Saving our planet; one bag at a time

March 29, 2007

San Francisco bans plastic bags. It’s a major news item all around the world

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 6:13 pm

San Francisco bans plastic bags

From Forbes and Bloomberg to the Financial Times, the Gulf Times and the China Post, everyone’s carrying this story. The implications, particularly if other US cities start following suit, are colossal. “I have been astounded by the worldwide attention the issue has received. Hopefully, other cities and states will follow suit,” said Ross Mirkarimi, who pushed through the ordinance, adding that he believes the decision is part of a “trend of making sure that a forward-thinking economy is one that understands its relationship with our environment.”

March 8, 2007

Alka and Umesh Zadgaonkar - you make me proud to be an Indian

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 3:04 pm

Alka and Umesh Zadgaonkar - you make me proud to be an Indian

This morning I read a story that thrilled me, about Professor Alka Zadgaonkar and her husband Umesh Zadgaonkar, who are producing fuel from waste plastics without generating noxious gases.

I’ve always felt that the success of the software industry and the call centers and back-office operators present a less-than-accurate picture of where India’s strengths and hopes lie. As a people, we have deeper and more robust strengths.

Professor Zadgaonkar’s story reminded me of where I really see India’s potential.

As professor of applied chemistry at Nagpur’s GH Raisoni College of Engineering, she’s developed special catalysts that allows plastic waste to revert back to its original petroleum properties so it can be used as fuel.

With her husband Umesh backing her, they’ve been struggling with the Indian establishment for years to find finance to take their project to viable production levels. Its shameful how hard and long they had to fight to make it happen. I have faced this myself and have it seen so often that I often get the impression that the single greatest impediment to India’s progress is our bureaucracy.

But they clearly have the entrepreneurial grit to see it through and they’ve made it happen.

I sure hope the whole world sees the opportunity here and works with her to replicate what she’s done at their industry in Nagpur in every part of the world. This planet desperately needs this to happen.

Read about her and their achievements, here and here.

I’m going to contact these wonderful people and see if my partner Sanjiv and I can fly to Nagpur to go see them. Maybe we’ll manage to find a business opportunity, maybe we wont. But it will be a thrill to meet someone whose gutsy thinking and work can contribute to making this a much nicer planet to live on.

Thank you, Alka and Umesh, for starting my day so well. You make me proud to be an Indian.

March 2, 2007

We are genuinely at a tipping point

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 4:25 pm

We are genuinely at a tipping point“2006 was the year that consumers spent more on ethical goods than on beer and cigarettes - £29 billion on consumer goods alone.

So business, consumers and government appear, for the first time, to be getting serious about sustainability. Political parties of all colours raced to out green each other. We are genuinely at a tipping point”.

Said Conservative Shadow Environment Secretary, Peter Ainsworth

The Tipping Point? What’s that?

It’s a book about change. In particular, it’s a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does, says Malcolm Gladwell, author of the New York Times bestseller.


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