Environmentally friendly is the new gold this festive time

  • As individuals are finding additional environmentally acutely aware, this competition period is viewing moral gifting and sustainable celebrations, as individuals realise that their wellness and environmental overall health are interconnected.
  • 6 Indian metros produce more than 36,000 tonnes of solid waste for each day and experts think that the festive period contributes appreciably to this squander.
  • Sustainable candies, designer jewelry created of clay, gardening hampers, upcycled residence decor products, and plantable stationaries and a lot of such inexperienced presents are in people’s festive searching listing.
  • The pandemic, the increasing Indian-China border strife, and government drive for regular neighborhood items is also catalyzing the change

Absolutely everyone calls Sujata Adhikari “the activist” at Diwali get-togethers. She receives strange appears and sighs from mates and relatives when she articulates why she would not accept unsustainable items — wouldn’t be shopping for or gifting any possibly. Plastic ornamental items, non-biodegradable gifts, crackers, shiny wrapping papers are all banned by her.

“I abhor ending the festivities with a guilt. And would encourage all not to produce heaps of waste that harms our setting,” claimed Adhikari, a Delhi-primarily based entrepreneur.

Like Adhikari, Mumbai-primarily based Tulika Bhojwani is similarly gung-ho about earth-helpful merrymaking. Her ‘sow and grow’ Ganesh-Lakshmi statues (plantable statues with seed inside of them) will arrive a day just before Diwali, and as an alternative of gold or silver purchasing she is indulging in designer jewelry manufactured of clay. Her dwelling will be adorned with handmade lamps and decorations, and sustainable presents will be diligently wrapped in brown papers or fabric with atmosphere-aware messages engraved on them.

“Earlier everybody considered that I am eccentric for the reason that of my zero waste, reduced affect gifting ideology. But now they realise the implications of inexperienced gifts and sustainable celebrations,” explained Bhojwani, a technologies information editor with a multi-nationwide company.

“If as a fellow citizen, we simply cannot recycle or upcycle the good squander generated by some others, let us not include to the environmental hazard by splurging unconsciously or indulging dangerously,” added Partha S. Mishra, a non-public sector government in Delhi.

What Mishra was talking is backed by tough details. India’s 6 metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad – with each other develop 36,400 tonnes of good waste each and every day as for each formal details from the Central Air pollution Handle Board. And this selection, specialists and environmentalists argue, doubles for the duration of the festive time encompassing a lot of celebrations like Diwali, Christmas and New Yr. Add to that the vehicular air pollution, stubble burning, the design dust and crackers, 1 gets to see littered residential suburbs, hazy skies and unbreathable air invoking nationwide debates during this season.

A developing number of aware Indians are opting for environmentally sustainable celebrations and presents. Vegetation are the new ‘flowers’ and inexperienced is the new gold as individuals realise that their overall health and environmental health and fitness are interconnected.

Sustainable sweets, designer jewelry created of clay, crops, gardening hampers, organic and natural seeds and nuts, upcycled residence decor products, bamboo speakers, unique and modern earthen utensils, plantable stationary are some of the gifts building way into people’s festive shopping for record.

“Now, customers are using a pause to believe about the effects their purchases can make on the world, and obtain dependable presents. From business stage of check out it suggests much more need,” mentioned Neha Saharan, founder of Sow and Increase, a corporation that sells plantable Ganesha-Lakshmi mud statues with seeds inside them, stationary and gardening kits.

Plantable stationary competition pack with seeds. Photograph courtesy Sow and Grow.

Saharan claims that this festive season she has received 50% more plantable reward orders as from a calendar year back period. With escalating air air pollution and insufficient waste administration, which intensifies for the duration of the competition period, people are becoming extra conscious and are investing in green gifts. “Small, little methods go a prolonged way,” she said incorporating that how difficulties of the idol immersion and the linked pollution stirred her conscience to appear up with a alternative.

Agrees Nitika Ghosh, founder of inexperienced start out up ‘Khoj’. “Indians really like to expend on jewelry for the duration of festive season. Nevertheless, the standard cherished metals like silver and gold are acknowledged to have a damaging side to them from surroundings level of watch. Step by step the younger and upwardly mobile inhabitants is gravitating to adopt their eco-friendly counterparts,” mentioned Ghosh, who sells clay and recycled fabric jewelry.

