Eco-Trip at Greenovation, Chennai

Background                                                                               

EAI’s journey to becoming an effective catalyst gained significant momentum when it conducted the very first Green Chennai meet on Oct 26th 2012. Experts from Greenovation and Vanagam gathered to provide small, implementable ideas at this meet . At the end of the session EAI had requested Mr.Devanand of Greenovation for a guided tour of the green township of Pammal, where Greenovation – Pammal, an eco-organization, has taken multiple, working initiatives.

OBJECTIVE

The primary motive behind this eco –tour was to showcase practically feasible clean technology solutions like Bio-gas production for domestic applications, vermi-composting, and the utility value of up-cycled plastic products in everyday life to people who have shown a passion for sustainable living, and wish to do their bit.

 

Highlights

  • The eco-tour allayed fears regarding the safety of biogas, a highly flammable substance, and pronounced it safe for home use.
  • It also evidenced the absence of any unpleasant odour, from the biogas produced in the organic waste-to-vermi compost plant, therefore deeming it fit for residential use.
  • Lastly, the organization flaunted the attractiveness of up-cycled plastic waste products, the prices of which are more reasonable than we thought they would be!

 

The Participants

On 10th November, 2012, a group of 30 with diverse backgrounds ranging from industry professionals to students, entrepreneurs and other clean Chennai protagonists, got together for the eco-tour and had thought-provoking discussions with the Greenovation and EAI personnel on renewable energy and ecological sustainability.

The Motivation

The eco-trip was organized to direct the attention of participants towards three effective sustainability initiatives: energy production from municipal organic wastes, treatment of solid waste with earthworms (Vermicomposting) and up-cycling of plastic wastes to articles that finduses in a domestic context.

First, the team went to visit the biogas production facility where a technician from Greenovation explained themodus operandi of ananaerobic digesterin transforming complex organic waste from commercial urban bodies to biogas through microbial actions in specific reactors for electricity generation. Visitors witnessed a practical demonstration of the biogas-to-electricity conversion process, for street lighting applications in nearby local areas. In addition, workers at the facility showed the group, compost and nutrient rich liquids that were released as by-products during anaerobic digestion and highlighted their effectiveness as soil fertilizers.

 

 

Visitors were then guided through a remote compost yard where vermi-composting takes place. There, they got another view of the principles and operational aspects of vermi-composting (using earthworms). The supervisor of the yard practically took the group through the sequential waste conversion process (in physically contained chambers) and, in particular, showed the role of earthworms in transforming complex wastes to yield compost. The participants had the opportunity to see the finished products, ready for sale and witness the sharp difference that soil dwellers can bring about in the recycling of organic waste for, improving soil health and, agricultural benefits.

 

 

The team completed its journey by returning to Greenovation office to see their gallery of up-cycled products from plastic waste. Ms. Mangalam Balasubramanian, Chairman of the company, took time off her busy schedule to address the audience, explaining the institution’s motto on sustainability. She also went on to shed light on the group’s primary line of activities such as awareness creation on land filling of non-biodegradable wastes in open areas. She took the group through the company’s business model of production of upscale and downscale value-added plastic goods. She also expressed her organization’s strong support for the economic upliftment of low-income workers, especially weavers, encouraging their traditional skills, scarce nowadays.

 

 

Mr.Devanand, Managing Director – Greenovation also joined Ms.Mangalam Balasubramanian and shared his valuable knowledge of small anaerobic digesters and compost bins along with their cost estimates, explaining their potential in the household context, to effectively utilize organic waste. He also showed few samples of charcoal briquettes and their potential use as fuel for cooking stoves.

 

Key takeaways

 

Next steps

In the end, attendees expressed their sincere thanks to Greenovation and EAI for their initiative on promoting sustainability at a community level via eco-trips. Ms.Mangalam Balasubramanian further invited EAI and other visitors to see their plastic up-cycling facility at Thirukazhukundram in the near future to continue in the same vein.