sharayu.mishal@gmail.com

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Kalsubai Clean-Up Trek, a “Trek for Nature”

The One where We Trekked for Nature..

Till now, Ecopurple has been blogging about several communities that are doing their bit for the environment. But today, this blog post is to highlight Ecopurple’s very own initiative: Trek for Nature. 

On 25th December 2020, Ecopurple organized a Clean-Up Trek under the initiative – “Trek for Nature”. Teaming up with one of Mumbai’s trusted trekking communities: Trekmates India, 24 of us set off to the highest peak in Maharashtra, mount Kalsubai. 

Clean-Up Trek, a Quick Overview..

Kalsubai, although being a beautiful mountain was loaded with trash! We found numerous single-use bottles, bags, wrappers, slippers, shoe soles, metal scraps, etc The most amount of trash was unfortunately in places inaccessible to us. It was disturbing to see such irresponsibility. However, we did all we could and collected as much waste as possible. Together, we managed to collect 7 big bags of trash. People were noticing us. A few even picked up wrappers and discarded them into our eco-bags. This showed us that our job was done. Our Clean-up trek managed to spread awareness!

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Waste Segregation after the Clean-up

The Initiative didn't End there though..

A cleanliness drive makes more sense when you not only clear the trash but also discard it to its rightful place. Happy to say, our Clean-Up trek stayed true to this ideology.  

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Handing the Trash to Sangam Pratishthan NGO

After the waste segregation, we carried the trash bags back with us to Mumbai to donate the waste to Sangam Pratishthan.

Sangam Pratishthan is an NGO that educates and works on environmental issues and waste management. It was generous of them to provide a pick-up service for waste collection and in ensuring that the trash will find itself where it belongs.

Although we collected only 6 bags of trash, Ecopurple acknowledges the efforts put by the participants. What’s more satisfying is that Sangam Pratishthan made those efforts even more meaningful.

In Conclusion..

Trekkers can be significantly irresponsible and disrespectful to our beautiful natural world. Mount Kalsubai is one of the biggest evidences to prove this claim. Nevertheless, Ecopurple‘s initiative to Trek for Nature intends to shed light on this issue. One mountain at a time.

That said, Ecopurple isn’t the first to do this in India; there are other communities who have taken such an initiative that, too, on a larger scale. A part of the inspiration to organize this Clean-Up trek stems from those handful communities (Healing Himalayas, Trekker Warrior, Indiahikes, etc).  

You see, when it comes to organizing a cleanliness drive, beaches and cities get most of the attention. While that isn’t wrong, mountains, however, rarely make the cut. Thus, such clean-up treks although small, are important to create awareness and induce the ripple effect of acting responsible.

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Devkund Waterfall: An Eco Trekking Experience

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Leave No Trace! - My Eco Trekking Story

My recent trek to Devkund was yet another fulfilling trek I did since Rupin Pass. It’s a popular picnic spot known for its magnificent waterfall. And thus, hosts a large number of tourists and trekkers all around the year, especially during monsoons. I had always been keen to visit at least once, and so I finally did with the Trek and Trails team. One thing I kept in mind beforehand was to practice what I had learned from my previous green trailing experience: Eco Trekking. 

Before we began with the trek, I had asked the trek leader to practice a cleanliness drive. Being an environmentalist, I wanted to make sure we were responsible and kind to the ecosystem we were about to enter. As we were heading up to the waterfall, we could see the upsetting human menace – trash! The need for eco trekking became unsurprisingly obvious.  

After spending a good time goofing around the waterfall, on our way back, we began eco trekking. We started picking up the trash we had come across earlier. I am thankful for the support my trek-mates showed and joined in to do their duty. We found a lot of waste; however, we picked up only those we were accessible to. Heads turned and whispers heard. A few people even asked and I quote, “Aap koi social worker ho kya? Kisi Ngo se ho kya?(Are you guys social workers? Do you all belong to some NGO?)”; it gave a sense of pride to answer, “No.”

What started with just a single bag, ended up with 4 bags and one big sack full of trash. We collected food wrappers (mango-bite seems to be the favorite candy there!); single-use bottles and caps; some torn slippers and shoe soles; and lots of other plastic waste. Thanks to my amazing trek mates, we left the trail cleaner than what it was before.

It was a wonderful team effort that gave a liberatingly “fulfilling” experience.  

