Offerings to Gods

We in India give generously to our gods if not to people who need it the most (pun intended). A country where people worship multiple gods and goddesses, offerings to these deities are made in various ways and one of them is in the form of flowers.

It is estimated that some 800 million tonnes of flowers, including roses and yellow marigolds, are offered across temples mosques and gurudwaras in the country with the second highest population in the world. Now imagine if people were to receive them instead. But that is not the point.

What happens to these heaps of flowers which are liberally showered day after day and month after month with devotion? Well, maybe one thinks they are dumped in landfills. But no, majority of them aren’t. Not in India where these flowers are considered sacred. So where do they go?

Most of them get thrown into local water bodies like rivers, ponds and lakes, that too without any segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable components. The logic being that most rivers are considered sacred too, specially the Ganges.

While industrial runoff is often singularly blamed for the spike in pollution level in majority of the rivers in India, floral waste rarely gets the blame. Believe it or not but floral waste reportedly accounts for almost 16 per cent of the total river pollutants. Toxic Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium from the harmful farm-runoff, pesticides and insecticides used to grow flowers mixes with the river water making it highly poisonous (PH 6-8.5). These major pollutants affect the lives of 400 Million people linked to contracting dysentery, cholera, hepatitis and severe diarrhoea, which are the leading causes of child mortality across India and Bangladesh. While rotting flowers affect the water quality, the pesticides that are used on them, leach into the waters harming marine life as well.

Human beings are creative beings, and fortunately there is a segment of people who have come up with various solutions to tackle this sacred issue which is ultimately harming the environment and life in more ways than we can think of.

Avacayam, The Art of Living Foundation and Help Us Green are some of the foundations that have been successful in giving these flowers a new life. Avacayam for instance, is not only recycling these flowers into organic Holi colours but is also enhancing the livelihood of disabled people by empowering them to make these beautiful colours. Similarly the other two have also come up with creative ways to upcycle these flowers into incense sticks and other products.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

Next time when you decide to offer flowers to deities, think twice. Will be even better if you could buy upcyled products made from flowers as well and be a part of bringing about a change.

Whose Grass is Greener

grass is greener book

Love thy neighbor versus envy thy neighbor, we would prefer to go with the former. It’s probably more peaceful that way, no matter how green the neighbor’s grass may seem. And the best way to convince yourself to love thy neighbor is to keep repeating, ‘The grass is greener this side of the fence’. Even better is to buy a notebook with this slogan on it.

We did what we do best, we made eco-friendly notebooks with this slogan. It’s made of handmade paper recycled from cotton rags. Available at The White Light.

Upcycled Gift bags. Anyone?

REd block print bag

Although the global awareness on environmental issues has increased tremendously, only a minute percentage of people have consciously changed their consumption patterns. Not that they don’t want to, but probably these products don’t add up to their coolness factor or their standards per se.

Nevertheless, we just don’t give up. We at The White Light, continue to find solutions to cater to the ‘likes’ of people, with bombastic designs, convince them to make the ultimate switch to conscious buying.

Our upcycled handcrafted gift bag is another one of our creations. Newspapers block printed and converted into super chic carry bags. Would you buy it or suggest it to anyone who cares enough?

Our Upcycled Pen Stands

pen stand upcycled

What do we do with used toilet paper rolls and all the discarded cloth that we keep collecting? Well, we get creative. We design, innovate and use every bit of material we have, doesn’t matter the combinations. Particularly when the goal is to reduce the waste dumped to the landfills, ideas do emerge.

A simple, yet very useful and durable product that we tried and tested and yes, also sold in large quantities are these awesome pen stands, made from discarded fabric and used toilet paper rolls. They turned out to be absolutely gorgeous, radiating brightness, making any dull space vibrant and happy and why not? They’re made with assorted fabric and colors! And life is all about the variety of spice you add to it, or shall we say colors? 🙂

To  know more click here.

Living things and E-things

electronic_waste_dumped_developing_worldElectronic-waste

Life without gadgets is unthinkable, so much so that mobile phones feel like a part of one’s body. One goes in frenzy if the gadget is misplaced, as if some body part was amputated. But this is just a myopic view of living things and their psychological disorders.

