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Bare Thoughts [Zero Waste Living]

Bare Thoughts

What is Plastic Free July?

What is Plastic Free July?
This Plastic Free July, we take you through the increasing relevance of conscious consumerism and some super easy tricks to reduce your waste! Continue reading

World Environment Day | From Awareness to Action

World Environment Day | From Awareness to Action

Every year on June 5th, the world collectively celebrates World Environment Day! This is a chance to shed light about the environmental challenges we face from climate change to water scarcity to pollution. It’s a call to action, encouraging individuals and organisations, alike to make changes, big or small, to protect our planet. Whether it’s planting a tree, reducing single use plastic or supporting sustainable businesses, every action counts! 

As a business rooted towards climate action, sustainability chatter is an everyday occurrence.  Be it team meetings dedicated to discussing eco-friendly practices or causal tea meetings, sustainability never exits this room. Against this backdrop, everyday feels like Earth Day. 

With June 5th right around the corner, we are gearing ourselves towards World Environment Day. A powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to protect our planet. This year the theme is even more important to us, as we focus on Land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. 

As an organisation based out of Bangalore, we experienced hardly any rainfall last year, thereby increasing the water concern during summer time this year. According to IISc, the city experienced the worst drought in the last 30-40 years. Many residential areas introduced water cuts, bans on swimming pool usage, mandatorily introducing water aerators among many other measures. 

The year before last, i.e., 2022, the city saw heavy rainfall, leading to flooding across multiple parts of the city, leaving many homes submerged in water. According to the well renowned environmentalist, Leo Saldanha Bangalore received sufficient rainfall, and in the year 2022 alone, the city recorded over 120 mm of rainfall. However, the free fresh water that the city received goes into the drain, gets contaminated, mixes with lakes and eventually spoils the groundwater as well. Ultimately resulting in a cycle of contamination.

Each year, the number of climate issues are steadily on the rise, nudging us to move in a direction of contemplating change and implementing it as well. 

Discussions that drive change: 

Over the course of the last two months, Bare Necessities hosted very many sustainability themed workshops. A recurring topic that most of our partners requested us to address was the water crisis and tips to conserve it. While the issue of water is deeply concerning, the fact that more and more organisations are waking up to the reality of the crisis that face us is reassuring. 

Upon discussing this with workshop attendees, we saw the collective sense of concern and individual responsibility amongst each of them. The conversation involved sharing concerns, unique experiences, tips to conserve water that was super beneficial to everyone in the space. 

Individuals propelling change: 

In moments such as these, our commitment to continue to raise awareness and spread the word about issues that plague the planet strengthens only further. By building capacity in sharing knowledge, there is a fundamental acknowledgement of the issue at hand while looking towards potential solutions too. Therefore, extending sustainability onto one’s shelves is a great way to further on personal level change

In this context, we believe that businesses have the power to be a force for good, paving the way for a healthier planet. By making sustainable living accessible for everyone, we are empowering everyone, from a seasoned eco-warrior to someone starting their journey, to make a difference. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. 

This World Environment Day, let’s build a more sustainable future together, one responsible choice at a time.




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Earth Day Action | Easy Swaps Make a Difference

Earth Day Action | Easy Swaps Make a Difference

Our favourite time of the year is finally here! Happy Earth Day, Bare Fam! 

We all are so lucky to call this beautiful planet with the most stunning landscapes and diverse vistas our home. We owe it to ourselves, the future generations and the planet itself to keep it healthy. 

Keeping it healthy shouldn’t feel like a chore, so we bring to you these 10 super easy swaps, you can make for a sustainable, planet friendly lifestyle. 

  • Ditch the Disposable: Say sayonara to all those pesky single use plastic items from straws to bottles to coffee cups. Invest in a reusable bottle, metal straw and a reusable mug. Not only will your wallet thank you (those single use purchases, seriously add up!), but the landfills will too! 
  • Embrace the Tote Life: Pack a shopping bag for all your shopping adventures. It hardly weighs anything and it’s the easiest way to reduce plastic waste. 
  • Get Crafty!: Ditch the plastic wraps and aluminium foils for reusable beeswax wraps or good old plates. Andddd, to wrap gifts, check out sustainable gift wrapping techniques like the Furoshiki Method or using newspapers that can be painted or block printed.
  • Shower Power Down: Don’t we all love a long, hot shower? It’s so indulgent and calming. But those gallons add up. Challenge yourself to shorter showers or turn off the water while you lather up. Every drop counts! 
  • Turn it off!: Leaving the room? Flick that switch off! It’s a simple habit that uses less energy and keeps your electricity bill happy. Bonus brownie points for using energy efficient LED bulbs. Electronics guzzle up energy even when on standby. Make it a habit to turn off unused electronics - computers, TVs, phone chargers.