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10+ Online Stores to Shop and Celebrate a Sustainable Diwali

Celebrate a Responsible, Eco friendly, and a Sustainable Diwali!

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What according to you defines Diwali? May be the lights, shopping, ethnic outfits, Rangolis, or delicacies, etc. Your answers might be different, but we can all agree that Diwali truly brings along a wholesome festive vibe, doesn’t it? 

What I love the most is the shopping and gifting aspect of it! It’s the one time of the year when the expenses do not take you on a guilt trip. You worry less and celebrate more. But while you’re at it, how about a responsible celebration this time? How about this time we celebrate a sustainable Diwali?

Click here to get straight to the point.

Why a Sustainable Diwali?

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Although Diwali is a festival of love and light, environmental concerns also rise. I’m not going to lecture about air pollution, it’s 2020, and hence self-explanatory. We often discuss about fire crackers to be the ultimate issue, but there’s an underestimated pollution we forget- Fashion. As the festival spirit calls for shopping the best ethnic wear, it’s a profit season for the fast fashion brands. This is why a sustainable Diwali celebration matters. So let’s talk more about shopping that is both, ethically and environmentally safe. 

With Diwali right around the corner, you might be on a shopping spree or in search of the perfect family presents. And since you’re here, I can say you are looking to make an eco-conscious buy. Thus, I’ve created this list of 10+ conscious online stores. These will help you celebrate a responsible and a sustainable Diwali.

To make your life easy, the stores are divided into 3 categories:

1. For clothing
2. For Jewelry (click here to jump right into it)
3. For overall shopping or gifting (click here and jump right into it).

Disclaimer: The following list is in no particular order of preference.

Shop/Gift Eco-friendly Ethnic Wear

Nicobar belongs to the slow fashion bandwagon. Their philosophy is to make products that are: long lasting, not trend-driven, inspired by natural materials, and influenced by the culture we grew up in.

The above collage is only a gist of what Nicobar has to offer.

Sundarii, as you can see, has ‘sundar’ (beautiful) collection of sarees, doesn’t it? These are ethically sourced and sustainably crafted. Keeping fast fashion away and reviving the Indian heritage of handicrafts, Sundarii designs conscious apparels that you’ll cherish for years to come. 

Okhai is yet another handicraft-based apparel brand that stands tall due to the hardworking force of rural artisans from across India. Supported by the Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD), Okhai does well in expressing the rural way of life through their beautifully handcrafted products.

To know 10 more  sustainable fashion brands, check out my previous blog:

https://ecopurple.co/sustainable-fashion-brands-for-you/

Shop/Gift Eco-friendly Jewelry

Vie, meaning ‘life’ in French is true to it’s name as the brand is giving wasted, rejected buttons from factories a new life! What’s interesting is that Vie makes use of natural buttons only, and not the ones that are synthetic, plastic, or polyester.

Trashy treasures! Papermelon literally ‘crafts’ jewelry out of paper stash and I’m all for it. Amazing to know that each piece is handmade with love and creativity. Be it a brand new paper, or an old newspaper, Papermelon brings the best out of both!

With sustainability and conscious production at the forefront, Eurumme has an eccentric line of jewelry. Eurumme handcrafts imperfectly perfect jewelries with metal and semi precious stones through the technique of plating and electroplating. Each piece is unique as no two pieces are same. 

Shop/Gift Eco-friendly Diwali Presents

This one’s a personal favourite! Brown Living is an online marketplace dedicated to sustainable products. If you’re trying to live a plastic-free, sustainable, or a zero waste life, then don’t waste a second and check out this online store!

Bare Nessecities Zero Waste is yet another store for you to make a sustainable purchase. When looking for a thoughtful gift, how about a zero waste gift bundle? This can help your loved ones have a less environmental impact which in turn will bring along a feel-good vibe! 

Promoting a life that is free of plastic is the cornerstone of The Happy Turtle. The team is dedicated to providing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic infused products. This pretty lantern, the bamboo speaker, and the plastic-free travel kit are some of the best options to gift your dear ones and yourself, too!

The name says it all! Beginning a zero waste lifestyle is much needed in current times and stores like these help in making a zero waste swap in nearly every which way possible. From kitchen and bathroom essentials to home decor, lifestyle, and travel essentials, this  Zero waste shop has an alternative for all!

Celebrating a sustainable Diwali will take you closer to our planet. You will end up feeling joyful, yet proud, for you took a stand for your home – the Earth. 

