A woman is helping us to be "The Better Earthlings" for our planet
October 30th , 2020 | Aditi Bhattacharya
Practicing gratitude is the most important lesson
Practicing gratitude I think is the most important lesson I learnt from my mom at a very young age. What it does to you is, no matter how privileged you are, you start valuing every little thing. I was always encouraged to think and come up with my own solution to problems.
For instance, when I was studying in std. four, one day our teacher read out a notice that said we need to bring Rs. 100 for an NGO. With that money they will sponsor education for underprivileged slum kids. I couldn’t understand how Rs. 100 was enough for one’s education. I came home and asked my mom for the money and expressed my concern. She said why don’t you go to every house in the colony as ask for some help. That evening we collected around Rs 7000 for a cause. That is where it all began.
Fast forward to 2015, got placed in an IT company before my 5th semester. Everything was going according to my plan. One Day at a family gathering I asked someone if they knew any e-waste collectors, I had a few old phones and batteries to recycle. They immediately said “why do you need recyclers? Just through them in the nearby Naali.
That day I had an epiphany that ‘they’ are not spoiling nature, ‘they’ are us and we are spoiling it.
Is Recycling the only option we have?
Soon I started with my R&D and a year later after my graduation all my friends left the city for their jobs. I chose to stay back and start The Better Earthlings instead. Still I didn't have any clear plan nor did I have a business background.
So eventually I started talking to many rag pickers in Kolkata, and watched all the documentaries related to waste. By then I developed a basic idea about waste categories, potential solutions etc. But still lacked practical training. I contacted a Noida based company called “code effort” (Read their WStory) to sign up for their policy to start collecting cigarette waste from my city, for them.
I reached many restaurants and cafes, tried to build a team, picked waste from the street with the rag pickers. But after all these efforts, I failed to create awareness among people, I couldn’t collect enough waste to sustain my business. I failed.
I started pondering upon why we are all thinking about recycling only? Is that the only option to get rid of waste? And why are we generating this much waste in the first place?
These questions led me to pivot my business model and focus more on consulting sustainable practices in organizations and homes along with the alternative product line.
Our way of encouraging sustainable lifestyle
The Better Earthlings strongly stand by the 3R's, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. That is we reduce the use of plastics in the household and help businesses go plastics free. Our products are reusable which minimizes the usage of single use plastic products. Also we recycle waste and collaborate with other organisations to make the Earth cleaner and greener again.
It changes the mindset of how you choose a product. Brands are smart, they see the mindset shift of their customers and make changes accordingly.
We have also come up with another brand called CoochikooTM. It is the first brand in Kolkata focusing on sustainable childhood and conscious parenting. We have made CoochikooTM pencils by recycling local newspapers. This in turn impacts the environment greatly.
Reasons to use our pencils
• Zero wastage.
• Closed loop.
• Increasing life span of a paper.
• No cutting down off trees.
• Ensure the right start of a child.
• Environment friendly pencils at the same price of normal pencils.
Nearly 80000 trees are chopped down to make 2million pencils. Imagine the number of trees being chopped down just to make pencils? Imagine the toll it takes on the planet? Relatively even if 30% of our children choose our newspaper pencils, calculate the impact it will create.
The author of the story is “Aditi Bhattacharya, Founder of The Better Earthlings" and you can know more about them at thebetterearthlings.com
InwasteR is only a platform to share WaStory and the views and experience are purely of the author.