The Green Business bandwagon is the one that most people are jumping on to. Considering the fact that almost every city, town or village has its own set of ecological problems, businesses that help people turn around these problems in to solutions indeed are the way forward.
Here are 5 green business success stories that are interesting and inspiring. They chronicle India’s maverick entrepreneurs who have built businesses by vending green products, offering green lifestyle solutions and up cycling products. Here goes…
Turning Poo in to Paper
On confronting an elephant’s rear end, paper is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. We are usually too busy avoiding drowning under a mound of poo to think of anything else!
But a few years ago when Mahima Mehra went along with Vijendra, her paper producer to a little shrine atop a hill near Jaipur they decided to walk it. But when they reached the foot of the hill, they realized most pilgrims preferred to go up on elephant back. So there they were, trudging up, with large pachyderm behinds and swinging tails around us. There was dry elephant dung underfoot, and suddenly, it struck them how similar it looked to the raw fiber from which they made paper.
They collected piles of the dung and performed several experiments to eventually come up with usable sheets of paper made of elephant dung.
The paper was christened “˜Haathi Chaap’, meaning “Prints of the Elephant”.
Thus began a journey of the most unusual kind…poo to paper.
Salad Fixes at Your Doorstep
This one is for those who love their greens and nothing but the freshest and the best will do then a Pune based venture called Green Tokri is your best bet to get your salad fix delivered at your doorstep within the city.
This Pune based venture has created an efficient home delivery system that brings the salads and herbs within hours of harvest directly from the farm to your fridge! This ensures that your salad is fresh and scores high on the looks and taste quotient.
The harvest on the Green Tokri farms happens early in the day when it is cool and the morning dew is still on the produce.
The salads are loaded within the hour into the van and taken to a large cold-storage centre in Koregaon Park, Pune. At the cold storage, they are washed, packaged and stored at 8 degree Celsius (46 degree Fahrenheit) following which they are delivered to customers.
The salads from Green Tokri store well for 5-7 days in the fridge.
Owing to the unique endeavor and quality service within the first year, more than 2000 people have signed up for this service, which is currently available in most areas of Pune.
If the recent surge in onion prices brought tears to the eyes of many an Indian then some well heeled Mumbaikars embarked on a quest for their very own edible gardens.
Patch a plan with Sunita Mohan, a former copywriter who turned to gardening with passion and is the lady behind the Urban Gardener. Sunita will help you get a customized garden in Mumbai on your terrace, balcony, kitchen or window sill. She will also throw in tips on maintenance and sourcing materials so you won’t be alone in your bid to acquire your own urban green thumbs.
Sunita’s venture also sells seedlings and plants of hard-to-find plants and trees – passion fruit, red ginger, and mangosteen – as well as seasonal produce. Her basket of organic produce holds broccoli, bok choy, dill, sage, thyme and more.
Sunita is among the niche group of urban gardening enthusiasts who are holding workshops to educate others about the joy of urban farming to reduce the carbon footprint of food transportation and provide insulation from inflation.
The popularity of urban farming is compounded by the fact that more people in Mumbai are becoming increasingly conscious of not only what they eat but also what is going into what they eat. The only way to be sure is to grow it yourself.
Green Totes over Leather Bags
The brainchild of Shreya Shanbag, a young management graduate, Tote-ally (pronounced as totally) offers a range of biodegradable totes made from fair trade cotton. Embellished with screen-printed logos, illustrations and catchy slogans at INR 350/- onwards, these totes are the coolest and greenest style statement that you could make.
Shreya’s graphic designer friend, Friyan Sutaria has joined in to churn out some quirky, kick-ass designs. Friyan’s designs include a Hot and Chic collection that depicts a sketch of a young girl in blue and dark green stilettos, respectively.
If you’d like a customized tote, Shreya is open to designing for individuals, corporates and brands. Log on to her page on Facebook or even suggest an idea for a design. Placing a bulk order takes care of the economics though.
Green Home Decor
Riding high on the popularity of “green” businesses and quirky products is Workshop Q, a Jaipur based venture run by two sisters, Radhika Khaitan and Madhvi Khaitan.
The duo blends design techniques and skills honed at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing, Los Angeles with a determination to making a difference through the development of green products.
Aesthetic design is the hallmark of the creations that this duo churns out through up cycling which is the process of adding value to abandoned scrap material without harming the environment or degrading the original material.
The materials used to craft some spunky, well designed products are discarded jute, acrylic, rubber, metals and plastics.
The array of products includes an array of trays, coasters, photo frames, tissue boxes and other home dÃ©cor products.
The USP…Path breaking designs for every home whether it is quirky, elegant,
fun, calm, contemporary or traditional.
If you are game for some quirky decor for your home then contact:
Radhika Khaitan, Madhvi Khaitan
Kanakpura, P.O. Meenawala
Jaipur 302012 Rajasthan, (India)