I hope you celebrate a safe, happy, and a sustainable Diwali!

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‘A Life on Our Planet’ – A Must Watch!

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Sir David's, 'A Life on Our Planet' Gives a Much Needed Wake-up Call

A few days back, I watched ‘A life on Our Planet’ – a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough. What follows ahead is everything that I feel to say about the film.

There are only a handful of films that make you think on a deeper level. And this one manages to do that. What I loved the most, is the optimistic tone of the narrative.

The human race has overused natural resources and we are very well aware of that, yet we do little to give back. Addressing this issue, the film sheds light on human errors, and how we claimed our existence to be superlative.

Watching the polar bear swim in the Arctic, the Amazon burning, a possible 6th mass extinction, etc. I strongly question our way of life. We have a lot to mend. But this is not all that the film has to offer. Do not mistake this documentary to be yet another yawnfest.

The film does show our mistakes, but it also leads us to the answer we need today. The answer to solving our current crisis, which is to thrive with nature. Restoring our biodiversity will be a good start to making amends.

“If we protect nature, nature will protect us.”

– Sir David Attenborough

Our period, the Holocene, is one of the most stable periods. As Sir states and I agree,
“We’ve come this far because we are the smartest creatures that have ever lived. But to continue, we require more than intelligence. We require Wisdom.”,
it’s high time we learn from our wrongdoings.

As Sir David’s witness statement, ‘A Life on Our Planet’ has a strong ability to make you worry about the current crisis. Nothing portrayed is too silly, or too “extra”. With an informative and gradual pace, the documentary succeeds in convincing you that it’s about time you take action. That it’s time to reform.

I would recommend you to watch this beautiful documentary. It’s interesting, moving, and every other positive adjective. 

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Can the Earthshot Prize Save Us from Climate Change?

The Earthshot Prize - A Ray of Hope; Or is It?

In recent years, environmental awareness has taken a positive momentum. From companies pledging to go carbon-neutral to commoners practicing eco-lifestyles, it is safe to say that there’s hope. The Earthshot prize can have a significant impact on this optimism.

What is the Earthshot Prize?

The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot Prize is the most prestigious Environment award. This Nobel-like prize is an effort to inspire and fund the solutions for a better future.

The Earthshot Prize revolves around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals such as,

1. Protect and Restore Nature
2. Clean Our Air
3. Revive Our Oceans
4. Build a Waste-free World
5. Fix Our Climate
which if achieved by 2030 will improve life for us all, for generations to come.”

In a conversation with Sir David Attenborough, Prince Williams says that they expect at least 50 solutions until 2030. These solutions will be significant in changing the current scenario.

A yearly award ceremony is expected to take place in different cities across the world from 2021 to 2030. Each year, only 5 Earthshot prizes will be awarded for finding solutions to great environmental problems. These could be to 5 people, teams, or collaborations.

With £1 million prize money as the prize money, the winner will also receive a global platform to showcase the solutions.

“Shortlisted nominees will also be given tailored support and opportunities to help scale their work, including being connected with an ecosystem of like-minded individuals and organizations.”

For now, the Royal Foundation is managing the Earthshot prize; but it is expected to be its own entity by 2021.

Final Thoughts

The Earthshot prize is a promising effort to influence the change we need today.

For a globally sustainable future, major solutions need to be popular. This way, they can be in action within the masses.

The very cornerstone of this movement is to negate pessimism while motivating optimism. And that’s pretty progressive.

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Recycled Plastic Tiles – A Solution for Pollution

Shayna Ecounified: Paving Sustainable Pathways

“There will be more plastic in ocean than fish (by weight) by 2050”                                                   Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“Average human consumes credit card size (5 grams) of microplastics every week”                 – WWF

“91% plastic is not recycled and thus continues to exist for thousands of years”                        – National Geographic

“There will be more plastic in ocean than fish (by weight) by 2050”                         Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“Average human consumes credit card size (5 grams) of microplastics every week” – WWF

“91% plastic is not recycled and thus continues to exist for thousands of years” – National Geographic

How disturbing are these facts? Some of us are aware of the cost that the human choices impose on the environment, other life forms, and the Earth. The wonder material plastic has become one of the significant problems for our planet.

