By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | February 24, 2017

The first edition of the three-day India Environment Week (IEF), which begins today (February 24, 2017) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India), will focus on the theme of “Being Waste Positive (W+ve)”. The idea behind this novel festival is to change the perception of the masses who think of waste as something that has to be discarded!

The IEF is being organized by World Around You (WAY) who have been tirelessly promoting the cause to protect the environment by their many events over the years to educate the masses on being ‘waste positive’ by using methods of recycling and upcycling.

“In nature, nothing is waste; nature has its own means of recycling/upcycling its products. Based on the same principle, we wish to instill the concept of “Being W+ve” and set a paradigm of adopting positive practices of waste management at individual levels. Waste is a wealth of resource, not a problem!” says Prakashlal Mehta, co-founder of WAY.

IEF 2017 will witness more than 20 interesting activities for participants to experience waste through the lens of science, art, craft, music, design, fun and learning. This festival, which will see the participation of over 60 eco-preneurs (entrepreneurs who use waste to create something new) will also bring the first of its kind exclusive green market called ‘Hara Pitara’ to Ahmedabad.

WAY, a brainchild of two nature loving, environmentally conscious friends, Wricha Johari and Prakashal Mehta, was conceived with a vision to bring about a behavioral change amongst people through the medium of developmental communication. Since 2009, WAY has been passionately connecting communities with environment through its several innovative initiatives like ‘WAY-Everything Connects’, ‘World Environment Day Festival’, ‘PenPals’, ‘Scookers’, ‘Free The Trees’ and ‘Shopping for the Planet’.

“WAY started observing World Environment Day from the year 2011, with a motley crew of fellow residents. Our commitment to the cause of the environment has grown ever since. The IEF represents every stakeholder who can make a difference. ‘Hara Pitara’ is perhaps a first such initiative ever conceived,” says Wricha Johari, co-founder, WAY.

Hara Pitara
Hara Pitara is one of the first green markets to take place and will be a tangible platform not only to encourage eco-preneurs to exhibit their green products/services in an eco-friendly setup, but also to empower people to make greener choices in their homes and communities. It is a one-stop solution to go organic, sustainable and eco-friendly at the same time!

The range of products will fall in the following categories:

  • Organic Food and Clothing
  • Recycled/Up-cycled Products
  • Green Services
  • Clean Technology
  • Renewable Energy Services
  • Green Building
  • Eco-tourism
  • Handicrafts
  • Health Products
  • Services for Animals
  • Sustainable Design


These are some of the sessions that will be conducted over three days beginning today:

Waste Positive Sessions
Experts will speak on the need to conserve and recycle water.

Eco-preneurs Meet
A global community of Eco-preneurs from across India will meet to build networks, foster multi-stakeholder dialogue, enterprise capacity building, share innovative solutions, and explore new markets and challenges.

Dog Adoption Show
Dogs are human’s best friends for life, then why buy them when we can always adopt them? With the increasing issue of pet dogs being abandoned and left homeless, this festival will try to make people conscious of dog adoptions.

Pebble-o-Picasso by Shraddha Jain is a creative art practice and an upcycling workshop where children will learn to turn some of the frequently occurring objects as well as trash in our environment into imaginative and striking objects.

Grow it Yourself
Gift Green India by Mansi Shah preserves Environment in a novel way. They provide gifting options which are completely eco-friendly and also spread the message of conserving the Environment. What better way than receive a gift from someone special in a form which is not only beneficial but also eco-friendly!

Food Farmacy
Food Farmacy is the brainchild of Arina Suchde and Megha Gambhir who set out on a journey to look for ‘Clean’ food that is not only healthy but also delicious. They wanted to break the myth that healthy food is boring or that it is ‘diet food’. They source food products across various categories like cheese, honey, tea, coffee, snacks, pastas, dips, etc. that are made by small producers in different parts of India and are completely free from chemicals, artificial preservatives and synthetic food colours.

Artful Masti
Lalon is a renowned artist famous for the kids TV show ‘The Art Room’ on ZeeQ Channel. He will engage kids by teaching them how to make paintings, paper crafts, toys from upcycled materials and much more.

Button Masala
Anuj Sharma, an award-winning fashion designer (NID), works mainly in area of sustainability. He has come up with a unique method of constructing clothes without any machine, tools or stitches which he calls ‘Button Masala’. This technique is one of the easiest ways to make garments using only buttons and rubber bands!

We are living in times when our environment is being damaged not only by the uneducated, but even by those who have degrees in education. Sadly, everything green is coming under the hammer and ‘waste’ is something that we can garner energy from.

If ‘green’ is your dream and ‘recycling’ what you want to teach your kids, do visit the IEF. The organizers encourage visitors to shop with waste by bringing in the household scraps and disposables at the venue and earn premium value currency on it.

This in turn will allow them to shop for green products!

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Also Read: My classroom, your space!

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