Where it all began!
Back in 2017 when I was working in a Marketing Agency I crossed the Banashankari signal every day to get to the metro station from where I took the metro to reach work. While I commuted in the same route every day, suddenly one day I found it hard to breathe at the signal because of smoke. Smoke from burning garbage. From that day onwards, I noticed that every day a dedicated person ensured every piece of garbage catches fire and burns, polluting the air, soil and causing harm to us and other animals around us.
Was The Government Wholly Responsible?
Like every other person, I complained and assumed the government was responsible for doing something about it. That we were helpless citizens who could do nothing. I quickly learned that we were wrong and started reading about the issue more and more on the internet. I learned that it was a global issue.
Eventually, I came across the zero-waste lifestyle. Deciding that I had to do something about it, I started with changes in my own life.
“Inspired by Lauren Singer, I got ambitious and decided overnight that I was going to fit all my trash in a jar from the next day.”
But I needed to invest in certain things before I could become low waste. I invested in :
- A set of steel straws
- A Tote Bag
- Set of Produce Bags
- A Water Bottle
I gave up!
All of this came packaged in plastic. The jar that had to accommodate years of trash was overflowing in just a week. I was disappointed. But I continued to try. I failed, again and again. Until I decided to give up. It felt like it was not my cup of tea. I was frustrated because it was so difficult.
The next 1-2 weeks I lived like I usually did. Generating a lot of trash/waste. But after 2 weeks I thought about it. I realized I was being too hard on myself. That I had to be patient and consistent. So I decided that I would make small efforts consistently and improve whenever I can. So without a jar to measure, keeping everything aside that could disappoint/demotivate me. I got started again.
Here’s how I began again:
- I carried my own bag
- I carried my own water bottle
- Segregated waste more effectively at home (We had been segregating waste for a long time already)
- Started using a menstrual cup
- Used my own steel straw whenever I needed to
- Attended events related to crafts, environment, and waste
- Made zero-waste aspiring friends on social media. Also met them personally at events
- Became part of the zero-waste groups online and offline. Met the group once a month to learn and improve
- Started composting at home
- Tried making Bio-Enzymes
- Made my own body butter and deodorant
- Switched to Shampoo Bars (Although they didn’t work for me, so switched back later)
- Started using Bamboo Toothbrushes
- Opted for handmade soaps for the entire body (Said goodbye to facewashes)
- Stopped applying BB Cream and let my skin be
- Started talking about my efforts, journey, and experience at events
- Kept improving at every opportunity. I still do…
The people in the process:
Naveen Gowda (My partner & Co-Founder of Biomimic Theory) has walked hand-in-hand through this entire journey. It would have been a lot harder without his support.
I had seen Mr. Vellore Srinivasan on the TV show Satyameva Jayate. He spoke about his award-winning SLRM Project (Solid Liquid Resource Management). I wanted to meet him. I wanted to take up waste management as a career. Naveen and I both tried pretty hard to reach out to him. Finally, Naveen managed to find his contact. I called him, I told him why I’m looking for him and requested to meet him. We were even ready to travel to Vellore to meet him.
Mr. Srinivasan then said he was coming to Bangalore in a week’s time to conduct a workshop that we could also be a part of. We were delighted. We applied for leave at work and attended the 2-day intensive workshop on SLRM.
It was life-changing. It taught us so much about our ecosystem that no science books ever taught us in school. We also learned a lot about Garbage Mafia and Politics in our country. That workshop changed our mind. We knew it was too hard to manage waste with all the corruption around it. But what we could do is to address the problem at the source.
“What could any mafia/politician/contractor do if we generated little to no waste?”
Through this journey, I found a lot of gaps. Products/Services that could make sustainable living easier. So I decided to address those gaps. Hence, I started working on products that I felt were unavailable but could be useful. Our product FAB ARRAY was one of them. That was the very first product I worked on. After almost 6 models of the product, we finally found our perfect model. With Fab Array – Biomimic Theory was born.