Clear out the junk

Ambika Shaligram
Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Come, ‘connect with a cause’ and segregate and donate unwanted stuff from home to NGOs, who will recreate them into useful products.

 
If you have been toying with the idea of ‘monsoon cleaning’ your home, but not sure what to do with e-waste, plastic, then you must visit the second edition of  ‘Connect with a Cause’ to ‘Recycle-Reuse-Recreate’ in the city on Friday, June 30. 

Come, ‘connect with a cause’ and segregate and donate unwanted stuff from home to NGOs, who will recreate them into useful products.

 
If you have been toying with the idea of ‘monsoon cleaning’ your home, but not sure what to do with e-waste, plastic, then you must visit the second edition of  ‘Connect with a Cause’ to ‘Recycle-Reuse-Recreate’ in the city on Friday, June 30. 

Initiated by Team Miracle in collaboration with Bridge & Artsphere, the ‘Connect with a Cause’ will help you donate your junk to NGOs, which will recycle them into something creative. Some of the useful stuff, like fabrics, will be given to the members of self-help groups which are associated with the NGOs.

Explaining about the initiative, Mita Banerjee from Team Miracle, says, “The purpose of this initiative is to spread the word about NGOs which are doing good work. And, also make people aware about the waste they have at home and how they can dispose it without harming the environment.”

Banerjee says that people can also buy the products from these NGOs — which have been recycled from household junk. So bring piles of newspapers, e-waste (including chargers and wires, but no tubelights and CFL bulbs), bottles with caps, children’s books and plastic waste — which will be put to good use.

Your e-waste, old clothes and toys can be donated to Poornam Eco-Vision, bottles with caps can be given to Ishwari group which they can use for storing and selling their sauces, jams and pickles. Akanksha group will use the children’s books and notes to make paper quilling artefacts, greeting cards, etc. Plastic waste, including bottles, can be given to Rudra Environmental Solutions, which will convert it into poly-fuel and distribute it to villagers. And, newspapers can be given to Cancer Patients Aid Association.

“These NGOs will also be putting up stalls at Moushu’s Pilates Studio from where you can buy upcycled fabric bags, durries, file-folders, recycled paper notepads and notebooks. There will be another stall that will offer homemade pickles, jams and chutneys, cookies and papads. You can serve these items on elegant disposable areca nut dishes and plates. The same plates have been used by a special child, Jay Vaidya, to showcase his Warli art,” adds Banerjee. 

The initiative is also a platform for these small groups to showcase their products, since it’s difficult for them to sustain in the open market. Here, we introduce two of the brands and their work to you:

Poornam Eco-Vision
As the name suggests, it’s a complete solution for all your environmental woes. Set up in December 2012, Dr Rajendra Manerikar, founder-member of the organisation, says, “In the last five years, we have recycled 35 tonnes of e-waste, plastic and equal number of old clothes. We have formed self-help groups of women in slums and rural areas to whom we give the work of upcycling fabric. We also pay them for their efforts. So far, they have been trained to make 100 products.”

For collecting e-waste, they organise a drive every Sunday in various housing societies in different parts of the city, from 10 am-noon. They also accept e-waste at their office in Model Colony, Shivajianagar. 
If you are planning to donate old clothes or toys etc, then Manerikar has a word of advice for you: “The clothes, which you are planning to donate, must be washed and cleaned, and preferably in good condition.” 

Eco-Serve 
Anindita Chaudhuri’s Eco-Serve was born out of her passion to serve the environment and to reduce people’s over-reliance on plastic products. “My philosophy was to bring about small lifestyle changes amongst people. There are parties, functions, guests coming over... In such cases, we bring out disposable plastic or thermocolware. If we use areca nut plates and dishes in their place, it would be a good beginning.

Our dependence on plastic would reduce to a small extent,” says Chaudhuri, who was formerly a PR and advertising professional.   
Under her brand, Eco-Serve, she came out with areca nut dinnerware set. She describes it as ‘stylish, robust and completely non toxic.’

Chaudhuri sources the ware from a community working in Coimbatore. “I met the people on a train journey and decided to promote their work across the country. They send the goods through transport and we do storing and packaging here in Pune,” adds she. 

At present Chaudhuri is still experimenting and trying to research on various products and designs. “Areca nut leaves are not conducive to make bowls or tall glasses. So we have to find a solution for that. We are also looking at corporate orders, because we can take small numbers but not cater to the open market requirement,” says she.

ST Reader Service 
‘Connect with a Cause’ will be held at Moushu’s Pilates studio, Artsphere, North Court, opp Joggers Park, Kalyaninagar, on Friday, June 30, between 11 am and 5 pm.

The author can be followed on Twitter @riceandpickle

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