Eco-Warrior Niyati Shah On What Inspired Her To Invent Eco-Friendly ‘Grow Bags’ Made Of Recyclable Plastic
- IWB Post
- October 26, 2018
While it’s not possible to instantly repair the damage humans have done to the environment, there are simple efforts that we individually can start making to heal nature. Such is the story of 25-year-old Niyati Shah from Mumbai, who’s the founder of ‘Grow Bags.’
During a conversation with IWB, Niyati remembers her 18-year-old self who was thrilled to be an eco-warrior in the future. “I was always into gardening. As a child, I spent a lot of time taking care of my garden and nurturing the plants. However, as a gardening enthusiast, I didn’t know how to make a career out of it, until a few years back when some of my plants died because of the inadequate care and increasing pollution,” recalls Niyati.
The determination was such that she left her well-paying job in the corporate world and invested her savings to begin a unique project called ‘Grow Bags’ instead – an initiative to replace plastic pots with eco-friendly ones.
Niyati explains, “Plastic usage worries me. From our kitchen racks to parking lots, we see plastic everywhere. A majority of us use plastic pots to grow plants; particularly those living in the urban cities who want to turn their terrace and balcony into gardens. To bring them a more environmental-friendly gardening solution, I came up with the idea of Grow Bags that are made of recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic.”
Convert your balcony into an organic garden. Grow organic fruits and exotic veggies right at your disposal#Grow Bags the perfect solution
6 Likes, 1 Comments – Grow Bags (@info.growbags) on Instagram: “Convert your balcony into an organic garden. Grow organic fruits and exotic veggies right at your…”
To make Grow Bags, this eco-warrior collected used PET bottles and took them to the plastic crushing units. These plastic film sheets were then put in the pot-maker to produce a pot that felt like a cloth material. Talking about its benefits, she shares, “The porous Grow Bags allow water and air to pass through easily, making air pruning a reality. Unlike in a plastic pot, the extra water that you might have poured in it gets enough space to move out. Also, the adequate amount of air required for photosynthesis is let in easily. Besides, these bags are also capable of absorbing sunlight in an efficient manner.”
Although the project is just six-month-old, Niyati has been able to create a niche market for these special plant pots. “All that is needed is a conversation with people who aren’t aware of this product. Once they know how beneficial Grow Bags are for their plants and our environment, they immediately place an order. On an average, I sell around 150 bags a month across Mumbai. Though I’m thrilled to collaborate with people across India,” she shares.
And just in case you’re thinking these bags are expensive, hold your horses. Niyati answers, “The bags are pocket-friendly and cost nearly as much as a regular plastic pot. I call it an investment not only because they’re strong enough to tolerate any Indian weather, but also as they have the strength to last more than five years. Isn’t that awesome?”
Look how beautiful the tulsi plant looks in our Tulsi Vrindavan.Tulsi known for its herbal remedies and is considered very auspicious. Plant tulsi on a Sunday or Thursday preferably. #Grow Bags – A Smarter & Healthier Solution
18 Likes, 1 Comments – Grow Bags (@info.growbags) on Instagram: “Look how beautiful the tulsi plant looks in our Tulsi Vrindavan.Tulsi known for its herbal remedies…”
Apart from her conscious efforts to save the environment, what we further appreciate is Niyati’s empowering programme for women. Behind Grow Bags, there is an all-women team that handles the procurement, production and retailing of the products. The founder was very particular about giving employment only to women so she could help build confidence in them. “Most women, especially the uneducated ones, are looked down upon by their families. When I see the contentment in the hearts of the women who work with me, I feel so proud of Grow Bags,” recounts Niyati.
She signed off by revealing a little about the company’s future, “We’re trying to receive some support from the local government to help us promote the initiative so we can reach the masses. Profits don’t concern me at the moment, I am glad we are currently self-funded and are able to sustain ourselves entirely. For me, victory will occur when all of us will learn to stop using plastic (at least) in the gardens.”
Vertical gardening now easy with our grow bags# save water and create a healthier environment @info.growbags
6 Likes, 1 Comments – Grow Bags (@info.growbags) on Instagram: “Vertical gardening now easy with our grow bags# save water and create a healthier environment…”
Dear readers, if you want to order Grow Bags, you can either write to Niyati at email@example.com or WhatsApp her at +91-9820207411.