Month: December 2023

Five environmental entrepreneurs making money sustainably

An underlying theme of sustainable businesses is innovation – through either a product, service or a combination of both. Here are five environmental entrepreneurs saving the environment and promoting sustainability through their startups.

Photo Courtesy : 30 Stades

Many entrepreneurs today are setting up sustainable businesses that solve environmental problems and still make money because that’s the only way to keep any enterprise going.

An underlying theme of sustainable businesses is innovation – through either a product or a service or a combination of both. Environmental entrepreneurs solve the pressing problem of saving the environment and aiding ecological balance.

Here are five entrepreneurs who are contributing immensely to the cause of the environment through their unique products:

1. Nitin Sharma, Go Waterless, Pune

Water scarcity left Nitin’s family car wash business high and dry in 2016. After the problem continued well into 2017, Nitin began to research products that could wash cars without water.

Finally, in 2019, he developed eco-friendly high-lubricity sprays that clean car interiors and exteriors without water. Go Waterless has been profitable since its inception in 2019 and is present in 22 states.

More importantly, it is saving 12 lakh liters of water daily and earning Rs 2.5 crore in annual revenues.

2. Ashvin Patil and Chaitanya Korgaonkar, Biofuels Junction, Mumbai

Ashvin is an MBA and engineer who quit his job as an equity market analyst to set up Biofuels with his friend Chaitanya.

The duo started Biofuels in 2018 with the dual aim of solving farmers’ problem of agri waste disposal and providing clean fuel to enterprises. Most farmers, after harvest, burn residues like rice stubble, cotton stalks, and coconut husks, causing pollution.

Biofuels procures agri waste from farmers and it is then processed into solid biofuels at the nearest manufacturing facility in the startup’s network. The company’s field staff monitors the quality and consistency of biofuels, which replace coal, diesel and furnace oil at industrial plants, reducing the burden on non-renewable resources.

The sustainable startup works with 25,000 farmers and over 100 top companies. In just four years of launch, it is clocking Rs67 crore in annual revenues.

3. Amit Doshi, NeeRain, Ahmedabad

When Amit Doshi was in class four, he and his brother would accompany their mother to fill water from a tap near their house in Kalol, about 35km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The area’s borewells had dried up and the municipality supplied water every three days.

Growing up with water scarcity instilled in Amit a sense of purpose – to save every drop of water. One way to do it was through rainwater harvesting by collecting and storing rainwater that runs off from rooftops, roads, grounds, etc.

After a year of research and development, he designed an instrument to help people collect rainwater, which could be used to recharge borewells or stored, and named it NeeRain Rainwater Filter. This small filter unit with dimensions of 1x1x1.5 feet uses an engineering material called ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), and it was patented in 2018. Amit’s startup earns Rs 2 crore in revenues annually and is growing rapidly.

4. Vinayakumar Balakrishnan: Thooshan, Kochi

Having spent a large part of his life working in leadership roles in the banking and insurance sector, Vinayakumar decided to return from Dubai to India in 2013 and began research on food waste that could be used to make biodegradable plates.

He approached the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) in Thiruvananthapuram and funded the research on making biodegradable food plates from rice bran. Once the technology was in place, he set up a fully integrated robotic plant in Kochi to make biodegradable cutlery and Thooshan went live in 2021.

According to estimates, producing just one pound of plastic cutlery can take up to 78 liters of water and release 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) of carbon dioxide. This plastic is difficult to recycle and ends up choking animals and polluting water bodies and soil.

Thooshan cutlery can be decomposed into organic manure or can be used as cattle feed, fish feed, or poultry feed. The startup is sustainable and environment-friendly.

5. Bhavini Parikh, Bunko Junko, Mumbai

In 2016, while working on her garment manufacturing business, Bhavini came across research that textile waste is the third largest source of municipal solid waste in India. With landfills having a limited capacity to take on the load, she decided to minimize fabric waste at her level.

“I realized I was also hurting the environment by being part of the fashion industry. So I thought of up-cycling fabric scraps produced in my garment manufacturing unit,” she says.

Today, her ethical fashion brand Bunko Junko turns textile scrap into stylish clothing, home furnishings, and accessories. Since 2018, it has saved 38 tonnes of fabric from going to landfills and empowered thousands of women. And her profitable operations clock Rs. 40 lakh in revenues annually.

Neerain is proud to republish this blog to spread awareness about the situation of water, for our stakeholders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

This blog is published by: 30 Stades

We would like to spread this for the benefit of fellow Indians.