  • Reuse the leftovers: Leftovers happen and they are normal. But tossing it in the bin for it to end up in the landfill is not. Store them in reusable containers for another delicious meal
  • Creating Compost: Kitchen scraps and yard waste can be composted to create a nutrient rich fertiliser for your garden
  • DIY Cleaners: Explore natural cleaning alternatives like bio-enzymes, vinegar, baking soda, which are not only super effective but kinder to the environment too. 
  • The Power of Repair: Don’t throw out that floppy slipper just yet! See if it can be repaired instead. Local repair shops can resurrect your accessories and appliances, without burning a large hole in your pocket 
  • Shop Second Hand: Give pre-loved clothes, books and furniture a new life! Thrift stores are a treasure trove waiting to be explored. You’ll reduce waste, save money and find a unique gem. 

 

Talk to your friends and family about your eco-swaps and they would share theirs too. The more people involved, the larger the impact we can make. Every bit counts and let’s leave the planet in a better shape we found it in. Here’s to a happy and healthy Earth Day! 







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Public-Private Partnerships: Win-Win for Business & Policy

Public-Private Partnerships: Win-Win for Business & Policy

Some of the most pressing issues that plague today’s world are related very closely to the environment. From climate change to sustainability to social justice issues. These are complex, multifaceted issues involving multiple multiple stakeholders and the solutions for these lie in the hands of not one individual or institution. In the recent past, we have been seeing businesses that are stepping outside of their boardrooms and collaborating with governments to shape policy that align with their values and can create a larger societal impact. 

Earlier this year, Blueland, a company offering refillable cleaning products collaborated in a partnership with New York City. Blueland put into action a first of its kind bill proposing a ban on single use detergent pods and concentrated laundry detergents. In doing so, this initiative tackles plastic waste on a policy level, therefore encouraging consumers to look towards sustainable practices, which lies in close alignment with Blueland’s core values and solutions.

While directly being involved in policy discussions, it also allows companies to publicly advocate for change. 

 

Blueland stands as an inspiration for Bare Necessities, and they have only paved the path ahead for us to do more on a policy level too. We tried our very best to  tackle the menace of single-use plastic straws, transitioning coconut vendors to organic coconut leaf straws through our project 'The Last Straw.' You can have a look at the challenges we faced, the victories we had and today, it has helped us learn and grow our social enterprise into one that will continue providing sustainable alternatives for the daily necessities we use. We also influenced policy discussions, giving step-by-step recommendations to combat single-use plastics and incentivize alternative solutions.

 

On the product front, especially with our powder-to-liquid range of home care products, we consciously steered away from Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA), which has the reputation of being a controversial ingredient. PVA is actually a synthetic polymer which is often marketed as a lining that can be dissolved. However, studies show that 75% of PVA remains in our waterways and soil systems after being dissolved and requires extremely specific conditions to biodegrade. Hence, our no-fuss solution was compostable sachets that had vegetable ink printed on them, so they can completely disintegrate into the soil. 

 

Products that come packaged in PVA are on the rise. There are studies on both sides of the fence regarding PVA, and as Bare Necessities, we made the decision to steer away from this debate in the first place. Composting is a proven method, powder-to-liquid is a mindful step, forever dispensers are part of zero waste living; so let’s use proven methods to make these formats the norm. On a side note: check the ingredients too because packaging is one aspect of things, what goes in it is the other, and this is something we’ve reallllllly taken into consideration with our own in-house formulations. 

These go to show that businesses can integrate social responsibility into their operations. By collaborating with governments, we can pave the way for a sustainable and equitable future. 

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Lakes: The answer to Bangalore’s water woes?

Lakes: The answer to Bangalore’s water woes?
Based on the data and inferences made, it is certainly a massive issue, the solution for which does not lie with one individual or organisation, but with multiple institutions working at cross sections with each other.  Continue reading
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