Invented in 1907, it has become an irreplaceable part of our lives. Due to its high utility in varied forms, shapes, and sizes, it is the disposal and recycling stage that becomes problematic. It’s a large component of the general litter and landfills. In 2015, the world discarded about 4600 million tons of plastic! Today, the number is of course higher.

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A seagull with a plastic wrapper in its mouth.

Plastic items block the drain and sewer lines. Also, animals on land and in the oceans, unfortunately, end up consuming them. Plastic is also found in the form of microplastics around the polar caps and the highest mountain peaks of the world.

Thus, many experts, entrepreneurs, and governments around the world are working independently as well as collectively to clean up the gigantic mess that humans generate. Among these, Shayna EcoUnified has come up with an innovative path to deal with the plastic problem.

Today’s article is brought to you by the folks at ulaunch, an entrepreneurship focused media cum social consulting platform seeking to address the challenges faced by society. 

Penned by Subhav Duggal, the following article introduces you to a unique sustainable solution for plastic recycling crafted by Shayna EcoUnified.

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Tiles created from recycled plastic used in a play area for children.

Established in 2017 in Greater Noida by Paras and Sandeep, it primarily deals with manufacturing paver tiles and value-added products made from recycled plastics. These tiles can be used in offices, pavements and parking lots. They had built the idea from scratch, building up their expertise in plastic recycling and understanding the value chains. They wanted to offer a new product that can be made by recycling discarded plastics. The R&D required substantial resources but gave positive results in the durability of the products. 

The recycled-plastic tiles meet demanding conditions like heat and water resistance, high tensile strength-bearing loads of around 40 tons, anti-microbial properties, etc. They have even got the paver tiles patented. 

The organization procures segregated plastics from sellers, as not all plastics can undergo multiple cycles of recycling. The tiles have a life of more than 50 years and are completely safe for human use. The best part is that the tiles can be again recycled after their end of use to make new products like chairs, dustbins, etc.

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The novel waste plastic composite tiles installed in a community park.

Despite the products having higher economic cost than the concrete paver tiles, the environmental benefits far surpass that of the latter thus making the recycled plastic tiles the better choice. This has led to a substantial market across both the private and public sectors. Awareness among conscious decision-makers also play a critical role. The combined efforts have led to the recycling of more than 420 tons of plastic since its inception, which is quite significant. Such are the results that even locals have sent plastics collected from their neighborhoods and offices. However, Shayna EcoUnified had to refuse from accepting as they require segregated plastics for further processing. This shows that many people want to make better life choices, but do not know the right way to realize them.

The story of these innovative recycled-plastic tiles does not end here. There’s more. Continue reading the article.

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Wanna read more such green stories? Click here.

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Best Sustainable Razors For Men and Women (2021)

It's Time to Green your Grooming Session with a Sustainable Razor

Does your shaving razor look something like these ones? If yes, we have a problem.

I’m all for normalizing the stigma around body hair. But in the end, it all comes down to personal choice, right?  To shave or not to shave, that is the question! 

Well, I’m not going to discuss the benefits or the demerits of shaving, that’s not what I’m here for. What I do wanna discuss is the topic my title suggests – Sustainable Razors.

Wanna get straight to the point? Click here

But What does Sustainability has to do with Razors?

First of all, sustainability has to do with everything. And razors, too, are a part of it.

How Exactly?

Today if we compare a regular disposable razor, it consists of our beloved culprit – Plastic. Now I don’t want to get into explaining how bad plastic is. It’s common knowledge.

Disposable-razors

Let’s dissect this razor. The handle is often made with plastic, and rubber to maintain the grip. Then comes the plastic cartridge embedded with the metal blades.

Although the blades are recyclable, do we really detach them before discarding them? I never did. And I’m pretty sure you don’t do it either.

Also, how annoying is it when the hair is still clogged into the blades? While the cleaning factor is the biggest demerit in a disposable cartridge razor, it is one of the biggest advantage in a sustainable safety razor! 

Moreover, a disposable razor is unlikely to recycle. Even the blades cannot be recycled in this situation. This is because they’re embedded within the plastic cartridge. I cannot stress this point any further. By now you should realize that a basic shaving razor is not innocent. Disposables are becoming the new plastic straws!

Anything that is disposable, is wasteful. And a disposable razor is no exception. Millions contribute this waste to landfill each year. Let’s not be a part of this bandwagon.

The following is a list of some of the Best Sustainable Razors available for both men and women. Check them out and make that rightful switch.

PS, the list is in no particular order of preference.