The insecurity and desperation to catch up with the technological race has resulted in accumulation of tons of e-waste, 40 million tons(UNEP) to be specific! Majority of illegal e-waste ends up in landfills, incinerators, and in ill-equipped recycling facilities in developing countries. “The waste is dumped in areas where local residents and workers disassemble the units and collect whatever is of value… What is not reusable is simply dumped as waste, creating immense problems and leading to what has been described as a ‘toxic time bomb’.”

If this didn’t scare you enough, “Failure to recycle e-waste is also leading to shortages of rare earth minerals to make future generations of electronic equipment,” Central Pollution Control Board of India.

Yes the desire or greed maybe, of living things for the e-things, is not only eating up precious natural resources but further creating havoc to the existing natural environment.

Be conscious in buying and more importantly in disposing off your E-things. Respect the circle of life.

The Upcycled Wrapping Paper Story continued…

Red wrapping paperOur vibrant upcycled gift wrapping papers come in varied colors and block prints. Who would’ve thought that discarded newspapers can be brought to life once again, and for no other reason than to wrap the gifts that are given from the heart.

Made with passion to enhance the dignity of life for the downtrodden, giving hope to those with no hope. Being that ray of life through The White Light.

The Story of our Upcycled Wrapping papers

White newspaperSonia

It’s our endeavor to come up with innovative ways to contribute to the environment and reduce the carbon footprint as much as we possibly can at our level. Not only that, our focus is also on employment generation for the urban poor women. Starting with a small group, we have been able to enhance the livelihood of 6 such women directly, who are the sole bread earners of their families and indirectly many more. Our goal is definitely much larger though, as the saying goes ‘every drop in the ocean counts’, we live by that rule and feel that every life that we are able to touch is important. With the kind of support our regular clients give us, no, not charity, but by buying the products that these women make we have been able to sustain our growth so far.

Being an environmentally conscious  organization, we also ensure that the products that we design are either upcycled, recycled or eco-friendly. The idea is to increase hand prints and reduce carbon footprints with a dual pronged approach.

Our brand new product, the Upcycled Gift Wrapping Paper, is one such product which all of us have simply fallen in love with. The girls enjoy making them and feel super excited with each paper that they so lovingly hand print. And we, with equal passion show them off to our customers and as expected, they love them too!

How did you find them, do let us know and we will happily pass on your message to these adorable girls :).

Humor in life.

Valentine3bThis beautiful creation of a box, a work of art, is dedicated to all those people who are simply tired of receiving random friend requests from unknown people. They will stalk you and be there, sending you requests again and again that at times you begin to feel that you might just know them from somewhere. The stand still remains, who the hell are you though.

View details of the box at  the Love and Sunshine Box

The love season

As Valentines Day approaches, love seems to be in the air (as if other problems didn’t exist ‘in the air’). We nevertheless took it in our stride and went Valentine1with the flow.

We filled a box full of love, hand-painted with passion. The box is made from recycled cardboard and is handmade to perfection. Talk about making things with love and increasing handprints rather than carbon foot prints. Love, love, love all the way. Love right back to Mother Earth :).

And before we forget, you can buy this super lovable box here –  ‘Simply Love’.

Why The White Light uses recycled handmade paper.

trees

The White Light contributes to the environment in its unique way. Apart from being known to upcycle different discarded materials and giving them new life, we particularly also use recycled handmade paper for our range of products. Here are the reasons why:

Because one ton of Recycled Handmade Paper saves 3 tons of wood and 100 cubic meters of water. The water and wood saved for one ton of paper converts into:

• 6 trees for life giving oxygen, soil and water
• 3 years of cooking fuel for one village family
• 25 years’ drinking water for one person
• 1 square foot of land for a waste dump site

Aren’t these reasons good enough? If you want to contribute with us, you can buy our products online at http://www.thewhitelight.in.

Our vision is to bring a global shift in conscious buying.