower the community.
3. Earth Loaf
You'll give up store-bought, sugar-heavy, artificially-flavoured chocolate bars after you've tasted this artisanal chocolate, made with plenty of TLC. Mysore-based brand Earth Loaf works on the bean-to-bar concept where the cacao beans are directly sourced from organically-certified Varanashi Farms in the Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka. The chocolate and products are vegan-friendly; and they are available in flavours such as masala chai, tiramisu, and Himalayan fruit and nut.
4. Kotgarh Fruit Bageecha
In 2012, media professionals Kartik and Anuradha Budhraja gave up their flourishing careers in Singapore, to relocate to Himachal Pradesh to build what today is the green paradise of Kotgarh Fruit Bageecha. The team uses traditional methods to turn apples, kiwis, apricots, and plums into lip-smacking chutneys and preservatives. Now that's what we call chutney merry!
Also Read: 10 celebs who double up as eco-warriors
5. Daily Dump
If you've felt guilt pangs each time you piled the bin with bio-waste (peels, stale food, eggshells) and have wondered how you can reduce your contribution to the landfills, the guys at Daily Dump have a solution for you. Daily Dump is the brainchild of Bangalore-based Poonam Bir Kasturi, and offers commercial terracotta compost pit to convert kitchen waste into plant food. Once the waste turns into soil-friendly compost, you can use it in your own gardens or give it away to any tree in your neighbourhood.
6. Happy Roots
This socially-conscious food company was started by Reema Sathe, a chemical engineer by profession, to provide healthy and preservative-free snacks while empowering farmer groups from rural Maharashtra. Whole wheat and whey crackers, buckwheat gingersnaps, finger millet and rolled oats cookies, and amaranth and flax seed cookies with coconut are a few of the delicious snacks offered by Happy Roots. Sathe, today, works with more than 15,000 farmers; her initiative led her to win the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 awarded by the Hon’ble President of India and Ministry of Women & Child Development.
7. Juru Yoga
There's plastic in everything, even your yoga mat! Here's a sustainable alternative to PVC mats. Juru Yoga’s mats are aesthetically designed anti-slip yoga mats made from a blend of cork and natural rubber that can withstand years of practice.
Shunya was born out of the need to live a green and conscientious life. Founded by Mumbai-based siblings Yash and Sachi Maniar, this brand promotes the use of recyclable and organic products. They sell tableware, stationery, and dental care products that are made from sugarcane fibre, wheat straw, birch wood, and areca leaves. Their most popular product range are straws from recyclable paper and bamboo.
9. Good Earth
Another brand dedicated to build a sustainable future, Goodearth attempts to build environment-friendly homes in Bengaluru, Kochi, and Kozhikode. Goodearth’s core team has nine like-minded folks who consciously look at incorporating green technology and design in buildings. Their projects feature slate and wood in their natural state. The sewage water treatment here is done without the use of any harmful chemicals and the homes use solar power wherever possible, in order to save energy.
For those looking to make greener choices during their menstrual cycle, Saathi can be your go-to brand. They make 100% biodegradable sanitary pads using agricultural byproducts such as banana fibre, to make non-toxic and affordable sanitary pads. Banana fibre is known to use six times less water per ton than cotton, and 10 times less fertilizers.
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