Guest Article

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Graviky lab’s AIR-INK® is a promising solution to pollution!

Black Exhaust to Black Ink!

How does vehicular pollution look – Black, White, or Grey? And how much does it contribute to environmental pollution? Is there a solution to this pollution?  

In India, air pollution is led by industries at 51%, followed by motor vehicles at 27%, then a disturbing 17% by burning agriculture waste and 5% by other sources. Work is in progress to either find sustainable energy alternatives or offset the carbon impact using other green technologies/activities. 

Research to not only reduce vehicular pollution but also make use of it continues to date. As a result, many technological innovations to tackle air pollution have emerged in recent years. One such unique innovation is Graviky Lab’s AIR-INK®   

Developed in India, this technology by Graviky labs follows the laws of conservation of energy by converting exhaust pollution into usable ink, making it a perfect circular economy.

How does this work?

Kaalink (derived from a Hindi word, ‘Kaali’ meaning black), a carbon-capturing device, is mounted at the end of the exhaust/tailpipe of a bike, a car, or a diesel generator. This device stores up to 95% of the pollutants coming out of the engines. Kaalink collects the particulate matter (PM) of carbon emissions – the Carbon Soot. Inhaling carbon soot can cause severe respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, and more.

In an experiment, fitting a Kaalink to an old Euro 3 car removed 45 minutes’ worth of emissions by filling a 30 ml container. The magnitude of pollution control that can be achieved on motor vehicles older than five years, diesel engines generators on a macro scale can be a gamechanger for the automotive and industrial pollution practices.

How significant is this AIR-INK®?

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The innovation takes on both sides of the coin in one go. Not only does it curb air pollution, but it also provides a sustainable option for manufacturing ink for various industries. Conventionally, ink preparation involves two stages: mixing the solvent, resin and additives and adding necessary pigments to provide printability to the ink. By this process of making the best out of waste, ink can be produced for the packaging and printing industry, personal and commercial paper printing, sticky ink for plastic cards, apparel and automotive interiors, marker pens for artworks, etc.

Graviky Lab’s Air-Ink is not available for the public, yet. However, with some kick-starter programs, they have managed to clear about 1 trillion litres of air and collected more than 770 litres of ink!

With home-grown innovations like this, challenging the traditional approach of balancing carbon footprint, the right growth platforms should be built to not only help them reach the right market quickly but also promote more start-ups to come up with unique solutions as ‘From India, For the world’.

About the Author

Abhijeet Parmar, founder of Senergy Pallet Pvt. Ltd., is working to introduce Eco-friendly Logistics Pallets in Asia-Pacific Region. He aims to bring the focus on outstanding clean-tech startups of India. ‘It’s not just that we have a huge talent pool in our country, but it is also the need of the hour’, says Abhijeet..

To know more such stories of eco-creativity, click here.

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How to evaluate sustainable fashion brands to spot greenwashing?

Greenwashing or Sustainable? How to Evaluate "Sustainable" Fashion Brands?

Sustainability is a new revolution in 2021 that has changed the definition of modesty and fashion now. Sustainable fashion is often mistaken with greenwashing, and unfortunately, many fashion brands and companies flounder to live up to their claims. As we are already aware of many discussions surrounding sustainable fashion and its increasing likability in the crowd, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a brand is genuine or stretching the truth.

To understand genuine sustainability and how to evaluate sustainable fashion brands, we must first know the true meaning of sustainable fashion and greenwashing. In this blog, we will figure out a brand’s sustainability and ethics and spot greenwashing.

Understanding Ethical/Sustainable Fashion

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As we step into the core of evaluating fashion brands, we must know the definition of ethical and sustainable.

Being ‘Ethical’ means being fair and unbiased with the workers and helpers of your brand. It is about treating them with proper care and honour throughout the supply chain. It is observed that many brands also maltreat animals for their production process. Performing such activities is non-ethical and must be avoided.

Sustainability is about lessening or minimalizing the damage to our environment throughout the supply chain. It is mainly eco-friendly, as it avoids activities that encourage environmental damage through the production and sourcing of materials. 

A Sustainable fashion brand is determined to:

  • Use water resources efficiently and do not waste them.
  • Limit the use of textiles and hazardous chemicals causing environmental damage.
  • Encourage high-quality and sustainable materials that break down in nature with ease.
  • Encourage reusing or recycling products.
  • Encourage the consumers to purchase what they need and prefer reusing and recycling products. 

How to Determine Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the misconception or misleading information about some brands and companies claiming to be eco-friendly and sustainable. They market themselves as “green” but do not live up to those claims.

To understand greenwashing and get a clear idea about it, the following are some of the red signs:

They claim to be sustainable but only for a handful of items:

Yes, it is a common effort that many brands perform. They claim to be 100% sustainable but have only a few things prepared in an eco-friendly manner. Many of them will try to get a “green halo” effect by promoting selected items.

If they talk about sustainability, they speak in uncertain terms:

Many brands proclaim that they are eco-friendly and sustainable. Still, it is easily visible that they do not intend on taking any action or proper measures for sustainable fashion.

They do not speak about sustainability:

If a brand is greenwashing, it will not speak about sustainability. They might also give a shallow approach towards ethical dressing and fashion. The company often tries to avoid this topic. 

So how to evaluate Sustainable Fashion Brands to identify Greenwashing?

Following are some tips to help you identify if the brand you prefer is sustainable or greenwashing. Go through them and decide your way of trusting a brand:

Analyse their social media marketing activities:

Today, almost every fashion brand is online. It is easy to identify their social media marketing campaigns to know how they work, what they do, how they produce, and their parameters to supply? It could help analyse the brands’ marketing activities, especially if they don’t have 3rd-party certifications. Visit their Webpage, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and you will get clear visibility about their working pattern, from manufacturing to supply chains.

Look for the reviews of their products:

One significant parameter to judge if a brand is sustainable or not is the longevity of the product. If the brand hardly cares about the life of its garments, it is a worry. Even if the brand cares about longevity or not, sustainability is about reusing and shopping adequately to lessen environmental damage.

You can go through the reviews of their random products on social media and analyse if the customers are happy or not. Also, be aware of the paid reviews. It could give you a clear idea of whether the brand is considering long-lived products or not, if they are concerned about their thoughts, and if the quality of their products is enduring or not?

Analyse how efficiently do they use energy:

Greenwashing has many faces, shapes, and forms through which they can enter the fashion industry. Many brands might use LED and energy-efficient lighting or sensor lights in their stores to prove that they are sustainable. However, it is not valid. The in-store lights do not depict the actual procedure of production and manufacturing of the products. The choice of lighting may also be because it is a legal requirement in some countries.

Therefore, it is best to get a clear vision of how clothing production has taken place to judge sustainability. It is also crucial to know what type of energy-efficient lights and machinery they use to make the outfits.

Reach out to them:

If you have gone through the tips and tricks and are still unsure, you can directly reach out to the brand. You can visit their store or even email or DM them to resolve your concerns and questions.

Based on their response, or where they lack thereof, you will probably be able to judge and analyse whether the brand is ethical or not.

Final Thoughts

In this blog, we understood the difference between sustainable fashion brands and greenwashing. Also, with some simple tips and tricks, we learned how to evaluate an ethical fashion brand.

To enhance the usage of sustainable fashion clothing, we must start taking initiatives. Buying second-hand is the new trend and is always better than buying new. That is because you are reusing and recycling clothes that are already in the system. It will help our environment and eventually make our Earth a better place to live.

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Recycled Plastic Tiles – A Solution for the devastating 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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