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This Rakshabandhan, i am going eco-friendly! Are you, too?

plantable rakhi ecofriendly rakhi bioQ eco solutions

Celebrating Raksha bandhan with eco-friendly plantable Rakhi!

Rakhis that contain seeds, which will grow into ‘tulsi’ (Ocimum sanctum) plants are certainly a novel concept this season!

As the sister, i am yet to discover the full “life-cycle” of the plantable Rakhis or get feedback from brothers. For the time being i am just happy to be doing my smallest bit towards making the planet greener! If your family has a tradition of lumbas for bhabhis, you could try those too.

Apart from 2 Rakhi kits which i ordered online, i picked up a few boxes from the Karol Bagh Store of BioQ Eco Solutions in New Delhi. Just one of my “on-the-way-back-from-work” purchases 🙂

Delighted to see the kit also has a small “plantable” pencil with tomato seeds at the end, in addition to the obligatory Roli and Chawal. Equally delighted to find the store regularly ships recyclable, “plantable” stationery to major corporate offices across the country. Innovation is more about creating a culture, and recyclable stationery/festive items could be a positive step in that direction.

bioQ eco solutions
The store in Karol Bagh that supplies plantable stationery

Raksha Bandhan with Plantable Rakhi: Significance of the Indian Festival

As an awkward pre-school kid i never fully understood why i must tie something around my cousin brothers’ wrists. Once every year.

But as i grew up, heard stories from friends and family about the meaning of Raksha bandhan and then it all made more sense. This year (2019) Raksha Bandhan falls on August 15.

What i Actually bought

I got a mix of standalone rakhis, a kids’ kit with star-shaped rakhis, and regular rakhis in a classic kit. The staff at the store was very helpful and friendly, and allowed me to customize the contents of the box – if i opt to send 2 rakhis in the same box.

bioq ecofriendly plantable rakhi
Standalone rakhi and ‘kit’

The classic kit has roli and chawal (rice) in small boxes, along with a recyclable, plantable pencil. The design of the rakhis is simple, but bright, neat and wearable. Even the strands are made from recycled paper!

The packaging is almost air-tight and the overall make of the box is fairly sturdy. As for the delivery, the kit came within 5 days of placing the order. Currently BioQ doesn’t ship outside India, but their team said they plan to cover more countries next year.

Have a look at more pictures below. For me, it is a “cultural shift” this year as i had been opting for regular rakhis before. I’m buying a few of those as well, since local vendors in markets mostly sell that and don’t wish to hurt their business completely!

Why go for a plantable rakhi at all?

Well, the answer lies in – what after?

My first recent experience of a “plantable” stationery item was while participating in SBI Green Marathon. Besides the numerous pencils and pens made of recycled paper which i keep hoarding from conferences. And the papier-mache “handmade” paper i’d make from old newspapers as a school kid.

At the Green Marathon, we had to collect the BIB numbers prior to the event, and the bibs were made of recycled paper which had seeds embedded in it! This was way back in early 2018. Though the event got cancelled, i preserved the Bib, and planted it in wet soil too.

But when it comes to Rakhis, the question i asked myself was… i could buy a “regular” Rakhi for Rs. 30/- and also a small plant for Rs. 50/-. It would amount to the same price at which most “plantable” rakhis are available.

ecofriendly plantable rakhis bioq
Plantable Rakhis – for the brother, kids and lumba for sister-in-law

However, the question that stayed with me was, what generally happens to the Rakhis after raksha bandhan? If we could find a way to reuse or recycle them effectivelythat would be simply perfect. “From use and throw, to use and grow” was a compelling argument in favour of procuring plantable rakhis this Raksha Bandhan. As they say, “it’s about the message”.

Sure it takes time getting used to an innovative idea or a product, but beyond that, it’s a thoughtful way to building a new culture, literally.

This short 1 minute video by BioQ Eco Solutions sort of validates the rationale.

Raksha Bandhan with Plantable Rakhi: Other options

If you walk through the markets in Delhi or any other city, eco-friendly rakhis don’t make a frequent appearance. Hence the best alternative is to look for them online. There are some versions of rakhis which are eco-friendly but not necessarily plantable. Some kits have roli, but no rice.

I can’t really talk about the products i haven’t used myself, but can surely take you through some options available:

  • Seed Rakhi Organic – plantable Jodhpuri rakhis with roli, no rice. Costs Rs. 299/- and seeds are of Hyacinth
  • Abhika Creations – handmade “clay” rakhis. Plantable and quite aesthetic! Costs Rs. 349/- but no details about other contents or type of seeds

If you have come across more Rakhi brands, so share in the comments section. While the pricing is more or less similar, i found better designs to be the USP of the other brands.

bioQ eco solutions ecofriendly plantable rakhis
Plantable Rakhi Kit

On the other hand, plantable rakhi by BioQ comes in a round box which can be reused for keeping dry items or small jewelry. The pencil with tomato seeds at the end is a plus! Cross-selling seldom hurts, especially when it’s a fun-to-use stationery item. Makes it a more complete pack.

And hopefully my brothers like them too! A plant that grows would only nurture the bond.

bioq eco solutions plantable stationery
use n throw Use n grow … fair enough!

This article is part of the Lifestyle section of LocalFeedback.Org. We make it a point to talk about ideas that encourage sustainable, environment-friendly living or promote locally made products!

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