This Vizag-based startup is setting the tone for eco-friendly celebrations this year

The seed flag which can germinate into a plant.  

A city startup is making waves on social media with its wide range of eco-friendly items such as rakhis, friendship bands, idols of Lord Ganesha and the national flag.

GreenWaves Environmental Solutions (GWES), which aspires to eliminate single-use plastic from households, is unveiling its ‘Clean and Green’ concept on August 1 through which it will sell ‘seed rakhis’, Ganesh idols and tricolours — all made of seeds taken from 19 varieties of native plants.

The seed flag concept has gone viral in Twitter with actors such as Naga Chaitanya and Sai Dharam Tej and music composer Devi Sri Prasad tweeting in support. “This Independence Day, let us use a bio-degradable flag to show our patriotism which can later be turned in to a plant by following a simple procedure. Let’s join hands to protect our environment,” tweeted actor Sai Dharam Tej, tagging the Viskhapatnam-based firm’s Twitter handle.

“We are floored by the support for our concept. After the post went viral, we have received scores of orders. We have already taken up 10,000 orders of the seed flags till now,” Potluri Anil Chowdary, managing director of GreenWaves Environmental Solutions, told The Hindu.

“Single-use plastic is emerging as the biggest polluter of the environment. Our aim is to offer alternatives and reduce the use of plastic,” he said.

GWES has a team of five persons who are working overtime to meet the orders, apart from student volunteers who are interning with the firm. Seeds of plants such as cherry tomato, brinjal, chilli, spinach, tulsi, tamarind, neem and coriander, have been used in these bands and Ganesha idol. Each product is made of cotton, cloth and paper and comes neatly wrapped in paper with an instruction manual on how to plant the seeds.

For Ganesh Chaturthi, GWES has plans to start a collection drive of dry leaves, flowers and coconuts used in puja, and reuse it to make incense sticks and coconut bowls. Six months ago, the firm had launched temple flower waste management.

Temple waste recycling

“We collected close to 300 kg of flower waste from seven temples in the city and made around 10,000 incense sticks. The project had to be halted due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to restart it through a door-to-door collection drive during Ganesha Chaturthi to bring down festival waste,” Mr. Anil said. The seed rakhis, friendship bands, tri-colour seed flags and Ganesha idols can be ordered via WhatsApp by calling or messaging 9550685178.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:17:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/when-green-shoots-sprout-from-tricolour/article32243786.ece

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