Author: Partho Burman and Bilal Khan

Published On: 29 Dec 2023


India’s clock is ticking: Water Crisis

Photo courtesy:Deposit

With 139 crore population, water scarcity in India is on the rise. More than 50% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water and about 2,00,000 people die every year due to either water scarcity or because of diseases caused due to drinking unhygienic water. India is currently facing the biggest water crisis. As of June 2019, 65% of the country’s reservoirs were running dry.

In India, more than 600 million people are facing acute water scarcity. About three-quarter of households do not have a drinking water facility. Currently, India ranks 120th among 122 countries in the water quality index. By 2030, India’s water demand is expected to be double that of supply that implies not only water scarcity in India for numerous people but also a loss of around 6 per cent to GDP. This underscores the need for strategic interventions to promote water use efficiency, both at the micro and macro level.

You may not know it, or feel it yet, but every aspect of our society and economy is impacted by this worsening situation. In fact, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) described it as “the worst water crisis” in India’s history.

Photo courtesy:Istock

Many rural communities who are situated on the outskirts of urban sprawl also have little choice but to drill wells to access groundwater sources due to water scarcity in India. However, any water system adds to the overall depletion of water. There is no easy answer for water scarcity in India which must tap into water sources for food and human sustenance, but India’s overall water availability is running dry.

India needs solutions now. Children in 100 million homes in the country lack water and one out of every two children are malnourished. Environmental justice needs to be restored to India so that families can raise their children with dignity, and providing water to communities is one such way to best ensure that chance.

Neerain is proud to republish this article for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stakeholders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

This article is published by:

GO Waterless

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Published On:  17/03/2021

10 things you need to know about the water crisis in India

India is experiencing its worst ever water crisis. How did we get here?

News stories on India’s water crisis start peaking just as summer sets in. Images of wells and taps running dry, conflicts on drinking water, tankers being mobbed, parched earth, and failed crops dominate our news cycle. What’s missing in mainstream reporting is a comprehensive and informed understanding of what makes India’s water footprint both unique and challenging.

What underlies India’s insatiable thirst for water?

  1. India has a serious water problem

The 2030 Water Resources Group estimates that if we continue to consume water as per the current rate, India will have only half the water it needs by 2030—a flashpoint that’s only ten years away.

  1. Nearly 80 percent of India’s freshwater is used in agriculture

This is an unusually large water footprint for agriculture. China and South Africa use approximately 64 percent and 62 percent of their renewable freshwater resources for agriculture.

Photo courtesy: Flickr

Groundwater accounts for 90 percent of the drinking water requirements in rural India and nearly 50 percent in urban areas.

  1. Over half of India’s cultivated land is under water-intensive crops

Fifty-four percent of India’s 141.4 million hectares of cultivable land is under water-intensive crops—rice, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton. Farmers are incentivised to grow water-intensive crops as they are eligible for the government’s minimum support price (MSP), which protects them from the risk of fluctuating prices.

  1. India uses at least twice the amount of water to grow one unit of food versus comparable countries

For instance, for every 1000 litres of water, China produces 0.46 kilograms of rice and 1.08 kilograms of cereal. For that amount of water, India produces only 0.23 kilograms of rice and 0.36 kilograms of cereal.

  1. India’s farmers rely mainly on tube wells to extract groundwater for their crops

Despite India’s large dams and canal systems, groundwater accounts for 63 percent of water used for irrigation by farmers; canals account for only 26 percent.

  1. Conservative estimates suggest that India has over 30 million borewells today

Until 1960, Indian farmers accessed a few tens of thousands of mechanical pumps using diesel or electricity to pump water. As of 2009, for every four cultivator households, one owned a tube well and two purchased groundwater from tube well owners. A combination of incentives (such as MSP for water-intensive crops) and subsidies (such as free electricity) have encouraged large-scale extraction of groundwater.

  1. India draws nearly 25 percent of the world’s groundwater

That’s more groundwater than China and the United States combined. India withdraws two times the amount of groundwater compared to China, despite having a similar population size.

Photo courtesy: Indiamart

  1. Sixty percent of India’s districts have been declared critical on groundwater

This means that they either have scarce supply or poor quality of groundwater, or both. This has put 70 percent of rural households who depend on agriculture for their livelihood at risk.

  1. India’s depleting groundwater reserves also impact our drinking water

Groundwater accounts for 90 percent of the drinking water requirements in rural India and nearly 50 percent in urban areas. Excessive extraction has caused contamination. As a result, India is ranked 120 out of 122 countries in the global water quality index.

