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environment

35+ startups working to better the environment because nobody else does

Francesca Ferrario
1st May 2015
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Climate change has been a heated topic of debate in all circles. While every country wants to look good, they don’t want to accept policies at the cost of their ‘development’. There are conferences globally that talk about new conditions but the decisions and execution remain in the grey area.

Read more: India urges for greater cooperation between BRICS nations on climate change

There are positive signs though. For instance, the Indian government also announced future campaigns like ‘Fresh air, my birthright’, ‘Save Water, Save Energy’, ‘Grow More Plants’ and ‘Urban green’. On the other hand, the private sector initiatives in the country have already been proactive in the past years to promote a more responsible approach to the environment. Their area of competence varies from waste management to eco-tourism, to organic farming and so on. Here are some of them listed below:

Alternative energy


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Energy is one of the most crucial elements for reducing the Co2 emissions. These enterprises have experimented different ways of producing them

Nokoda is a Bihar based social enterprise which developed a technology to convert waste into energy

Sustain Earth has created a cheap, resistant, and easy-to-use method to generate energy from cows’ manure

Urja Unlimited started from the consideration that “It is ironical that the rural poor pay twice as much as urban consumers for lighting needs” and has developed cheaper solar solutions targeted to them

ONergy operates in East India to provide clean energy solutions to villages

Waste Management


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If alternative energy found a broader user base in rural areas, waste management – the most visible symptom of a polluted environment – remains largely an urban problem

Sampurn(e)arth started in Mumbai and expanded to the rest of the country, this social enterprise promote waste recycling as well as waste pickers’ dignity

I Got Garbage operates in Pune, Hyderabad, Vellore, Vizag, Hubli, Dharwad, Mumbai, Kottayam and Pondicherry. Users are encouraged to segregate waste and ‘hire a ragpicker’, who are able to earn more income by selling segregated garbage to different recycling centres.

Green Nerds has engineered a patent pending idea into an automatic garbage machine to segregate waste into easily manageable blocks.

Saahas is a Bengaluru based company that encourages waste management at a hyper local level

Clean Upper Dharamshala Project aims to clean up and recycle waste in Mcleodganj

Paperwaste headquarted in Hyderabad, picks up paper waste from individual households and corporate and take it to the landfil

EcoFemme produces sanitary pads made of fabric which help reduce the problem of disposal

In areas where the IT boom has been particularly prominent (South and West India) e-waste management has become a new concern, as well as a new opportunity for business

BinBag The Assamese Founder of the Bengaluru based start up Achitra Borgohain ensures that through his company e-waste is properly recycled.

Ecoreco has developed a technology to process e waste, being also able to export it

ReNewIt collects computers and other electronic devices disposed by big corporate companies which are still in good conditions. After fixing them and clear the data, they sell it back to the market at a very reasonable price

Eco Tourism


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Eco Tourism generally focuses on the first of the three ‘Rs’ (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse), by trying to reduce the amount of waste produced by tourist.

Here you can find two links that list 12 travel social enterprises: link 1 and link 2

Organic farming


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Agriculture contributes to 20 per cent of carbon emissions in the world. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has disclosed that “Organic agriculture not only enables ecosystems to better adjust to the effects of climate change but also offers a major potential to reduce the emissions of agricultural greenhouse gases. Moreover, mixed farming and the diversity of organic crop rotations are protecting the fragile soil surface and may even counteract climate change by restoring the organic matter content.”

In India, some of the organisations involved in Organic Farming are

AgSri has been promoting the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), a set of agronomic practices that involves using less seeds, raising seedlings in a nursery, and following new planting methods, with wider plant spacing, and better water and nutrient management to increase cane yields.

Chetna Organic is working toward implementing organic methods for the cultivation of cotton, which is currently one of the most polluting in the world

Bee The Change taking advantage from the fact that farmers can keep bees only if they grow organic products, the Founder Shrikant Gajbhiye encourages them to introduce the striped insects in their farms. This, in turn, not only offer an additional source of income from the sale of honey and wax, but it helps increasing the annual yield.

The Apple Project works with apple growers in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and help them become owners of their organic produce.

Urban initiatives


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Finally, pollution is a problem that results from the lack of communication between urban and rural worlds. Lack of information about the ‘other reality’ causes several issues like the inability of urban dwellers to distinguish between healthy and chemical products and the lack of access to urban market for organic farmers. These organisations are working in this field

The Living Greens encourages urban dwellers to cultivate their own vegetables on their rooftops to re-gain contact with the food they consume

Daana Network works with cooperatives of organic farmers and provides them with a distributing platform for their products. For the moment they operate in Hyderabad sourcing products from all over south India.

Aura Herbal has created a fashion brand to sell only herbal textiles. They are engaged both in B2B and B2C operations

I Say Organic delivers certified organic products in different Indian cities

 

 

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