With climate marches happening around the world, we look at some of Chennai’s green initiatives
The Global Climate Strike is now officially a phenomenon, thanks to young environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who brought together millions of people across the world, to the streets to demand greener future. Closer home, starting October 2nd, India is set to impose a nationwide ban on single-use plastics, urging people to kick-start ‚ ‘a revolution against plastic’. It is but natural that we head to the largest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum-certified hotel, ITC Grand Chola in Guindy to see where the city’s benchmark is.
One of the pioneers of responsible luxury in the industry, the hotel that is spread across 24 acres, with over 600 rooms, generates its own brand of water, SunyaAqua by involving no transportation. For the past two decades, the hotel is known to reuse and recycle 99 per cent of its solid waste and uses renewable energy to meet 60 per cent of its energy demands. The latest of all its initiatives for a movement towards ‘planet positive luxury’, the hotel is eliminating the use of single-use plastics completely by the end of October.
The hotel has replaced plastic cocktail stirrers with wooden ones, regular toothbrush with bamboo toothbrush, plastic bottles with glass bottles, regular plastic combs with bamboo combs, plastic cutlery with wooden alternative and has switched to biodegradable toiletries, eco-friendly packaging, among many other changes. “Currently, we have eliminated the usage of everything from takeaway cups, carry bags to even thermocol, which is a variant of plastic, for packaging. As for the future, we are working on an action plan to phase out the rest of the plastic items that are not of single-use such as files and folders, durables like bins and the like,” says N Ramamoorthy, Chief Engineer and Head of Sustainability at ITC.
Good vibes only
From cell phones, laptops and iPads, we live with wireless electronic devices all around us. However, seldom do we realise the harmful effects of the electromagnetic radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis because of them. ITC Hotels have inducted a patented technology that has the capability to nullify the harmful effects of both geopathic as well as the manmade radiations.
“It’s a proven fact that the radiation from mobile towers and WiFi devices are harmful to one’s health and can even cause cancer. Another type of wave that is adversely affecting you is the geopathic waves that emanate from the Earth’s surface. At the hotel, we have installed radiation harmonisers — microchip-based equipment on all hotel devices (including the staff’s mobile phones) as well as along the fault lines where the hotel is situated. It transforms the wave, changes its nature, almost eliminating its effect on people,” shares Ramamoorthy.
Here are some other brands in the city that have upheld their eco-friendly initiatives from the very beginning:
Bounce Salon & Spa in OMR earned its title as the country’s first eco salon as 70 per cent of its energy needs are met by solar power. Owned by Vikram Mohan, CEO and co-founder of Spalon India Pvt Ltd, the water that is used at the hair wash stations is harvested and used in the toilets. The salon is also equipped with biodegradable towels, leaves no paper trail and uses upcycled industrial scraps for its décor.
Bringing together sustainability and fashion, city-based label Arture creates eco-friendly wallets, handbags, passport sleeves and travel accessories - all out of 100 per cent natural cork fabrics. Founded by Shivani Patel in 2015, the brand believes in minimalism and functionality and its cruelty-free products have earned a PETA approved vegan certification.
Little White Kitchen in Kilpauk is one of the restaurants in the city that is 98 per cent plastic-free. Run by Pinky Bokadia, Vanita Mardia and Niki Nanavati, the eatery uses cutlery made of bagasse plates (made of sugarcane pulp) that are sturdy, oil-resistant, and 100 per cent decomposable.
— Fathima Ashra
email@example.com | @fathiimaashra