In supermarkets across the world, vegetables and other organic produce is most often wrapped in plastic film.

Vegetables wrapped in plastic film

This is such a common occurrence that most of us rarely stop to think about it. Even those of us who are vaguely aware of some sort of negative impact of plastics on the environment, flora, and fauna seem to accept the status quo of plastic-wrapped vegetables. It is one of those things, we agree, that should be solved, preferably by someone else, even more preferably in a way that reduces costs for us, the consumers. I remember the short-lived thrill of excitement…

In this post I write about:

  1. How I converted soapnut berries to a liquid concentrate to wash clothes, dishes, and hands.
  2. Testing and Results (ketchup test, dirt test...common tests we see in detergent advertisements).
  3. Takeaway: A possibility of 100% natural, biodegradable and zero waste detergent that can compete with conventional detergents on performance and economics.

When I walk in the neighborhood, I know which house is getting its laundry done, thanks to the strong scent of their laundry detergents. To help people like me who are averse to strong scent, there are no fragrance detergents too. But the problem with…

Roads constructed from plastic waste, 3D printed mud houses, European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, and a three story billboard with living bees, are some examples of innovation and circular economy. In this post, we look at these examples in construction, law and policy, and advertising.

(Previous posts: Introduction to Circular Economy — With Examples, Examples of circular economy in fashion, business model, and social movement).

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post. I just like them as examples; they make for an easier understanding of the applications of circular economy.

1. Construction: 3D printed mud houses, Roads constructed from plastic waste

(Background: The…

Clothes that grow with your kid, a social movement that emphasizes ‘not buying’, and buying light without purchasing lighting equipment are some examples of innovation and circular economy. In the previous post, Introduction to Circular Economy — With Examples, we saw Fairphone, a product and company that exemplifies circular economy from a product design and supply chain perspective. In this post, we look at examples of circular economy in fashion, business models, and social movement.

(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post. …

One of the most common things we hear / read these days is: The earth has limited natural resources. If we keep using them recklessly then we will run out of those resources. Today, about 13% of the world’s population lacks access to fresh water and 9% faces severe food insecurity. Resource scarcity will continue being exacerbated with increasing population, changing climate, soil degradation and threats from diseases. As for the primary energy sources, we are most likely to run out of oil in 50 years, natural gas in 52 and coal in 100 years. In order to conserve resources…

“Nothing except a few new clothes and a couple of baby bottles”, was my mother’s plain and simple answer to my question,”What did you buy for me when I was a baby?”

Considering that modern baby registries include hundreds of items, her answer left me flabbergasted and curious to know more. Similar answers would have been given by most parents of that generation in India.

Deciding what to buy for their babies and further choosing brands that could be good for their little one can be stressful for new parents. Hence, in this post, I compare the typical essentials included…

Growing up, my mother would tell me to be careful while eating, so that I do not inadvertently drop food over the edge of the plate and waste it. If even a few grains of cooked rice spilled from my plate, she would talk about the number of sparrows that could satisfy their hunger with those grains. She would also tell us a story from Indian Mythology of seven siblings who shared a sesame seed as a meal, whilst very hungry. Her stories inculcated a sensitivity towards food as a precious resource, to be conserved and shared.

Another precious resource…

As a kid growing up in the early 90s in Nashik, a city in western India, nature was bountiful. Fireflies, Vultures, and Great Indian Bustards along with a diverse flora and fauna were part of the city and my life. I do not remember when these three species vanished from the city; in fact, I didn’t even realize for many years that they were gone.

Great Indian Bustard. Image: wikimedia

In 2012, I was travelling in Assam and saw some fireflies around the house I was living in. It was then — after almost two decades — that it dawned on me that the fireflies…

Supermarkets could improve their sustainability by making three simple changes in the packaging of fruits and vegetables they sell.

  1. Eliminate nylon nets (mesh packaging)
Lemons and avocados sold in mesh packaging right next to the loose fruits

Seldom do I think that things exist without a reason. But when I see avocados or citrus fruits in these mesh bags, sometimes right alongside loose fruits in the bin, I wonder if these mesh bags have any worthwhile purpose? Apart from creating non-recyclable and non-degradable waste, they produce hazardous substances during manufacturing, use, and disposal. Wouldn’t it be super easy to eliminate these and get the sustainability score ticking?

2. Replace twist ties with jute…

Clothing tags and care labels? Why even think about them? What difference would something as small as clothing tags and labels make in the world of circular economy when there are big impact solutions like renewable energy, sustainable farming, biodegradable plastics etc.?

Hang tags and labels on a toddler’s clothing

A ribbon made from the care labels can go around the earth 25 times:

Clothing tags and labels may look small. However, if we collect all the labels (or care labels as they are popularly called) from the garments sold in one year in the USA and stitch them to make a ribbon, we can wrap that ribbon…

Kalyani Khodke

Designing delightful products and systems that are profitable, circular, and sustainable.

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