Eco-friendly Tableware – One Step towards Sustainable living

India generates 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually.

Plastic debris affects at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species (TERI). 

Painful figures right? 

Alarming facts like these have been floating around for the last several decades but genuine concern from individuals and communities is being visibly noticed in the last few years. 

Away from the hustle and bustle of an urban-tired life is Netravali village in Sanguem Taluka, South Goa. Nestled in this wilderness is Tanshikar Spice Farms, a retreat that offers everything a weary traveller would look for – tranquillity, zero virtual connectivity, eco-cottages, healthy food and warm hospitality. 

Besides providing eco-tourism packages, Chinmay Tanshikar also operates a small manufacturing unit to make use of the heaps of arace palm leaves that fall each season. He makes eco-friendly tableware that can easily replace tonnes of single use plastic products which are dangerously affecting the environment. A fascinating piece of information that Chinmay has shared with us is that arace palm trees don’t need pesticides, which makes them perfectly safe to use. The leaves are thick and sturdy to make different types of containers. Besides being biodegradable, they are oven-proof, water resistant and if you are not too finicky, are absolutely reusable. And of course, I came back home loaded with a box of assorted arace leaf products I need for the next one year. Parties, puja lunches and other small occasions that demand disposable plates, bowls cutlery, now generate lesser garbage from my home than these occasions otherwise produced. 

Today, every eco-conscious urban Indian like me is constantly looking for ways to switch to some viable solutions in the place of a myriad environmentally unsafe products flooding the market. Ideas like Chinmay’s are not only safe, they also generate income from raw material that is easily available. 

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