As a land of heritage and diverse culture, Indians use flowers to celebrate various occasions, from festivals, marriages, baby showers, to temple decorations. The use of flowers for temples is an innate part of the culture. Devotees hurry to buy flowers from vendors to fill their baskets to offer to their deities.
The pilgrims leave the temples with blessings, but they also leave behind piles of blossoms and leaves. Every year, India dumps nearly 8 million tonnes of flower waste into the water bodies, contributing to 16 percent of the total water pollutants.
But some individuals have taken it upon themselves to curb the menace, such as Delhi's Hansraj College. In association with Enactus, a non-profit student organisation, the institute has come up with an idea to mitigate flower pollution by utilising the floral waste from religious shrines for productive purposes, Prakriti reported.
Floral Waste To Potpourri
The idea termed 'Project Mehr' aims to convert the waste to eco-friendly Potpourri. It is an assortment of dried natural flower petals that provides gentle fragrance. The Potpourri is packed in a 200-gram capacity glass jar supplied with a 5 ml vial of fragrance oil.
The product is available in two variants - Marigold flowers and Marigold and rose flowers.
Uplifting Trans Community
Project Mehr is not just about converting floral waste to a floral-scented jar. The employment for the production has also been carefully thought out, and the conceptualists have employed transgender community members to make the products.
They specifically employed trangenders to remove the stigma of gendered roles from society and help them grow socially and financially. For this, the team collaborated with Mitr Trust, an organisation that works towards community empowerment.