1. Home
  2. Blog

Green Temples Movement: Transforming India's Floral Waste into Wealth and Employment Opportunities

India's Green Temples movement transforms floral waste into wealth, promoting sustainability, creating employment, and reducing environmental impact.

Shivam Dwivedi
"Green Temples" concept aims to transform spiritual sites into eco-friendly spaces by integrating sustainable practices (Representational Image Source: UN Climate Change)
"Green Temples" concept aims to transform spiritual sites into eco-friendly spaces by integrating sustainable practices (Representational Image Source: UN Climate Change)

As India advances towards sustainability and embraces the concept of a circular economy, the focus on transforming waste into wealth has become paramount. One innovative initiative in this regard is the implementation of composting pits in temples, involving temple trusts and self-help groups (SHGs) in recycling efforts, which creates significant employment opportunities. This article delves into the multifaceted benefits of the "Green Temples" concept, its integration into policies, and its transformative impact on the environment and economy.

Green Temples: A Sustainable Vision

The "Green Temples" concept aims to transform spiritual sites into eco-friendly spaces by integrating sustainable practices. This includes educating priests and devotees about the importance of not dumping floral waste in rivers and encouraging the use of digital offerings or biodegradable materials instead of traditional flowers. Promoting these practices can significantly reduce floral waste and contribute to environmental preservation.

Employment and Empowerment through Recycling

The floral waste sector in India is witnessing substantial growth, providing meaningful employment opportunities, particularly for women. For instance, at Ujjain’s Mahalakaleshwar Temple, specialized 'Pushpanjali Econirmit' vehicles collect around 5-6 tonnes of floral and other waste daily. This waste is processed at a 3TPD plant, creating eco-friendly products such as briquettes and compost. Sixteen women from the Shiv Arpan Self-Help Group are employed to produce high-quality items from the floral waste. According to the Ujjain Smart City 2022 report, 2,200 tons of floral waste have been treated, resulting in the production of 30,250,000 incense sticks.

The floral waste sector in India is witnessing substantial growth, providing meaningful employment opportunities, particularly for women  (Representational Image Source: UNEP)
The floral waste sector in India is witnessing substantial growth, providing meaningful employment opportunities, particularly for women (Representational Image Source: UNEP)

Innovations in Floral Waste Recycling

Several social entrepreneurs are leading the way in recycling floral waste into valuable products. In Mumbai, the designer house 'Adiv Pure Nature' has initiated a sustainable venture, transforming discarded temple blooms into natural dyes for textiles. They collect floral waste thrice a week, amounting to 1,000-1,500 kg weekly. The dried flowers are used to create natural dyes for fabric yardage, garments, scarves, table linens, and tote bags.

Role of SHGs and Community Involvement

In Tirupati, the Municipal Corporation handles over 6 tonnes of floral waste daily, upcycling it into reusable products. This initiative has employed 150 women from self-help groups, who work at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Aggarbatti manufacturing plant. The products are packaged using recycled and plantable paper embedded with Tulsi seeds, ensuring a zero-carbon footprint.

Phool: A Pioneer in Floral Waste Management

Kanpur-based Phool has been tackling the massive temple-waste problem by collecting nearly 21 MT of floral waste weekly from various cities, including Ayodhya, Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Kanpur, and Badrinath. Phool upcycles this waste into items such as incense sticks, incense cones, and bamboo-less incense. The women employed by Phool enjoy a safe working environment, fixed salaries, and benefits like provident fund, transportation, and healthcare. Notably, Phool has developed 'Fleather', a viable alternative to animal leather, recently awarded PETA’s best innovation in the vegan world.

HolyWaste and Other Innovative Startups

Hyderabad-based startup 'HolyWaste' has revitalized floral waste through a unique process called 'Florjuvination'. Founded in 2018, HolyWaste partners with vendors, temples, and event organizers to collect floral waste from 40 temples and two flower vendors, preventing 1,000 kg of waste weekly from reaching landfills or water bodies. Another notable venture is Poonam Sehrawat's startup, ‘Aaruhi’, which collects floral waste from over 15 temples in Delhi-NCR, recycling 1,000 kg of waste monthly and generating over Rs 2 lakh in revenue.

The Green Temples movement in India exemplifies the nation's commitment to sustainability and a circular economy. By transforming floral waste into wealth, these initiatives not only preserve the environment but also create employment opportunities, particularly for women. As more temples adopt these eco-friendly practices, the vision of a cleaner, greener India becomes increasingly attainable.

Magnoliaceous Quiz: Take a Quiz on National Mango Day Take a quiz

Related Articles

Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters