2 Indian Projects Among Finalists For Prince William’s Earthshot Prize

2 Indian projects shortlisted for Prince William's Earthshot Award


A flower waste project that converts flowers dispersed down the Ganga River into sustainable leather called Fleather and a greenhouse solution in a box for small farmers are among this year’s finalists from India for the Grand Prize. Prince William’s Earthshot Award, dubbed the Oscar for ecology.

Phool and Kheyti are among 15 worldwide projects running for a GBP 1 million prize at next month’s second annual Earthshot Prize.

The 2022 shortlist, which includes groundbreaking solutions to the biggest environmental challenges, follows last year’s winning project from Delhi – Vidyut Mohan led Takachar, which won the award in the “Clean up” category our air” for cheap technological innovation to convert plant waste into marketable bioproducts.

Prince William said on Thursday: “Our Earthshot 2022 finalists, leaders and innovators, leaders and finalists prove that there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future. of our planet.

“They are channeling their time, energy and talent into bold solutions with the power to not only address the biggest environmental challenges on our planet, but to create communities,” he said. healthier, more prosperous and more sustainable for generations to come”.

Phool was born in Uttar Pradesh shortly after the Makar Sankranti festival in 2015 when Founder and CEO Ankit Agarwal saw local temples pouring used flowers into the water, their layers of pesticides first. poison river Ganga.

“We started life with a simple idea: to clean India’s holiest river. In the process, we discovered a material growing on our factory floor, a “Sometimes, breakthrough ideas come from unexpected situations, and we want to thank the Earthshot Prize for recognizing our award,” said Mr. Agarwal. speak.

At first, Phool collects waste from flowers and turns it into incense. As they did, a thick carpet-like substance began to grow on the unused fibers that lay on their factory floor. They realized that this rug could become a sustainable alternative to animal skins and environmentally harmful plastics – now known as the new material Fleather.

The company today employs more than 163 female “florists” from the Dalit community to collect waste flowers, and in that time it hopes to employ 5,000 people.

“With supply deals to fashion giants, that ambition is justified. Seven years ago, Ankit Agarwal watched worshipers poison their sacred river. Today, Fleather has flipped. reverse the tide, clean up the river and help its worshippers,” Earthshot Prize notes on Phool – shortlisted “Building a Zero Waste World”.

Co-founder and CEO Kheyti Kaushik Kappagantulu has launched his Telangana startup to help some of India’s nearly 100 million smallholder farmers among the poorest and most affected on the planet. by climate change.

Kheyti’s Greenhouse-in-a-Box provides shelter from the elements and pest infestation, and the startup also trains and supports farmers to ensure their greenhouses run as efficiently as possible. body.

“The world depends on smallholder farmers and their lives are among the hardest on earth. Our Greenhouse-in-a-Box is empowering farmers in India today. Steps what we did at Kheyti is now building to change the Kappagantulu farmer, who was shortlisted in the category of “Protecting and Restoring Nature,” said.

Five winners of 15 worldwide projects will be announced in Boston next month, each receiving GBP 1 million to develop their projects.

Also included are finalists from the UK for the first time, including London-based startup Notpla Hard Material, which makes packaging from seaweed and plants as an alternative to single-use plastic. .

Other finalists include the City of Amsterdam’s Circular Economy team, which wants to see nothing go to waste and everything recycled in the Dutch capital by 2050. Mikuru Clean Stoves, from Kenya , providing cleaner burning stoves to reduce unhealthy pollution in the home and a safer way to cook.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate, will meet the finalists and winners at an awards gala in Boston, USA, on December 2.

The name of the Earthshot Prize is a reference to the “Moonshot” ambition of the United States of the 1960s, where then President John F. Kennedy pledged to put a man on the moon within a decade.

Each year for the next decade, the award will award GBP 1 million per year to five projects that are working to find solutions to the planet’s environmental problems.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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