When people walk-by the Ganga in Kanpur, the first thought is that the tannery industry devasted the river. While we don't deny that the industrial runoff is much to blame, there is one more not-so-apparent culprit. Floral Waste. Flowers, blooms, and leaves used for worship are thrown into the river (albeit respectfully) to the extent that every 24 hours add tons to it. Did you know that 16% of the total pollution in the Ganges is thanks to floral waste?
Thankfully, there is one socially active hidden gem in the city that has been working rigorously to undo the harm – HelpUsGreen.
It is the world's first company to come up with a profitable and lean solution to the monumental 'temple-waste' problem. Founded by Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi in Kanpur, the establishment repurposes the massive mountains of discarded flowers found in temples and mosques in the city.
Using their registered flowercycling technology, the floral waste is converted into:
By finding new homes to these cast-off flowers, HelpUsGreen ensures that the lead, cadmium and arsenic found in them doesn't dissolve in the Ganges. If left unchecked, floral waste rots in the water to create chemicals that not only increases the toxicity of the water but also kills fish.
In India, more than one million scavengers dive into dry latrines and sewers every day to collect human excrement. In Kanpur, that number is over 17000 households. The work is disheartening, crushing and extremely dangerous to health.
HelpUsGreen gives the manual scavenger women of Kanpur a better and safer alternative. Instead of diving into sewers, they scour through flowers and
connected debris. Presently, they have 73 fully-employed women who have recycled over 11,000 tons of flowers.
With one move, the home-based firm brings about a dual impact. They counter an enormous environmental concern and offer a healthier livelihood to scavengers in the city!
The UN Young Leaders Award, Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Goalkeepers Awards by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are just the tip of the iceberg. The socially, culturally and environmentally responsible business has under its belt a plethora of awards. We hope the organisation continues to make a visible impact and unceasingly think of eco-friendly alternatives like their Florafoam for years to come!