BY CASEY MONTEIRO
Single use plastic has heightened the climate change crisis. Combating it has become a challenge. Declaring war on such single use plastics are authorities and governments who have banned its use.
However, environment-conscious citizens know it’s not just laws that will solve this issue, but a change in the way people think, besides offering sustainable alternatives.
Siddesh Valvaikar, a former sales and marketing head, who now runs ‘Koshaa’, natural and earth-friendly store in Porvorim, decided to do his bit by lending steel cutlery to those having a function or celebration.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Siddesh says this initiative started pre-Covid, but has now garnered attention because due to the pandemic, there were hardly any celebrations or interactions.
He says, “Now, people are more aware also because I run my own brand store, Koshaa, which makes it accessible to people to collect and return the steel utensils. It also gives me an opportunity to talk about this initiative to people visiting the store.”
Siddesh replicated this lending initiative after seeing his brother Shailesh – who has been working in Pune for over two decades – started it years ago and met with success.
“My brother is a software engineer with an inclination towards protecting the environment. He started this in Pune years ago, and it has become popular among a lot of people,” says Siddesh. This reduces plastic waste, adds Siddesh.
HOW IT WORKS
All people have to do is borrow the cutlery and return it, dry and clean. That's it!
The steel cutlery set comprises big plates, pao bhaji plates, cups and spoons. There’s no other condition laid, nor deposit asked. It’s all operated on trust.
Has all the cutlery been returned? “Yes,” smiles Siddesh. “Touch wood, till today, whoever has borrowed our sets have returned them.”
“The clientele has been diverse,” informs Siddesh. “From people borrowing sets for birthdays or festivals, like Chaturthi, to school functions. It’s suited for small functions, say a group of 30-35 people. It is mostly locals who ask for our cutlery for their get-togethers.”
If the initiative gets a pan-Goa presence, it will be more encouraging as it becomes convenient for people to borrow and return, feels Siddesh, adding how people have already shown interest in doing something similar in their areas. “We are open to collaborating and coordinating,” he shares.
What's pertinent to note is that the initiative has spurred a thought process in those people who come to take these items. Siddesh cites an example of how one of them shifted to using cotton bags from plastic bags after realising the importance of choosing eco-friendly options. It has the power to change people’s behaviour, states Siddesh.
MORE ON KOSHAA
Siddesh, who has an MBA in Marketing, started Koshaa after a career in sales and marketing. The store procures natural farm produce directly from farmers and also stocks products of smaller enterprises, too, like those making pickles, etc
“Our store is predominantly organic. We also have eco-friendly gifting products,” adds Siddesh.
The name ‘Koshaa’ comes from yoga, where it is believed that one’s being comprises five parts or Koshas – Annamaya(food), Pranamaya (Energy), Manomaya (mind), Vijnanamaya (intuition) and Anandmaya (bliss). “Everything at the store,” explains Siddesh, “has got to do with these five parts and their well- being.”
For more details about the Koshaa store:
CONTACT: +91 99227 21500