Green entrepreneurship has been a trending topic as environmental problems are increasing worldwide. Nepal has also been affected by these gradual changes. With the rise of environmental issues, entrepreneurs with new concepts and plans have started to initiate green projects.
In a conversation with Republica, the winners of Greenvotaion Startup Challenge (GSC), a competition held in Kathmandu, share about their upcoming plans, implementation, ideas and the obstacles they have faced so far.
Tyre Treasures is a concept developed by our group to make the maximum use of unused tyres. While conducting a survey before this project, we found that more than 500,000 tyres are disposed or burned every year and it has been polluting our environment. Tyres are used as fuel in some factories and there are few recycling plans. I believe that when people are aware about the ongoing changes in environment and are conscious about it, anyone can come up with nice ideas to save the environment. Though it is difficult to change our mindset, we need to take little steps to make our lifestyles eco-friendly. We have designed a lot of ideas to use tyres as raw materials in the goods. Initially we decided to make chairs and cushions to sit by stacking the tyres. Our project is still on the planning phase.
Ground apple is basically a vegetable which can be consumed as a fruit. It consists 90% of water and 10% of solid. It helps in blood sugar management and cures constipation. It also prevents fatty liver and is a potential weight loss acid. However, many people are unknown to these benefits. Hence, we thought about this project to cultivate and sell ground apples at a very reasonable cost for the general people. The availability of ground apple is also low in our area. We have estimated our budget to be around Rs. 400,000 and we have taken a part of land in upper Chitwan for cultivation purpose. The cost structure is also already designed; however, we’re yet to begin with this project. We had even thought of giving employment opportunities to the local people there but it required a lengthy legal process.
Wood Gas Stove
Wood gas stove is particularly a gasifier stove that converts organic or fossil fuel based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide and burns with the smoke of used woods which is more long-lasting than the wood used as fuel for cooking food in most of the rural areas and it doesn’t make the utensils dirty. We have already launched this project and have provided six stoves to different people for trial. Gasification is not completely a new idea. During our research, we found out that during the blockade in Germany (1939-45), the whole country used this. It is a great alternative source of energy and also promotes the use of renewable sources of energy. The obstacles that we’ve faced so far are approaching people. Gas has been a subsidized good for the Nepali people and there are no changes in the policy level of the country as well. When the country has been providing fossil fuels as a subsidized good, how can green entrepreneurs promote eco-friendly goods?
Sisno, Chepang and Paryatan
This project is trying to promote tourism and green entrepreneurship through the use of nettle. Nettle used to be source of food for Chepang community but with the changing times, people no longer use nettle as a source of food. The project Sisno, Chepang and Paryatan plans to bring back the use of nettle leaves which can used to cure diseases like rheumatism, anemia, diabetes and high blood pressure. Nettle powder can also be used in soup, tea and lentil. Our project will also help promote tourism of Chepang communities as use of nettle for food is their culture and tradition. I think green entrepreneurship is necessary because we need to be conscious about the environment, the same way we are conscious about the economy. Our project is still in its initial phase and we are researching the market.