''The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else is responsible to save it," said Roshan Ray, the founder of Seed Paper India, one of the leading producers of eco-friendly products worldwide.

Based out of Karnataka, Seed Paper India is an organisation that has made a massive effect over the minds of people by following sustainable development and optimum utilisation of resources. Their promise is to offer fully organic, eco-friendly and sustainable products. They produce Ganesha idols, replantable Independence Day flags, flower extract Holi colours with seed bombs, plantable Tulsi seeded rakhi kits and much more.

Seed Paper India was launched in 2014 when Roshan Ray was given the contract to design and print wedding cards. He realised he can re-use and recycle the existing products to reduce the widespread wastage as the wedding cards are usually dumped into the bins. Seed paper is a biodegradable paper that has seeds creatively embedded in them. This paper is made by chopping, cleaning the waste cloth cuttings and beating it to a pulp for 8-12 hrs with the help of machines. Afterwards, these are left to dry for 6-7 days, before giving them the ultimate shape. The inks and dyes used in the process are also organic and edible.

These products are entirely sustainable. Whether it be their pencils, books, seed bombs, greeting cards, invitations, business cards, event bands; we can plant them all back into the soil to grow little plants. Examples of these seeds are basil, marigold, tulsi, tomato or chilli seeds. They also produce seed clay statues that can be watered to grow tomatoes, marigolds, or tulsi seeds. Seed Paper India has collaborated with top Indian and international brands by customising products according to their tastes and preferences. Their products are now being exported to over 25 countries worldwide.

''Seed Paper India is not only causing micro and macro-level of change but also creating a change in the use and printing of the traditional paper. We are infusing seeds on paper and various other products that can cause plastic pollution to our oceans and landfills. Seed Paper India is also influencing the Bollywood fraternity into introducing sustainability in their clothing lines; with the latest on the list being to Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt's line of clothing- Ed a Mamma. We are supplying seed balls to all her clothing line in which children and the parents plant a small seed ball and grow it into a plant,'' said Roshan Ray, about Seed Paper India's contributions to the environment.

When asked about the challenges faced he said, ''Right now the challenges we face are not related to mother Earth, but from our own ideologies. Making people aware about eco-friendly and recycled products is a prime. For instance, the concept of seed paper flags and seed rakhis was so unique that it took us 2 years to introduce the benefits of these over the traditional alternatives. Likewise, Seed paper crackers do not emit noise or air pollution, but they become a plant when sown in the ground. Absence of any such concept in the past has posed additional challenges in introducing the concept to people as there was no evidence for them to look at. We face a massive challenge by explaining how harmful a pollution emitting cracker was and how beneficial a seed cracker is."

"Our team comprises various individuals from different walks of life. We have employed 80% of women in the organisation to give them employment and a regular income source. Weemploy women from neighbouring villages and train them. Continuous innovation in recycling products has kept the team on the toes as every six months we keep changing and creating new products and distributing them to the market. We would also like to inform here that the packaging is done by physically and mentally challenged individuals from an NGO to allow them to contribute to society and have a regular income source,'' shared Ray.

Despite all the obstacles, Seed Paper India is continuously growing. Roshan Ray reiterated , ''Keep your business clean and recyclable. The minimum one can do is despite of dumping waste outside our shops, our offices, our factoriesor our workshops, we should actually consider recycle and reuse of the waste. ''

Written by: Anjalika Panwar