Earth Day was celebrated globally on Sunday, 22nd April. Global leaders, celebrities and organisations came together in solidarity to voice their opinions and views on the protection and preservation of our planet, by focusing on reduction of plastic use and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.
According to the Earth Day Network, this year’s Earth Day was dedicated to spreading awareness about the pollution caused by plastic and the need to eventually end its use. It’s safe to say that as awareness is growing, so is participation in the efforts to make a difference. We look at some of the initiatives undertaken some firms to do their bit.
1.Fighting a long term battle against the use of Styrofoam and plastics for a healthier environment and producing backyard compostable Tableware is CHUK. With countries increasingly banning or looking to phase out plastic cutlery and tableware, this seems like a sound business move too.
CHUK, under the 10 year old umbrella brand Yash Papers, launched their 100% compostable packaging and tableware. It claims to be the only player in India, which controls the entire chain from manufacturing to finished products and also supplies raw material to most other manufacturers of bio-degradable products in the country. Since the setup of a modern pulp mill in 2007, CHUK claims to be the only ‘pulp to product’ brand in the world for compostable tableware. The raw material used is bagasse (waste of Sugarcane Pulp) which gets composted within a time span of 60 days. With a vision of creating an environmental mass movement in India by shifting the entire range of tableware from Styrofoam/single use plastic to compostable tableware. Clearly, a company that has seen the writing on the wall, and now writing its own future in sync with the market.
2. The U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai and Learning Links Foundation in collaboration with SINE IIT Bombay held the “Green Hackathon” at the IIT Bombay campus (VMCC) on 20-21 April, 2018. The two-day event was a unique and exciting opportunity for participating innovators from western India to develop ideas for viable technological solutions to environmental challenges in their communities. With a $1000 reward as seed funding for the two winners to help implement their projects.
Project themes include air quality (AQI), water quality, clean/renewable energy, solid-waste management, waste disposal, electronic waste, and upcycled products. 16 teams consisting of 40 early-stage entrepreneurs, software developers, environmental practitioners, forward-thinking innovators, product visionaries, and designers, competed to develop promising solutions to help address today’s
environmental challenges in the event that concluded on World Earth Day.
Dr. Anjlee Prakash, Chairperson, Learning Links Foundation said, “The Green Hackathon offers individuals from all walks of life, an opportunity to come together to think of creative and fun solutions, to address some of our key environmental challenges, and in doing so, gain a deeper understanding of how we can work to ensure a more liveable and sustainable environment”.
The two winners were team Greenalumino led by Nupur jain, Pallavi Sripada and Saurab Sahu, each girls from different organisation and team Shuddhi led by Ms Mayuri Hidden and Dr Anu Appaiah K.A from Dr. DY Patil College. Dr. Anu Appaiah, from team Shuddhi said, “The idea behind this project is focusing on non-conventional resources. Our thought is to utilise the aquatic feed with the help of microbiological process and make animal feed.”
3. Rutu Group Of Companies a real estate firm from Thane, initiated their program ‘PlasticFreeThane’ on Earth Day 2018 with a special promotion for Thane West residents. People were urged to voluntarily giveaway plastic from their homes and live plastic free, against which they were presented with a Cloth Bag for their daily use.
These collected plastics are to be sent to Rudra Environmental Solution (India) Pvt Ltd – a Pune-based organization which will convert it to poly fuel which will be later used as an alternative for wood, plastic and kerosene in remote areas of Maharashtra.
Mukund Patel, MD of Rutu Group of Companies said, “#Plastic FreeThane is not a one day initiative but a prolonged effort. We hope to continue until entire Thane is covered with the initiative in a tangible and concerted manner.”
4. Belkin International Ltd., one of the leading manufacturers of consumer electronics globally took up initiatives which targeted India’s waste management scenario. The company’s spokesperson said, “India’s electronic waste is estimated to reach 52 lakh tonnes in 2020,”.
In order to do their bit for, Belkin took up initiatives to help its employees cut down on their commuting carbon footprints by proving van pools and cash incentives for using public transportation. Belkin stressed on the fact that they were solely focused on long term goals to help their environment. Initiatives such as recycled PET Tray packaging and mandates on recycling electronic waste resulted in 5% reduction in waste to landfills and water consumption.
5.Meanwhile, Nissan India, in line with their vision of ‘enriching people’s lives’, claim to have saved 95 million litres of water over the past four years through an innovative car wash technique called Foam Wash. The Foam Wash technique uses only 90 litres of water per car compared to the conventional car wash which consumes 162 litres, thereby reducing water consumption by 44%. Car washes at service centres are a major component of after sales and servicing of customers’ vehicles that require a large amount of water.
Elsewhere students of multiple colleges celebrated Earth day by organising multiple cleanliness drives, recycling and reusing campaigns like the plastic free campus initiative held this year at ISDM, Noida.