  1. The country’s water crisis has a significant economic cost

A NITI Aayog report suggests that severe water scarcity will eventually lead to a 6 percent loss in the country’s GDP.

For too long, we’ve taken a supply lens to address issues related to water, within a development paradigm that has focused on building infrastructure, such as dams, canals, minor irrigation structures, and now water pipes. India’s water story starts and ends in her farms. What India needs now is a movement to help her farmers use water judiciously for every unit of food that they grow. This holds the key to a water-secure future for the country and an end to stories of distress that mark each summer.

Neerain is proud to republish this article for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stakeholders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

Publish On:  IDR
Author: Arpit Jain & Reshma Anand
Published On: March 21, 2020


World marks Water Day, how big is the problem of access to clean water?

courtesy: Shutterrstock

WATER is the source of all life. Whether humans, plants, animals, or insects, no living organism can survive without this precious liquid, but the water crisis in the world is real.

Water is arguably the most contaminated natural resource, hence the source of most illnesses. As World Water Day is marked worldwide, the statistics on water-borne diseases are stark. According to the United Nations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, people suffering from infections linked to contaminated water occupied almost half of the world’s hospital beds. In fact,more people die from polluted water every year than from all forms of violence, including war.

The importance of access to clean drinking water couldn’t be overemphasized. It has been well established that people with physically accessible, safe water for personal domestic use, food production, and sanitation can improve lives and reduce poverty. In 2010, the United Nations recognized access to water and sanitation as a human right of every individual. Some studies say that water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population and this is projected to rise in the coming years.

Photo courtesy: Baidu

This year, World Water Day is being celebrated by the United Nations under the theme “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible” to spotlight what accounts for almost 99% of all liquid fresh water on Earth. Worldwide, groundwater is being used almost by half of the population for drinking, domestic use, and food production.

But because of overexploitation, mismanagement of wastewater discharge and pollution, groundwater is also getting contaminated. Chemicals like arsenic, fluoride, and lead in groundwater bring their own set of health problems.

Water and food security

Currently, almost90% of clean water is being used for growing food, and any reduction or lack of access would directly impact food production around the world. With the world population set to reach nine billion by the year 2050, the demand for water for domestic use and food production would only increase and the world seems unprepared for the looming water crisis.

While some countries use treated wastewater for irrigation, not many have the expertise. Hence, experts have warned that wastewater for food production could pose risks to food and health if not done with all the safeguards.

Water and poverty

Adequate water supply is essential for growing food, but it also helps sectors closely associated with agriculture, like the food industry and market. The growth of the ecosystem around agriculture means people in rural areas will find gainful employment and have greater chances of climbing out of poverty faster. Water crisis can prolong the stress in the agriculture sector.

When the health of loved ones deteriorates due to water-borne illnesses, low-income families have to spend money on medical care, stretching their meagre finances. If the health issue gets serious, many families simply cannot afford the treatment.

Water scarcity affects education, too. For instance, schools in rural areas in many developing countries without essential water and sanitation facilities make retaining teachers and girl students especially difficult.

Research says that over 1.7 billion people living in river basins worldwide use more water than the yearly recharging. If this continues, they may be forced to migrate to other areas when there is water scarcity affecting their livelihood.

The World Water Facts

Worldwide 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.

# Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases.

# Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households without access to readily available water.

# Currently, water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population and is projected to rise.

# More than 80% of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal.

# Floods and other water-related disasters account for 70% of all deaths related to natural calamities.

# At present, over two billion people live in “water-stressed” countries. The numbers are expected to grow because of population growth, environmental degradation and climate change.

# In 2019, in the least developed countries, only 50% of health care facilities had basic water services, 37% had basic sanitation services and 30% had basic waste management services.

(Source: United Nations)

Water and gender inequality

Several studies worldwide say the lack of a sufficient supply of clean water for everyday use has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls. Gender inequality has a major problem, especially in rural areas, as in several developing countries women spend a good part of their day carrying water on their heads from sources that could be miles from their homes. Women also suffer the most because of a lack of clean water and sanitation as they have hygiene needs during menstruation, pregnancy and bringing up children.

Photo courtesy: Pinterest

Studies by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) say that women’s secure access to water and land is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the goals of reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger and promoting gender equality and empowering women.

The water crisis facing many countries in the world needs a response that matches the scarcity and it has to be on an urgent basis, with the goal being that every individual should have access to w

Neerain is proud to republish this article for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stakeholders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

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Author :  V kumara Swamy

Publish On ; March 22. 2022