Startup culture has always revolved around creating the next best piece of technology or revolutionary product that can make our lives a little easier. But in this race, the environmental effects are often forgotten. These startups are a little different in that regard. They pride themselves with being able to create products while keeping sustainability in mind.
The rise in electronic waste created from discarding technology has become a massive burden on the environment. Bangalore based startup Renew It figured out a clever solution to alleviate this waste while also making computers accessible to everybody.
Founded by Mukund BS in 2010, Renew It collects scrap computers from various corporates and completely restores the machines to full working condition before selling them at extremely affordable prices. Their main aim is to make computers available to all, while helping the environment. They provide computers to various NGOs and small schools that cannot afford to buy brand new systems and ensure they buy systems suited to their needs with a clever categorizing system on their website. To help bridge the digital divide in the country, Renew It plans to expand its services to other cities to create a larger impact.
Based in Delhi and founded by the students of Kirori Mal College, Project Patradya has a very unique method to combat the scourge of plastic waste generated by the state.
Patradya, literally meaning edible utensils, works on the lines of social entrepreneurship for community development. They create edible utensils like spoons, bowls and cups out of healthy grains, which are safe to eat and completely biodegradable. The driving force behind this initiative is a group of Afghani women refugees. The aim of Patradya is to empower and reintegrate these refugees into society by teaching them useful skills that enable them to be independent and self-sufficient. They have had a significant impact in cutting down the use of disposable plastic while also creating products that can be disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
Gram Power was founded by University of Berkeley alumni Yashraj Khaitan and Jacob Dickinson in their effort to provide clean energy to those areas which are too remote to be connected to the power grid. Gram Power establishes ‘micro-grids’ which collect and store solar energy that can then be distributed to households nearby. They have also developed a smart metering system that allows people to regulate their power consumption. With a smart prepaid pricing model, they are ensuring that energy is available for everybody while producing it in a sustainable way.
Help Us Green
The prominence of flowers in Indian religion is immediately apparent when looking at the countless flower sellers outside religious buildings and heaps of flowers strewn across the floors. However, these flowers are usually dumped into rivers after ceremonies and exact a heavy toll on aquatic flora and fauna. Help Us Green founders Karan Rastogi and Ankit Agarwal witnessed the polluting of the Ganges and decided to work on an innovative solution. Through careful trial and error, they discovered a way to recycle the discarded flowers into bio-degradable products like compost and incense sticks. They have also developed their own packaging made out of natural fibers extracted from the flowers and plan on selling it as an environment friendly alternative.