1. Reusable Bamboo Razor for Women By 'The Woman's Company'

The Woman’s Company is an eco-conscious brand that showcases personal care products for women only (Duh!!).

This sustainable razor is one of their eco products that is completely plastic-free. It consists of natural bamboo and stainless steel metal-head. And as a result, safe for the environment. A good companion for your low-waste living.

What to Expect?

  • The razor comes with a natural bamboo handle which is super light and provides an easy grip.
  • The metal head provides a safe fit for double-edged blades making it super-efficient as well.
  • The skin-protecting shield actually shields your skin from getting any cut. Thus, the razor shines in providing you with a safe, smooth, and pain-free experience.
  • TWC also provides a set of 10 free blades with the razor. Once a blade loses its sharpness, simply replace it with another.
  • You will also be provided with an in-depth user manual.

Blades are recyclable, so there’s no reason to be guilty while discarding them. Make sure you discard them with proper caution, you don’t want to harm an innocent waste collector. 

One of the benefits is that you can use this razor for not only your basic body hair but also for your bikini area. It’s that pain-free!

Trust me, once you’ll give it a try, you won’t turn back. You will ditch those disposable razors for good! 

Pros

  • Durable/ reusable design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Bacteria and rust-free
  • Plastic-free
  • Biodegradable (bamboo) and recyclable (blade)
  • Plastic-free packaging
  • 10 free blades
  • Relatively Cheap

Cons

  • You might need some time to get used to.  
  • Compared to the plastic razors, this one does not have a flexible head. 

Say no to disposables and say yes to reusables.

2. Bambaw's Eco-friendly Unisex Double Edge Safety Razor

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Next on my list is yet another bamboo razor by the brand – Bambaw. Bambaw is one of the trusted brands from Europe, a seller of products that are harmless to earth, such as this razor.

Bambaw’s unisex razor aims to re-introduce you to that traditional plastic-free shaving. A shaving experience undermined by the disposables of today.

What to Expect?

  • All-natural lightweight bamboo handle with a handy grip.
  • A stainless steel metal head appropriate for a double edge blade.
  • Provides a pain-free, smooth, and safe shaving experience like the disposable ones. In fact, much better.
  • Inclusive of an in-depth user manual.

Here, too, you can replace the blade once it becomes blunt. Remember, discard the blades with the safety of others in mind. 

Coming back to the point, if you want to make your shaving experience irritation, hassle, and plastic-free, then this is it. This sustainable razor is confident to become your lifetime grooming bestie! 

And did I mention the plastic-free packaging?! 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly
  • plastic-free
  • biodegradable (bamboo), recyclable (blade)
  • Skin-safe
  • Plastic-free packaging

Cons

  • Quite expensive 
  • Provides only a single Astra blade.
  • You might need some time to get used to.  
  • Compared to the plastic razors, this one does not have a flexible head. 

Be part of a bigger movement by reducing your plastic consumption.

3. Bambaw's Metal Safety Razors

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Bambaw also has a metal razors collection. Metal being the raw material, it is possible to recycle them. 

What to Expect?

  • These unisex  metal safety razors are available in 3 colors. Currently in India, you can find only 2 colors – Black and Rose Gold.
  • Has a contemporary design that might interest you.
  • Equipped with the double edge settings, firm grip to handle, and a no-stress experience.
  • Smooth shaving feels. Perfectly safe to skin. 
  • Inclusive of an in-depth user manual.

Pros

  • Durable/ reusable design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Plastic-free razor
  • Recyclable 
  • Plastic-free  packaging

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  •  Provides only a single Astra blade
  • You might need some time to get used to. 
  •  Compared to the plastic razors, this one does not have a flexible head. 

Liked what you saw and read?  Then,

4. Unisex Butterfly Open Safety Razors by Zomchi

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Looking for a much stylish touch? Then check out this interestingly designed sustainable razor by Zomchi.

What to Expect?

  • A complete metal based handle and head.
  • Hassle-free to use, easy-grip, easy fit for double-edged blades. Blades are of course replaceable.

Twist the bottom of the handle and the metal head opens up (like the wings of a butterfly). Place the blade on the blade holder and twist it back to close the wings. Dramatic enough? Repeat the exact steps while replacing the blade.

  • Smooth experience ✔️
  • Pain-free ✔️
  • Skin-safe ✔️

With the customer first policy, every razor accompanies a set of 5 blades and a mini cleaning brush. A complete package!

