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Go organic, live healthy, live green

By Shilpa Raina, IANS,

New Delhi : ‘Organic’ is in at a time when there is universal advocacy of eco-friendly products, and the Indian market too is responding with a range of things that promise a greener, healthier life.

Starting from organic seeds to organic spices, eco-friendly bags and purses to plants and natural perfumes, the market offers a wide spectrum of options for anyone who is looking for an alternative lifestyle.

Organic food is grown without the use of non-organic fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. So the end-product is free of non-organic chemicals and does no harm to the body.

“We want to preserve the diversity of India by preserving seeds and are against processed and industrial food because it not only affects the employment of the farmers but also does havoc to the body because of many chemicals used during processing,” Maya Goburdhun, director of Navdanya, an NGO that works with local communities to save indigenous seeds, told IANS.

Organic food is often more expensive than processed food readily available in the market, but Goburdhun said: “When you look at the harm these chemicals do to your body, you will realise that it is better to spend money on these products than visit your doctor.”

With the Delhi government joining some other states to ban plastic bags, jute bags have a chance to become an integral part of one’s fashion statement.

“Our vision is to make jute bags an integral part of one’s wardrobe and living,” Sandeep Jain, business development executive of the Kolkata-based The Jute Shop, told IANS.

“It is the presentation which matters and also how innovative and experimental one is while manufacturing an item and keeping his customers in mind. People are very fashion conscious and if a manufacturer designs colourful bags with different prints, people will definitely buy it,” Jain explained.

Apart from bags, The Jute Shop also manufactures table mats, coasters, cushion covers, curtains, door-mats, belts and slippers made of jute.

Another way of going green in our daily lives is to promote household plants.

Pallavi Jain of online portal www.greensomethings.com offers indoor plants arranged in chic, contemporary pots as gift options.

“Plants make charming home decor pieces, and add a touch of serenity to the interiors. Unlike flowers, they last long, thus making very thoughtful gifts,” she said.

“I personally love plants and through this portal we are promoting green lifestyle. People are aware that they should contribute to the environment but they do not know how. We are providing them means to do so.”

For those who love fragrances, opting for Ittar is a natural choice, though the product is expensive.

“Natural perfumes are very popular but not everyone can afford it because a five-millilitre Motia (jasmine) extract is priced at Rs.600,” said an official of Gulabsingh Johrimal, manufacturers and exporters of natural perfumes, essential oils, rose water and incense sticks since 1816.

“People add chemicals to make a product cheap and if you want the best then price should not be a factor,” he added.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at [email protected])