Valuable metallic and stone jewellery production system is vitality and water intense and puts strain on the ecosystem. For occasion, throughout the metallic mining method a number of toxic chemical compounds are utilised and disposed as squander, which pollute h2o, soil and environment that hurt biodiversity and disrupt the ecosystem. “Now, prevalent people today are looking up to aware jewelry consumers with regard, and contemplate them present day and a lot more developed. Environmentally friendly is the new gold,” extra Ghosh who claimed that when final festive season her startup offered 160 models for each thirty day period, this year she is providing double that figure.

Even though tangible moral items are attaining ground, some other individuals contemplate experiential gifting is the greenest that a person can get. “When you present an experience you build a shared memory and in the method do not make any waste or harm the atmosphere. Off late, I am gifting microgreen gardening workshops to shut close friends. You get a environmentally friendly working experience, study and start out multiplying by influencing other people,” reported Rishita Sharma, a Bhopal-based mostly electronic engineer.

Rishita Sharma with her microgreens - Picture Courtesy - Rishita Sharma
Rishita Sharma with her microgreens. Photo courtesy Rishita Sharma.

‘Green’ normally takes time and effort

While environmentally friendly and earth-welcoming present items and celebrations are in vogue, enterprises argue that it is tedious, time having and a great deal of hard work goes into generation and sector enlargement.

Zero-squander and sustainable chocolate company L. Nitin Chordia initial purchases cocoa pods from natural and organic farms, cocoa beans are then extracted, solar-dried and with the assist of electrical power-economical cracking and winnowing process de-husked. These beans are then stone-ground, mixed with non-refined Khandsari (muscovado) sugar and converted into chocolate. The chocolate bars are packed using handmade paper – created from cocoa husk and residual garment trims procured from factories. To ensure group inclusiveness, the wrappers are then despatched to be printed by a basis for people with particular demands. The within of these wrappers carry mandala artwork so consumers can upcycle them as greeting playing cards or bookmarks.

“It can take a few days to manufacture just 2.5 kgs of chocolate,” points out Chordia, a bean to bar chocolate producer based in Tamil Nadu. “We feel in the circular overall economy product, and measure our good results by efforts manufactured to help you save the world. Like so much we have saved 100 kgs of solitary-use plastic from achieving the landfills. And our purchasers respect the very same,” mentioned Nitin adding that his corporation Kocoatrait Sweets has clocked 5-fold development in profits this festive season from final yr and claimed that corporates are displaying a large amount of fascination in his products for its quality and moral benefit.

Anand Rajendran, HR director of Rage Interaction, a electronic advertising and marketing company in Chennai concurred with Nitin. The IT sector is identified for its huge carbon footprint and e-wastes he mentioned including that opting for sustainable presents, crops etcetera. provides them an opportunity to lessen that guilt. “Eco-pleasant presents tug at people’s coronary heart – they assistance us forge an emotional bond with customers as effectively as pass the message of natural environment conservation,” Rajendran reported.

“People are getting acutely aware, but there is a lengthy way in advance,” extra Nitin.

Demographic gain

So, who particularly are these buyers? “Young, educated and very well knowledgeable people today are driving the change. It is good to see our youth starting to be eco-pleasant and spreading the concept as a result of environmentally friendly presents and sustainable celebrations,” reported Vishnu Lamba, a Rajasthan-dependent ecosystem actvist.

“It is this phase of men and women that are uncovered to the impacts of weather improve early in their lives, and are most probably heading to stay through it. They also realise that they have to be the ones to initiate alter, and test to reverse the phenomenon. So, they treatment, self-educate and make ethical gifting choices,” said Nitin.

Agreed Ghosh that her clientele are in the 25-40 age team – they are city, educated, exposed, and vocal about climate problems, have superior-disposable revenue and do not intellect shelling out a little bit further to assistance the induce.

Designer handmade fabric jewellery - Picture Courtesy - Khoj
Designer handmade fabric jewelry. Photo courtesy Khoj.

Mishra of Delhi claimed that a important portion of the older technology in India believes in entitlement and that it is the govt or regional authorities who ought to do everything and their responsibility is to get pleasure from the fruit, the flexibility – in practice, speech and life-style. “There are elders who are very mindful and inspiring, but their range is considerably considerably less than the children who are knowledgeable about the natural environment,” Mishra additional.

Nitin argued that a whole lot of individuals over 45 or 50 several years of age mainly keep out of the fold mainly because of their complacency. “A substantial portion of the more mature counterparts are fewer-travelled, and normally can’t look at India’s environmental difficulties with spots which are greater off. But it is also a simple fact that some weather mindful dad and mom are drilling sustainability into their children’s mind, and we need extra of them.”

