World Environment Day: Meet five dynamic minds who brings sustainable shift in your lifestyle

Jun 05, 2018, 07:08 IST | The Guide Team

The story goes that women in the Babylonian era would wash their clothes on riverbanks and noticed that bubbles were making their clothes cleaner

Divya Menon
Raise the bar for Mother Earth

Model and actor Divya Menon, 29, tells us a little story about how soap was discovered and not invented. The story goes that women in the Babylonian era would wash their clothes on riverbanks and noticed that bubbles were making their clothes cleaner. This was actually a chemical reaction that occurred because the animal fat (from slaughtered animals) that washed down the stream would mix with sodium hydroxide rocks. Today, Menon is almost six months into her new venture, SkinCandy — a range of homemade, handcrafted beauty and bath products that generate zero waste, are 100 per cent vegan and biodegradable, right till packaging. The soaps, scrubs, and lotions she makes consist of essential oils and food- grade products, which she then assembles together using the cold process and finally leaves it out to air-cure.

"I started making soaps because my skin was in bad condition, and since I have psoriasis, most products aggravated my condition. I chanced upon a soap-making tutorial on Youtube thinking it was about food, and that's how I discovered that the process was easy. I started distributing it among friends and family, and it caught on," she says, recalling how the project took shape. "The soaps sold over the counter are in fact detergent bars. They have surfactants, propylene glycol and they don't use essential oils. Also, in the process of making these bars, they take out all the glycerin because they sell that as a byproduct and what you're left with has nothing good in it for you," she adds, explaining why an eco-friendly beauty regime is not just good for the environment but also you.

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Green ventures

Guilt-free fashion

Priti Jain and Farheen Bushra Rahman

For friends Priti Jain and Farheen Bushra Rahman (in pic, right), the love for fashion binds the two. Jain hails from a family of garment exporters in Kolkata while Rahman studied fashion design from London College of Fashion. But what really connects the two is their belief in sustainable fashion, which led the two to open Toile, an eco-fashion store in Mumbai.

Guilt Free Fashion

"When we launched Toile, we had to be strict when it came to choosing the designers. Many of them approached us portraying themselves as sustainable brands when they were not. We also had a small market to start with. Not all customers who walked in wore sustainable clothes. We decided to brief them about sustainable fashion and spoke about the brands that were stocking with us. It was a slow but steady process. We also worked on our price points. We wanted to create affordable eco-fashion. Our price point starts from `2,500 onwards," share the duo about the challenges of opening a sustainable store in a market dominated by occasion and festive wear.

At Samyakth Bliss, 5th Road, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West.
Call 6511 0333

Showing his metal


The number of plastic straws that end up in landfills — after being used in restaurants, homes, etc — adds a lethal level of burden on the environment. But an increasing number of establishments are now switching to safer alternatives. This has led to people in the metals business improvising and making straws out of their stainless steel products, consequently doing their bit for the environment.

Harshad Kothari

One such person is Harshad Kothari, the proprietor of Rajendra Metal Centre in xx. Around eight months ago, a popular pub in Kamala Mills approached him with an order. Kothari seized the opportunity and perfected the process of modifying pipes into metal straws. "Each straw costs about `40," he tells us, adding that he now plans to expand this side of his business, which spells good news for all those who wish to do away with plastic straws.

Call 9821274018

A leafy venture

Leafy Venture

When the news of an impending plastic ban in the city started making headlines earlier this year, 17-year-old Shubh Nahar saw an entrepreneurial opportunity in it that could go a long way in reducing Mumbai's carbon footprint. "When I shared my research on manufacturing plates and cutlery out of areca leaves and bagasse with my uncle, who is a businessman, he showed faith in me and helped me set up Hind Eco," says the student of commerce about his recent venture. Nahar adds that he was keen on keeping the design of the products chic while ensuring they were microwave-safe and suitable for refrigeration. While all products are biodegradable, Nahar tells us that if not used to serve liquids, they can be wiped with a dry cloth and reused.

Leaf Plates

Call 9867054997

Green fingers

Bird Gallery

Take the gift of seeds of trees from the CSMVS garden to plant in your vicinity. You can also learn pottery and participate in a taxidermy demo.

Time 11 am to 3 pm
At Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Fort.

Recycling reward

Plastic Reward

Deposit empty plastic bottles of 500-ml capacity or more for recycling at this bar and avail of discounts. If you take 15 bottles or more, you get a free mug of beer.

Till June 12, 11 am to 12 midnight
At All Beer Cafe outlets.
Call 7045122236 (Mahim)

Clean up

Juhu Beach

This is what Juhu Beach looked like earlier this week when a high tide brought with it tonnes of plastic waste. Apart from not generating more waste, a good place to start would be by participating in a clean-up being organised today.

Time 7.30 am to 11 am

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