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HomeLife StyleEco-Forward Initiatives: Reshaping Industries Through Sustainable Practices - News18

Eco-Forward Initiatives: Reshaping Industries Through Sustainable Practices – News18

In the realm of environmental initiatives and sustainable practices, entrepreneurs worldwide are leading transformative efforts to address pressing issues such as climate change, resource depletion, and ecological degradation. These visionaries are reshaping industries by introducing eco-friendly alternatives, emphasizing the repurposing of materials, and driving a shift towards conscious consumer choices. From redefining gifting practices with creative yet environmentally responsible products to revolutionizing traditional farming methods by prioritizing sustainability and reducing carbon footprints, these initiatives go beyond individual businesses. They aim to create a lasting impact, fostering community empowerment, promoting environmental awareness, and establishing enduring, ecologically robust practices. Such endeavors underscore a global commitment to a harmonious relationship between human activities and nature, advocating for a more sustainable and resilient future.

When it comes to eco-conscious entrepreneurship, Lipsa Behura from Odisha is championing sustainability through her initiative ‘Beyond Waste.’ In response to the booming Diwali gifting market in India, valued at over Rs Two lakh crore, Lipsa recognized the lack of environmental consideration in such practices and founded ‘Beyond Waste’ to guide people toward more thoughtful gifting. Her venture offers an eclectic range of eco-friendly gifts, showcasing creativity and environmental responsibility, from coconut shell candles to upcycled scrap fabric creations. Overcoming challenges through experimentation, Lipsa emphasizes the transformative power of art in changing perceptions and promoting sustainability. She not only creates environmentally friendly gifts but actively engages in community outreach, workshops, and collaborations, aligning with the #GreenHustlers initiative for consistent environmental activism.

Meanwhile, in Eastern India, Sanjog Sahu is spearheading sustainability with ‘Mati Farms,’ a venture that addresses the intersection of environmental conservation and profitable farming. Initially focusing on enhancing farm-level productivity, Sahu expanded Mati Farms to encompass broader issues within the food supply chain, striving to reduce inefficiencies and minimize carbon footprints. Rooted in the Eastern Ghats, Sahu’s initiative extends beyond individual farms, fostering community empowerment and preserving the dignity of farmers. With a keen focus on consumer engagement, Mati Farms encourages awareness about the benefits of supporting local, environmentally friendly farming practices. Sahu envisions scaling up enduring, ecologically robust agricultural practices in Eastern India, emphasizing the importance of conscious consumption and a harmonious relationship between agriculture and nature.

Empowering Change: Lipsa Behura Leads the Eco-Sensitive Gifting Revolution

In India, the Diwali gifting market alone is estimated to be worth over Rs Two lakh crore (US$27 billion), according to a report by Technopak Advisors on the Indian gifting industry. It is anticipated to experience continued growth in the coming years, driven by factors such as rising disposable incomes, increasing urbanization, and the growing popularity of online shopping.

However, it is also an area where sustainable goals are frequently overlooked. During every big or small celebration, people tend to purchase and exchange gifts without being fully aware of their sustainability quotient.

This is one of the key reasons that prompted Lipsa Behura from Odisha to think of launching ‘Beyond Waste,’ which is now guiding people toward more thoughtful gifting. She believes that the gifting industry has the potential to drive positive change, particularly in India, where consumer behaviour significantly impacts the environment.

With a steadfast commitment to sustainability, Lipsa has introduced a diverse array of eco-friendly gifts, ranging from coconut shell candles to upcycled scrap fabric creations. Each product from ‘Beyond Waste’ embodies a harmonious blend of aesthetics and environmental responsibility. “Our offerings reflect a fusion of creativity and eco-consciousness. We strive to redefine gifting by offering alternatives that not only captivate with their beauty but also leave a positive impact on the planet,” says Lipsa.

She concedes that the effort to make suitable gifts from waste materials has its difficulties including the challenge to ensure the quality and durability of upcycled products. However, Lipsa and her team overcame multiple obstacles through relentless experimentation and attention to detail to deliver products that meet stringent quality standards. Lipsa shares, “It’s a process of trial and error, but we remain steadfast in our pursuit of excellence. By carefully selecting and repurposing materials, we infuse our creations with durability and charm.”

A firm advocate of the power of art, Lipsa believes that it can be a powerful vehicle to change perceptions and promote sustainability. “The most important thing is the choice of the material used. Whenever you think of design, you must also consider that the material you are using should not harm the planet’s well-being,” she says. Among Lipsa’s most popular creations are recycled paper diaries and jewelry crafted from scrap fabric. These items also epitomise her ethos of giving new life to discarded materials.

Apart from creating environmentally friendly gifts, Lipsa actively involves herself in community outreach through workshops and collaborations with NGOs and educational institutions. Her engagement in the #GreenHustlers initiative also underscores her consistent environmental activism.

Lipsa’s journey serves as an inspiration for those aiming to instill positive change by promoting conscious and sustainable consumerism

Cultivating Change: Sanjog Sahu’s ‘Mati Farms’ breaks new ground in sustainability

In the heart of Eastern India, amid the Eastern Ghats, a story of resilience, sustainability, and hope is taking root. Meet Odisha’s Sanjog Sahu, the ecopreneur behind Mati Farms, which offers farmers a sustainable and profitable means of production while prioritizing environmental conservation. Sanjog Sahu is also a part of the #GreenHustlers initiative focused on fostering a more inclusive and dynamic climate startup ecosystem in India.

Sahu’s green journey began as a doctoral researcher in Odisha’s Eastern Ghats, where he observed the impact of climate change and market forces on traditional farming practices. “I saw how climate change and market forces were reshaping farming practices, leaving behind significant environmental challenges. Overuse of pesticides and chemicals for farming and lack of environmental awareness among farmers was rampant. I wanted to do something tangible to mitigate this and this is how Mati Farms came into being,” recalls Sahu.

Registered in 2018, Mati Farms initially focused on enhancing farm-level productivity. Later, Sahu expanded its scope to bridge broader fault lines within the food supply chain in order to augment sustainability and reduce carbon footprints. Established in Jagatpur near Cuttack, their first processing unit encouraged farmers to cultivate crops like purple sweet potatoes. This led to a network expansion from 20 to 200 farmers across the state. “We realized that sustainability transcends individual farms. It’s about addressing inefficiencies, reducing post-harvest loss, and minimizing carbon footprints throughout the entire system,” he explains.

A significant aspect of Sahu’s work is its positive influence on local communities, focusing on preserving the dignity of farmers and promoting empowerment through sustainable practices. He states, “There is an inherent sense of dignity in farmers, which defies articulation. Our goal is to respect and support this dignity and foster community empowerment through our sustainable initiatives,” adds Sahu.

At Mati Farms, consumer engagement also plays a pivotal role in driving change. By promoting awareness about the benefits of supporting local, environmentally friendly farming practices, the initiative seeks to cultivate a community of conscious consumers. “Our motto of clean and green practices does not just apply to the ingredients of our products but in the very way our crops are grown and sourced. Through social media and direct interactions, we invite consumers to join our journey through active participation and by providing their valuable feedback, suggestions, and recommendations,” he says.

On his future goals as a responsible ecopreneur, Sahu envisions establishing enduring, ecologically robust agricultural practices at a significant scale in Eastern India. “It’s about encouraging sustainability through conscious consumption, creating a positive impact on our environment, and fostering a harmonious relationship between agriculture practices and nature,” concludes Sahu.

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