Social commitment is every individuals duty. But are we really working on it? We barely have time to think about the global climate issues, melting glaciers, temperature changes, decreasing marine life and other uncertainties causing climate changes. Yes, these big issues have occurred due to our regular activities. The products we use, the vehicles we roam in, the machines we purchase and more. But are we as individuals only responsible for it? Well no, some are not even aware about the situations, some ignore after knowing the facts and some like ‘Climate Workers‘ are working on encouraging people about the changing crises we are facing and what can be its impact in future. Also, apprehending people ways they can implement to make our environment more sustainable through reducing use of plastics, using public transport or carpooling. Initially I wanted to work with my team to develop a product from a sustainable and eco-friendly material as a startup idea. We started doing research work on same and simultaneously finding problems in our surroundings to develop a product.
Before thinking about a sustainable material one should know what sustainability is: Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which in turn depends on the maintenance of the natural world and natural resources (Bromley, Daniel, W. 2008). Did you ever think about the materials you are using or which are present in your surroundings are sustainable or not? Some materials are even harmful to our health. There are many dangerous substances present in our everyday things of use. Some chemicals, including organophosphates, flame retardants and phthalates, can be found in food, plastics, furniture, food wrap, cookware, cans, carpets, shower curtains, electronics and even shampoo. The disposable plastic products we use everyday are anything but disposable in environmental terms, and can take over 400 years to biodegrade. They are pretty much everywhere around us. It is a very concerning issue and one must be very careful before choosing any product we use. Scientist and environmentalists are continuously doing survey on this situation and this information was also highlighted in CNN report.
I did some research on what materials are invented to eliminate these issues and what new innovations are done:
- Replacement of plastic food wraps – Milk protein is used to make edible food wraps. A new biodegradable film made of milk protein has the potential to keep food fresher and replace plastic wraps, according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These will be good for our health and we can use them everyday in our lunch boxes, also commercially in fast food chains and more.
- Biodegradable water bottles – A new water bottle is innovated which is degradable in just three weeks. Choose bottles are made of natural and biodegradable materials and are 100% plastic free.
- Edible cutlery : Bakey’s edible cutlery is new alternative to plastic disposable cutlery. You can easily eat it and it is eco-friendly too.
Above were some innovations which showed that people are taking steps to save our planet and help future generations. There are also many alternatives to plastics and other harmful materials in market. Like jute carry bags, solid wood furniture and equipment working on solar energy.
For our startup we looked for materials like smile plastics (recycled plastic sheets), marmoleum sheets and few other materials which are sustainable and can help us in our final product. We haven’t finalized the material yet but we are working on it to make it majorly sustainable.