PS, the mini brush might contradict the ‘plastic-free’ goal.

Pros

  • Durable/ reusable design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Plastic-free razor
  • Recyclable 
  • 5 extra blades

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  •  The cleaning brush might contain plastic. 
  • You might need some time to get used to.  
  • Compared to the plastic razors, this one does not have a flexible head. 
Zomchi promises to give you an ultimate shaving experience while helping you be a responsible earthling.

5. Almitra Sustainables' Reusable Double Edge Safety Razor

A believer in co-existence, this brand is championing sustainability like a charm. And this Bamboo razor is one of the testimonies to their promise.  

What to Expect?

  • This double edge safety razor is designed to give a comfortable shaving experience.
  • It is an ergonomic product providing an easy-grip bamboo handle.
  • Has a stainless steel metal-head making it convenient to recycle.
  • Gender-neutral.

Pros

  • Durable/ reusable design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Plastic-free
  • Biodegradable (bamboo) and recyclable (blades and metal head) 
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • You might need some time to get used to.  
  • Compared to the plastic razors, this one does not have a flexible head. 
  • No extra blades 

A sustainable razor for you, and a sustainable life for our planet!

Conclusion

  • All the razors mentioned above are great alternatives to disposable ones.
  • I also cannot ignore the fact that sustainable razors cost more than what we pay for a regular one. But you, too, should not forget that it is an investment for many years to come. Even a lifetime!  This is an investment you’ll fail to regret.
  • You will no longer need to buy a razor every other month, how about that? 
  • This small step of saying no to single-use will make a huge impact on the planet.
  • #sustainabilitymatter.
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Temple Waste Recycled into Natural Dyes

Fast Fashion Industries need to take notes on Natural Dyes

As an Indian, I am very well aware of how important religious ceremonies are to us. Be it any religion, Indians love to celebrate their devotion to god. And following this devotion, there comes the immense offering.
 
When it comes to seeking blessings from a deity, Indians will spare no efforts. From peace offering some cash into the charity box, to feeding the poor, we will do anything for Bhagwan ka Ashirwad! (God’s blessings).
 
However, among all such expressions of thanksgiving, floral offerings remain the authentic ritual. Visiting a Mandir (temple) and not offering flowers?
 
Thousands of people visit temples every day. The amount of flowers received is huge and so is the waste. This waste is either dumped, discarded into the rivers/seas, or composted (if someone’s wise enough).
 

So is there a solution to this? There is. Just stop littering! Devotion should not come at the cost of nature. 

However, India does have various communities that recycle temple waste. Let’s take a look at one such community that is making natural dyes out of the floral waste.

Natural Dyes By Adiv Pure Nature

Located in Andheri, Mumbai, Adiv Pure Nature is a group of thoughtful advocates of nature. The team led by Rupa Trivedi aims to popularize the use of natural dyes in textiles. This is to create a fashion chain that complements the circular economy.

Understanding the aftereffect of temple waste, Adiv gave birth to the ‘Temple Project’. The team says,
 
“The Temple Project aims to create a dye palette that is 100% based on recycled temple waste. And applying it in a scientific manner to achieve beautiful textiles with excellent fastness properties.”
 
Since 2008, Adiv Pure Nature is collecting floral waste from the famous Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple of Mumbai. Vinod Mahadeshwar, a diligent worker at the temple collects about 150 kilograms of floral offering every week. The collection is then delivered to Rupa’s workshop at Andheri. The best part is, Siddhi Vinayak Temple is doing this for free. 
 

Did You Know?

Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple is often visited by more than 30 thousand people each day. The number increases to 1 lakh on Tuesdays (Tuesday is specifically dedicated to Lord Ganesha). Imagine the volume of the offerings!

Natural Dyes - The Procedure

Once the floral waste reaches the workshop, the flowers are first dried. The team works with fresh and powdered flowers as well. 
 
For dyeing, the artisans first note the weight of the fabric. With reference to this weight, they determine the volume of rest of the ingredients.
 
The fabric is then boiled with calculated proportions of water and alum. Once boiled, the artisans sprinkle the petals over the fabric, fold it, and steam it. After this procedure, the fabric is twitched such that the petals fall off, washed, and dried. And just like that, the cloth is hand-dyed!
 

