Eco Green Unit is an organisation based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu which works in the fields of women empowerment, environment awareness, organic farming sectors, Eco Tourism and other such income generating activities for women groups through the ‘wealth from waste’ concept and rural upliftment.
The organisation makes various products out of banana fibre, coconut shells, Kora grass and Areca palms. The products are made from the waste parts of the plants; extensive training is provided to women in natural fibre crafts who design them, besides which they are also offered help in marketing these products.
The organisation believes that, “Embracing a greener lifestyle should not just be about helping to preserve rain forests, it can also mean improving one’s health, environment and ultimately the overall quality of life.”
To many people, recycling conjures up the blue plastic bins and bottle drives. But for Eco Green Unit, recycling is a design principal, a law of nature, a source of creativity and a source of prosperity. By their relentless ground work and collective organisational activities the socially downtrodden section can avail of several benefits by participating in the various projects that are aimed at developing their livelihood.
There is a long list of products made by Eco Green Unit, and these include objects like various types of bags, boxes, trays, mats, curios and disposable plates and bowls.
Wild nest is a new concept of Eco Tourism and is designed to create awareness towards conserving nature. Promoted by Eco Green Unit, this provides a complete experience of the Western Ghats of India, in the Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary and National Park located in the Anaimalai Hills of Tamil Nadu.
Due to mass pollution, a rampant use of pesticides in Agro sector and deforestation, the ecosystem is under a major threat. Honey bees which are really friends of the farmers are ever decreasing and in great threat of extinction. In this scenario, beekeeping is the need of the hour.
Moreover honey has a wealth of benefits for human beings. Nowadays pure and quality honey has a vast demand in the market. The beekeeping industry has a vast history and in India there is a wide potential, due to a suitable climate, weather and location.
House wives, self-help groups, individuals, school children and anyone interested can try their hand at beekeeping. Beekeeping is an art, apart from being an industry.
Beekeeping can be done, in farms, backyards and even in urban environments. Eco Green Unit, has a long experience of over 7 years in the above mentioned field and maintains 8500 bee boxes and helps 10,000 beneficiaries all over India.
Paper Carry Bags
Due to the high pollution caused by plastics and polythene, the awareness in the usage of eco friendly products, is growing day by day. Eco Green Unit has launched the Paper Carry Bag project, as an income generating activity for women groups, individuals and entrepreneurs.
The carry bags and other products such as scribbling pads and other stationary items are made out of paper instead of plastics and polythene.
The paper carry bag manufacturing process is an easy method using simple machinery which is pedal operated. These machines don’t need electricity and can make several kinds of paper bags, envelopes and covers of superior quality with low investments.
Training for the paper carry bag manufacturing, raw material and machinery is supplied by Eco Green Unit. The organisation also provides marketing support and guidance.
Areca Leaf Products
In India, 4 lakh hectares of land have been cultivated with Areca Catechu or Supari plants. Nearly 5400 million Areca Catechu leaves are discarded and treated as Agro waste. Eco Green Unit converts these leaves into valuable products such as eco friendly plates and bowls.
At present only 3,000 units are established all over India, of this 2,500 units are established by Eco Green Unit for the benefit of self help groups, small entrepreneurs and farmers in India.
Due to the qualities of being biodegradable and eco friendly items there is a growing demand for Areca leaf plates and cups at the global level.
Eco Green Unit has been monitoring this project since the last nine years. This project has been aimed as a community based development programme, which is both income generating and poverty alleviating.
Banana Fibre Products
The Banana plant is a gigantic herb, and a food fruit crop which is an ancient species and cultivated all over the world. Next to Brazil, India is the largest banana producer. The leaves and other waste parts of the tree are used to make several innovative products.
Banana fibre is extracted from the waste parts of the plant after harvesting the fruit.The leaves of the Banana plant too are used to make bio plates. In India we have about 5 lakh hectares of Banana cultivation and only 10% of the Banana waste is extracted as fibre.
The fibre for the most part was being extracted by a manual process and the yield was very low. After a brief study of Banana fibre extraction, Eco Green Unit developed a Banana fibre extracting machine, which can be operated easily by even unskilled labour.
Several attractive, useful and sturdy products are made using the Banana fibre.