Acquiring nearby

The coronavirus pandemic, the border dispute with China, and the growing federal government press for adopting indigenous and regular solutions also have a part in a obvious change in people’s preference, observe consumers and companies.

Though the border skirmishes with China foremost to people’s disapproval of Chinese gifting things have pushed people to rethink their intake, the world wide pandemic has compelled quite a few to undertake sustainability. “For final quite a few several years, India’s Diwali gifting and ornamental merchandise market is pushed by low-cost Chinese products and solutions, which primarily encompass low-cost plastics and non-biodegradables. We can simply swap these products and solutions for our age-outdated regular counterparts – like earthen lamps, quality spices from south Indian states, crops and new age green hampers,” reported Archana Chaurasia, a Pune centered HR government.

What Chaurasia reported was echoed by Praveen Khandelwal, standard secretary of Confederation of All India Traders, a countrywide traders affiliation. Khandelwal estimates that the Chinese border problems and the Primary Minister’s simply call for citizens to go ‘vocal for local’ are encouraging this transition.

“Plants are the fastest-growing segment this festive year. Plants are the new age flowers,” explained Vikaas Gutgutia, founder and controlling director of floral solution provider Ferns N Petals. Vegetation like sansevieria, ficus, bamboo, palms and funds-plants are in superior demand, he stated, even more elaborating how his company has witnessed a 100% bounce in corporate gifting orders for crops this year.

Sustainability is stylish and everybody wishes to associate with it, Gutgutia reported. And the trend is below to keep as it is the end result of a attitude adjust. “Now, in urban India, just one sees balcony gardens flourishing, notwithstanding the size of the flat, which was earlier uncommon in residential flats.”

Every single drop counts

While encouraging people today to opt for eco-welcoming gifting, does it give a boost to avoidable consumerism? Is obtaining more, but ‘green’, a better alternate? “Consumerism has its execs and drawbacks, like let us say, the organic food company. Likewise, the sustainable gifting sector has its positives and negatives. Some companies are truly creating attempts to preserve the world, whilst some many others are greenwashing. But rather of concentrating on the lousy, it is far more vital to benefit the great,” said Ramon Magsaysay award winner Anshu Gupta, also the founder of Goonj, a social company that treats clothes as a sustainable progress resource for the poor.

“While planting a tree is often the very best selection, you are unable to just take absent the goodness of gifting a plant. Environmental problems require focus and all attempts need to be welcomed. At minimum, some discussions are taking place and some initiatives are getting manufactured. For occasion, my daughter in no way uses the plastic straw… alternatively she carries her have eco-welcoming 1 all over the place. Are several straws going to alter the scenario? No, for an unique, but seem at how it influences friends. What if hundreds of thousands of others like her commence performing the very same. This is how movements are created. How tiny an exertion may perhaps look to the onlooker, every stage counts,” he reported.

A collection of plants for festive gifting - Money plant, Jade and Aralia - Picture Courtesy - Shweta Thakur Nanda
A assortment of crops for festive gifting. Image by Shweta Thakur Nanda.

Even so, he suggested that even though purchasing the inexperienced items, 1 ought to be incredibly watchful about the packaging — if you are “buying earthen diyas and they arrive packed in Styrofoam or plastic packs, then the reason will get defeated. Here the role of recycle and upcycle will come in,” reported Gupta.

Planetary well being equals human health

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the highlight on how humans are vulnerable in entrance of nature, not just in a smaller geographical area but across the globe. It has presented men and women a blunt reminder that planetary and human overall health are interconnected, which is pushing setting agnostics to embrace transform.

“I have never carried out gardening in my everyday living. But the pandemic and subsequent lockdown made me realise that we are not able to lead healthy life if the earth is unhealthy. And the circumstance will only worsen except if we mend our methods. I have started off planting trees and purchasing crops to give to my customers as corporate presents,” said Ankit Nagpal, promoter of a temperament improvement and grooming academy in Delhi. He claimed even in training classes, they have started out talking about ecosystem, air air pollution and benefit of green go over.

According to a new study on the state of air around the world, by U.S. centered consider tank Well being Effects Institute, some 1.67 million fatalities in India ended up connected to air air pollution in 2019. Of this 116,000 infants died in their initially thirty day period of everyday living due to superior PM 2.5 focus.

Ethical presents and sustainable festivities may well audio like a small portion in the greater environmental debate, but the ‘every step counts’ solution has many striving to do their minor bit.


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Banner impression: Festive gift pack comprising natural and organic seeds, vegetation and natural and organic tea. Picture by Shweta Thakur Nanda

Posting published by Aditi