Adiv creates amazing natural dyes with a variety of ingredients. This include marigolds, roses, coconut husks, hibiscus, onions, pomegranate, tea, etc among others. The craftsmen then tailor the dyed fabric into beautiful scarves and other clothing items. 

What I Find Impressive is..

After making the dyes, Adiv further sends the floral waste for composting. The right disposal of this floral waste is necessary as they often contain pesticides. And if they’re discarded into rivers, the pesticides can pollute the water and further harm the ecosystems. Thus, the team does it’s best to ensure eco-conscious practices. 
 
Another impressive thing is that the artisans at Adiv are all self-taught, and not to forget, their products are handstitched. Moreover, most of the working staff comes from challenging backgrounds. Adiv has given them the opportunity to have a profession. Their skillset is being used for the right reasons. Thanks to their wise leader Rupa!
All in all, Rupa Trivedi’s efforts through Adiv Pure Nature is a way towards a greener and a cleaner future. Textile industries or the “fast fashion” industries need to take some serious notes from Adiv.
 
India also has other organizations who work with similar raw materials. There’s ‘Phool‘, found by Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi, who create Florafoam – an eco-friendly thermocol! Phool also produce incense sticks and cones, vermicompost, and organic Gulaal. All this out India’s temple waste!
 
Smart entrepreneurs such as Rupa, Karan, and Ankit make sustainability sound so effortless. And we Indians while expressing devotion, must show simultaneous care towards nature as well. 
 
Responsible citizenship towards India and our planet must go hand in hand. 
Natural-eco-friendly-air-cooler-by-Ant-studio

Best Eco-friendly Air Cooler By Ant Studio

Ant Studio's Eco-friendly Air Cooler is an Eco-Innovative Brilliance

The history of Indians and pottery goes way back. It was the Indus Valley Civilization that led to the beginning of Indian pottery.

Our forefathers have been indulging in this form of craft although today, the market is dominated by other alternatives. Plasticware, glassware, are now considered to be much more convenient.

Having said that, there are still many households not only in the villages but also in the cities, who have kept the traditions alive. The technological advancement didn’t stop Indians from storing water in a Matka (earthen pot).

Despite having a refrigerator, Indians still prefer the Matka!

The Matkas have been in use for water storage since ancient times. It’s a well-known fact that they have natural cooling properties. 

A tradition similar to this was also practiced in the middle east. The knowledge that evaporating water cools the air dates back a long time, to the Ancient Egyptians. And Ant Studio’s eco-friendly air cooler stems exactly from this phenomenon.

Set in New Delhi, the founder – Monish Siripurapu, and his team is a group of intellectuals working in tune with Architecture, Nature, and Technology.

Ant Studio has designed multiple infrastructures using computational technologies. And, this eco air cooling installation was one such by-product. 

Monish’s team chose the technique of evaporative cooling, and the eco-friendly air cooler came into being. As the structural design was inspired by that of a beehive, they named it as, CoolAnt Beehive – Biomimetic Cooler and Air Purifier.

This Beehive with around 800 terracotta cones was constructed for the DEKI Electronics factory, Noida to combat the high temperatures of heat radiated by their generator set up.

What's Impressive is..

The installation makes use of sustainable pieces of equipment. The structure is designed using terracotta cones, locally available eco-friendly materials, reusable stainless steel, and utilizes recycled water. 

Terracotta is a clay-based earthenware. It’s made with natural clay and is thus a Green material. 

The Beehive is not only ecologically efficient but also economically convenient. It calls for low maintenance, makes use of the cheap and durable steel, thereby making it an affordable investment.

Ant Studio sources the cones from Dinesh Kumar, a local potter from the Uttam Nagar of West Delhi. The team gives Dinesh the design of the required size and shape. Dinesh then with his pottery, crafts the building blocks of the Beehive.  

The cherry on the cake is that since the installation is made using sustainable elements, it does not give out harmful emissions or plastic waste. Plus, the energy used by this eco-friendly air cooler is about 1/3rd of that used by a regular air conditioner.

How does this Eco-friendly Air Cooler Work?

The area around the installation consists of hot air coming from the Genset. When the recycled water from the factory is made to run down the cones, the hot air tends to evaporate that water.

Due to this evaporation, the temperature of the hot air passing through the cones drops. This happens because of the evaporative cooling principle.

Also, the cylindrical terracotta cones that it comprises of, allow maximum cooling effect due to the large surface area.

