What Is EARTH JUST, And How Does It Promote Sustainable Work?
Earth Just is an organization (we prefer it to call it a platform) promoting sustainable living practices.
We co-think and collaborate with individuals, households, institutions and communities in making them more sustainable in their practices. We are building an ecosystem that supports our collaborators to move from awareness to inducing action till they can build habit through easily do-able practices that help connect the head, heart and hand so that all our activities are “Just to Earth”. We hope to create a Swacch, Sundar, Swasth, Saksham, Samriddh, Sanyukt, Satat – Samaj.
What Inspired You To Start An Organization That Promotes Sustainable Practices?
We believe that the individual has the power to make the environment around him more sustainable. Our journey reflects and strengthens this belief. We started our personal journey of living sustainably. As practitioners, we find it simple, freeing, doable and shareable. At a value level, we are realizing that it hones your intuition, improves your foresight, deepens your consciousness, makes you more empathetic and builds harmony between self & nature. We wanted a platform that allowed us to share this journey with people who may be wanting to walk the same path. The platform to share inspired us to create Earth Just.
Brief Us About The Two Projects Earth Think And Earth Seed And Their Working?
Our projects and our working model are our small victories and I feel like sharing about all of them.
As shared above, we are building an ecosystem that supports our collaborations to move from awareness to inducing action. Till they can build habit through easily do-able practices that help connect the head, heart and hand so that all our activities are “Just to Earth”. Broadly our projects lie between the “awareness to action” phase and “action to habit” phase of an
- The “awareness to action” ecosystem – We call it EarthThink Projects. The objective is to sensitize on – what is sustainability, why we need to be sustainable and simple DIY sharing on how we can be sustainable. We do this by holding conversation spaces & discussions on different aspects of Sustainable Living, disaster resilience & building a culture of sustainability across various formats, locations, demographics & themes.
- The “action to habit build” ecosystem – The objective is to provide a supportive ecosystem to collaborators who want to move from action to habit in all or different themes of sustainable living. The 3 themes we are presently working on Earth Clean, Earth Green & Earth Love.
- Earth Clean is promoting right cleaning practices, a circular economy, changing the waste management model from Waste producers to Surplus Managers and promoting process at the point of produce. Through Goonj, Grow your own food (mushrooms) & make your own compost.
- With EarthGreen, we are trying to promote right greening practices like growing one’s own food to reduce the carbon footprint of food transport, connecting with nature, reducing dependence on chemical-induced farming, understanding seasonal growing and eating, saving natural evolutionary seeds, promoting companion planting, natural fencing for pest management. Like – Tree plantation, Sustainable agriculture.
- Lastly, EarthLove – The objective is to create a marketplace promoting sustainable products through a Solan Organic Farmers Market (SOFM), Berry Clean & EarthLove Products.
Our Model, how we operate:
We do this through either collaboration & / or incubations:
- Symbiotic collaborations with organizations or groups to build or strengthen an existing ecosystem. We call this Earth Collective
- Incubate or sow the seed with an individual who is interested in building a sustainable eco-enterprise that is distinct yet interrelated to help build the ecosystem. We call this seeding Earth Seed.
While Working, What Type Of Problems Do You Face, And How Do You Win Them?
I have realized that in hind-sight all problems were opportunities in hiding. So I don’t believe in problems. We are hoping to build a local sustainable ecosystem in Solan area in a collective format. We are new to the place, don’t know too many people. This allows us to explore openly but also slows us in making the collective.
How Do CSR And Sustainability Run Parallel In Your Organization?
Sustainability is in our DNA. We believe in the systemic integration of people, planet, and profit in a way that CSR becomes an integral part and not a separate project or program. We even try to walk-the-talk in our office. Each of our projects, be it small or big, has these values integrated into itself. We have a small balance sheet and are a Section 8 company, so legally are not bound by CSR. But in CoViD-19 we were engaged in several activities that were not really about direct sustainability initiatives.
Share Some Sustainable Benchmarks Created By The Company And How Successful Are They Towards Society?
Have mentioned a few of these, in terms of numbers & impact like Sustainability Samwaad, SOFM, Berry Clean, Earth Shroom in the previous question. Apart from the ones already mentioned, what we are trying to create is a sustainable ecosystem. When I use the word ecosystem, I mean both ecological and economic. I will leave success for the reader to decide but will share some positive things to create a swacch, Sundar, Swasth, Saksham, Samriddh, Sanyukt, Satat – samaj.
- Content Innovation & Inclusion: We have been able to convince the Solan District Disaster Management Team to include chemical farming and improper waste management as being non-sustainable and therefore a slow yet impending disaster. This is now part of their official training material.
- Food from waste: Cultivated mushrooms from wet waste
- Scalable, Replicable Prevention model: With just 1 team member managing and leading from Earth just and supported by over 400 volunteers across 10+ organizations & colleges, we were able to reach 16000+ people across the country in the right preventive measures to be followed in COVID–19.
- Collective platforms – We believe in the power of collaboration and empowerment, and thus one of our creative constraints is to always work with a collective. Each of our projects, be it small or big, is carried out in collaboration with individuals, organisations, other NGOs, communities or government.
- Forest, rather than a tree & a tree, rather than a branch – A system is made up of several interconnected, complex sub-systems & components. When we solve one part of the problem, without understanding its implications and connections with the other parts, we unknowingly create more problems. Think about a doctor giving you medicine for fever without knowing the actual cause or without knowing that you have a heart condition. So far, we have been able to look at the interconnectedness and work in areas that move more than one gear in this complex machinery.
How Could Companies And Individuals Support And Collaborate With You?
Companies can collaborate with us in several ways, sharing 3 below.
- We can work with them in building a “culture of sustainability” in their organization. Organizations with a strong culture of sustainability have a lower cost of operations and are respected by their employees and stakeholders more. It also boosts employee well-being & sense of purpose.
- We can collaborate on their CSR initiatives in promoting sustainability.
- If organizations want to go green or more sustainable, we can help them with green cleaning alternatives.
Individuals can also collaborate with us in several ways, sharing 3 below.
- They can be part of any of the platforms/projects above and they don’t have to come to Solan. We also use the virtual space effectively to talk naturally ☺
- They can contribute material, manpower or money to help us continue. We work on a “gift economy” model.
- Help spread the word. In this work, the more, the merrier.
In Your Opinion, How Well Are We Resolving Sustainable Issues In India, What Areas Need More Focus?
At a principal level, I will not like to bind sustainability to a geographic boundary. All things are connected in the universe.
Coming back to India, I do not have many points of view at the policy or policy execution level. But as Indians, we still have very sustainable living practices. We still consume 0.6 times the Earth’s Carrying Capacity. But my observational sense is we see this as weakness and are at this moment aspiring to become people who consume far more of the Earth’s Carrying Capacity. If only, we can promote these sustainable habits as our strengths, we will not only be resolving a lot of issues but will be able to share them with the world with a sense of pride.
Please Share A Quote About Your Initiative.
Creating harmony with Self & Nature
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