Every year, around 8 million tonne of waste flowers are dumped into River Ganges. With an aim to turn floral waste into alternative organic resource, Karan Rastogi founded HelpUsGreen.
Established in 2015, HelpUsGreen aims to make religion sustainable, providing new world ecological solutions to ancient beliefs and tradition. As a self-sustaining social enterprise, HelpUsGreen works at recycling over 2.5 tonne of religious waste everyday into organic fertilisers, incense and colours. With over 53,000 metric tonne of temple waste recycled under their belt, the enterprise has successfully created sustainable living and income for the communities they operate in.
"The problem goes beyond mere pollution. The Ganges is also the primary source of water for over 400 million Indians who live along the banks. Pesticides and chemical residues from these offerings are lethal and pose a health hazard for this significant population. Another concern is that such pollution is responsible for over 80% of child mortality in the country. Not to mention the impact it has on the millions of devotees who throng to the Ganges to offer their prayers or take a dip in the holy waters," adds Rastogi.
The enterprise faced its fair share of challenges while conveying their idea of recycling religious waste. To get stakeholders on board took well over a year. While the journey definitely was uphill, HelpUsGreen is now focusing on creating holistic change, using waste as a resource to create organic lifestyle products, such as incense sticks, colours, vegan leather and other organic alternates to present lifestyle needs.
"I learnt empathy with HelpUsGreen. The simple act of giving back meaningfully to the community we live in, allows for a deep understanding of resources and challenges, instilling a sense of sensitivity towards the world we live in," concludes Rastogi.