It was observed that the temperature of the hot air with 55-degrees Celsius, when passed through the installation dropped to 36-degrees celsius. Thus proving it’s effective functionality. 

Such a low-tech, eco-friendly air cooler is yet to be engineered for household purposes. 

The Studio says, “The installation can also be converted into a zero-energy prototype which would require manual pouring of water over the pots once or twice a day. This can be done in areas where there is shortage of power supply, but it is not an ideal solution.

For now, the installation is efficient for combating the heat stress around open spaces, like the heavy generators. 

The studio has built this CoolAnt Beehive at multiple places according to the requirements. 

 

With climate change taking momentum, eco-creative developments like these are the need of the hour. We need more green architects like Monish Siripurapu. We need engineers who believe technological advancement can complement global interest. And tackling climate change is a Global interest even though our leaders are ignorant about it. 

In an interview with Eco India, Monish said, 

“The whole idea is how can we enhance upon the methods that already existed and use the current ways to improve upon the systems that are there. We have a rich culture and heritage that talks about beautiful systems and methods that have been successfully implemented. We are not short of technology, we are not short of materials, we are not short of labor,  and the machines. So it’s only about the mindset.”

Isn’t Monish’s ideology to correlate our heritage and modern technology impressive?

Are you aware of such architects of sustainability? Comment down below. 

If you want to read about another such sustainable architectural firm, check out my blog.

Buy-sustainable-products-with-Brown-Living-India

Buy Sustainable Products with Brown Living

Shop Sustainable Products without Going on a Guilt Trip

Are you aware of Greenwashing?

To Greenwash someone is to fool them by claiming that a product/service is environmentally friendly. Brands make such bogus claims to attract customers looking for sustainable products.

Have you ever been Greenwashed yourself?

I know I have. But I have learned from my mistake, and just so that this doesn’t happen with you, I want to highlight a green community that promises to provide a range of trustworthy sustainable products. Since I have invested in them, I can vouch for their service 🙂   

Let’s get to know them.

Chaitsi Ahuja, the founder, or how she likes to call it – ‘Entrepreneur of Sustainability’, is an environmentalist at heart. She, along with the support of her peers, established Brown Living – an eco-friendly shopping website dedicated to sustainable products. Their objective is to support brands and small businesses who design products pertaining to a circular economy.

What’s in store for you?

From clothing to bathroom essentials, hair care, kitchen essentials, home decor, etc, the store provides a myriad range of products. The plus point is, all of these are crafted in such a way that they support the health of our environment. 

Brown Living not only provides sustainable choices but also the ones that are vegan, organic, and of course eco-friendly. You can shop guilt-free!

What I find impressive is...

The plastic-free packaging! Isn’t it a bummer when you order an eco-product only to find it in a bubble wrap, and the packaging sealed with a plastic tape?

For years, packaging and the use of plastic have gone hand in hand. We all have witnessed and performed this practice. And this is something that deserves a better alternative. 

Understanding this issue and to stay in tune with the promise of plastic-free packaging, Brown Living says,

“We require that all shipments to Brown Living and to its customers to come 100% Plastic-Free (that includes bio-based or compostable plastics as well).”

They even use water-activated paper tapes and plant-based glue to seal the overall package. Hence, plastic-free.

Brown Living’s work ethic is in alignment with the UN’s Goals for Sustainable Development while supporting afforestation, slow and mindful living, fair trade and ethical sourcing, and more green ethics. 

The Brown Lens

With an intend to avoid greenwashing, the team studies the framework and application of the sustainable products they feature. Before showcasing a particular product, the Brown Lens ethic is used to determine how it’s made, the source of materials, the environmental impact, and the functionality.

Thus, if you wish to save yourself from getting greenwashed, Brown Living is here for you!

Conclusion

Brown living is a safe place for you to pin your faith and make a green investment.

Here’s an easy tip to save yourself from getting Greenwashed:

Check for legitimacy, certifications. Look for testimonials, an elite media coverage, multiple reviews. This will help you to better understand the product and the brand manufacturing it. Don’t fall for the description as soon as you read it.

Something we as consumers should take care of:

No matter how much a brand or a community extends a contribution in living green, we as consumers, too, should take responsibility. Even if it’s a sustainable product, ask yourself a question – Do I really need it? Shop for necessity rather than for luxury.

Be mindful. Be conscious. 

 

Comment down below and tell me if you are aware of any such green community 🙂