'Gift a Life' commits to curbing menace of air pollution in national capital
New Delhi [India], Oct 20 (ANI): Inspired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) clean air study, 24-year-old Harshit Baveja started 'Gift a Life' organisation three years ago to curb the menace of air pollution in the national capital.
In 2016, when Delhi's air quality was the worst Baveja established the company with the concept of 'Gift a plant, gift a life'.
Talking about the inspiration behind this, he said that he came across NASA's 'Clean Air Study,' a study of ways to clean the air in space stations.
Its results suggested that in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
Taking a cue from this report, Harshit decided to gift indoor plants to his family, friends, and neighbours.
"Besides helping them to stay healthy during those days when air pollution was really high, we wanted to understand the acceptability of the concept among common people. To our surprise, we received a positive response from people who received the plants as a gift," Baveja added.
The acceptance of plants by people around him encouraged him to explore this idea at a bigger platform. He registered a company called 'Gift a Life' in 2016 with the intention of selling the air-cleaning indoor plants.
"We understand every space is different and has different needs. Taking this into consideration, we suggest plants that are best suitable for any location. We have dedicated 'Plant Doctors' who visit the concerned spaces and determine crucial factors like area, the number of people occupying that space and surroundings," he said.
He said that once the data is collected from the site, it is analysed and major sources of pollutions and the types of pollutants present in that particular space are determined.
A final 'site report' is prepared along with a custom plan to tackle the problems. After an in-depth analysis, the air cleaning planters are installed at the site.
The idea, however, did not take off as expected. The company did not receive an order for the first three months and the uncertainties had taken over the people involved.
"We had become really frustrated. We did not know what to do next to ensure that 'Gift a Life' creates a space of its own. We had started losing hope," said Baveja.
"I remember contacting a client for the installation of our plants in their office space. They were loud and clear that they do not want any indoor plantation in their office. We shared the benefits of our plants and installed a few plants in a small area in their office free of cost. It was for them to see the difference a small change can bring into their office life," he said.
Today 'Gift a Life' is taking care of six centres of this office. In the last three years, 'Gift a Life' has installed these beneficial plants in over 50 companies in Delhi-NCR.
And this year, 'Gift a Life' is coming up with a new product with the concept of 'Eco-Glass Planters.' Introduced by Harshit's sister-in-law, this product is made using products that are easily recyclable.
The plants for this product were selected on the basis of three parameters - it should be an air purifier, available in personalized plant size and should be maintenance-friendly. These plants were then grown in glass-jars.
While developing the product, glass-jars easily available at home - empty pickle and jam jars, were used.
But later, to maintain uniformity, these jars were procured from local vendors. Maintenance instructions of this product are printed on a seed paper that is attached to the bottleneck with a jute string.
Another special feature of these "Eco-Glass Planters" are the people who prepare them. 'Gift a Life' has collaborated with a school being run at a local park.
It has around 150 students that attend evening tuition in various classes. Teachers, volunteers, and senior students finance the school by using craft as a skill.
For this project, few teachers and students (all above 15 years of age) were trained and given the necessary skills required to prepare these plant-bottles.
Each person earns approximately 7-15 percent of total cost per bottle depending on the bottle and plant. All resources are provided to them by 'Gift a Life'.
A percentage of this earning is reinvested in the school and a part of it goes to the maker of the bottle. Not just this, a certain percentage of 'Gift a Life's' profits goes into plantation drives.
"Plants need care. Few simple but dedicated steps are required to ensure the healthy growth of plants. 'Gift a Life' realised the importance of maintaining these plantations and has dedicated itself to be its part in an effective way," shared Mehak Baveja, Consultant, Business Development at 'Gift a Life'.
In the next two years, 'Gift a Life' plans to plant around two lakh trees in Delhi-NCR along with working with more companies.
"We know ours is a small effort, but this will surely make a difference in the long run. We want people to become more responsible for nature. Adopting new eco-friendly ways of celebrating and gifting on festivals is one easy way of taking care of our environment," said Harshit. (ANI)