At this Goa’s all-purpose zero-waste store, one can buy anything but plastic and non-organic products
If you are familiar with Goa, you might know that it was much cleaner and greener a decade ago than today. People from across India and from various parts of the world marked the state as one of their favourite holiday destinations.
Like other Indian states, Goa too has been witnessing piles of waste being dumped onto its beaches and streets. Seeing the plight of their home state, childhood friends Jonah Fernandes and Eldridge Lobo decided to make a difference, starting from their own business.
Jonah Fernandes and Eldridge Lobo at their zero-waste store, Ecoposro in Goa, source Prutha Goa
Jonah, owner of a guest house and Eldridge, a restaurateur realised how their business was generating non-biodegradable waste. To eliminate the waste they generated, the duo adopted a zero-waste lifestyle and initiated clean-up drives in their town, Siolim, and Mojrim, Goa, reports Herald Goa.
To encourage their fellow citizens, the duo started an all-purpose zero-waste store called “Ecoposro”, (‘posro means a small shop in Konkani) in April 2018. One can find anything under the roof in this store except and materials that contribute to waste.
Speaking to Efforts For Good, Jonah said,
“When we decided to go zero-waste, we realised how difficult it was to discard plastic packaging and procure quality goods. Suppose if we need ten items without plastic, we have to visit five different stores – which motivated us to launch our own zero-waste initiative.”
Often referred to as Goa’s zero-waste store, Ecoposro houses organic household items ranging from groceries like grains and locally produced coconut vinegar to zero-waste detergents and toiletries and organically produced cosmetics.
He added, “Other than household items, we keep steel tiffin sets, copper water bottles and a few stationery items made from recycled paper and also tetra packaging,” reports Efforts For Good.
The store also has vegetables, which are grown with zero-chemical fertilisers and pesticides by local organic farmers.
The store has its own strict zero-waste policy, right from procuring raw material to delivering to its customers. The duo also requests local vendors and farmers to avoid plastic. To carry material to the store, they use reusable bags, like gunny and jute bags.
The products are kept in glass bottles and coconut bowls on the shelves. Customers are also encouraged to bring their own paper or cloth bags. The store also stocks recyclable glass jars and paper packages.
In the future, Jonah and Eldridge plan to create a sustainable community, one that will not depend on unhealthy practices, which harms the environment. They plan to set up a permaculture farm opposite to the store which is based on the concept of growing plants that suitable to the climate and which gradually makes soil more nutrient-rich and well-balanced.