By Ravini Perera
The holiday season is a time when a considerable amount of waste is added to the ecosystem. While food and decorations are the most obvious (and largest) contributors to pollution during the holiday season, there is another less obvious contributor; gifts. While gifts are an integral part of the holiday spirit and celebrate the season, wrapping papers, ribbons, tapes, cards, tags and many other accessories help beautify the outward appearance of the gift. and to enrich the giving and receiving of gifts. process, they also add tons of waste to the environment. In addition, these items are most often non-recyclable.
Gift wrapping accessories aren’t the only problem threatening the planet. The gift itself can also have a profoundly negative impact on the environment. Glassware, plastics, new clothes, stationery, and perfumes, along with most other gift options, are toxic to the earth.
As the whole world moves towards a sustainable lifestyle, many people and organizations have developed ideologies and concepts to reduce pollution by introducing and encourage consumers to buy organic and eco-friendly vacation products. Creator “Greener fingers” Inthiqhab Majid is one of those individuals. This week, Brunch chatted with Majid about his love for the environment, how his passion for gardening drove him to make a change in his own way, and the concept of green gifts.
Talk with Brunch, Majid explained that gardening has always been one of his favorite hobbies. âGreener Fingers was launched in accordance with requests from my family and friends. People who saw my hobby and the garden I tended asked for my help and expertise to develop their own gardens. Greener Fingers is something that I manage on a part-time basis on a small scale. Since the future is unpredictable, it could one day turn into something huge, âhe said.
The idea of ââa truly green âgreen giftâ
âThe Christmas season is a time when we exchange countless gifts. If we were to add to this tradition and give a gift that will continue to grow, it will be an unforgettable gift, âsaid Majid. Greener gifts were introduced by Majid with the aim of reducing the buying and trading of plastics. Therefore, this method of giving focuses on sustainability.
This gift set contains a variety of herbs used in everyday dishes. He said: âYou will be able to add produce from your own garden to your daily meals. It is such an amazing feeling when you grow what you eat. I always opt for eco-responsible and organic products for consumption. It’s the same concept that I developed at Greener Fingers. From factory to packaging, 99% of the final product, except the liner inside the box, is an environmentally friendly and recyclable material.
These plants have been cared for using only organic fertilizers and homemade pesticides. This is another factor that makes this gift even more special. However, one cannot expect a harvest overnight. According to Majid, if these plants are properly maintained and cared for, the potential harvest would be breathtaking.
Plus, it’s an affordable gift option. Buying many gifts for family and friends during the holiday season adds to the list of expenses an individual incurs during the season. However, this herb garden can be presented to a whole family to enjoy for years to come. In addition, a brochure containing information on the exact methodology of plant care is also provided.
This gift idea for the Christmas season has been adored by many, and since its inception, it has been a must have gift option. Majid pointed out that this would make a perfect gift for anyone; people who love nature and greenery, those who are passionate about consuming organic food, and even for people without garden space for cultivation. This herb box can be kept in any space including a balcony or apartment.
Plant your own Christmas tree
One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect this planet is to plant a tree, and that’s exactly what Greener Fingers does. They pioneered the concept of planting Christmas trees to signify a greener and greener celebration. âEvery new year there is a tradition that we all practice in Sri Lanka. That is, planting a tree to indicate a new beginning. So why not do the same practice at Christmas? request Majid.
Cypress trees offered by Greener Fingers are considered a long term investment given their ability to last for decades. Thus, adopting this option of planting a cypress would contribute to a significant reduction in the annual felling of trees for Christmas decorations. Majid noted, âIt’s a sustainable option. In addition, it is a joy to decorate a tree that you have grown yourself. This will make the holiday celebrations even more special. “
There is a method for planting a tree. Thus, the progress and preservation of these plants, during their early years, depends on many factors including the weather, where the tree is planted and the attention given to it. Usually, provided these conditions are met in the first few weeks, they will be relatively low maintenance and grow easily. These plants can be planted in your garden or, upon request, Greener Fingers will arrange to plant these trees in pots to meet customer requirements.
âI will not encourage people to raise their hopes and expect these trees to grow to be seven feet tall by the end of the year. Trees grow at their own pace. However, rest assured that one can reap the fruits of their efforts within a reasonable time, âsaid Majid. “Hundreds of trees are cut down every year for Christmas decorations. It has contributed to so many problems, including global warming. We need to cut fewer trees and plant more. Teach these values ââto your children as well. It’s a rewarding hobby that anyone can embrace. Spend a few minutes each day with nature and do your part to preserve it. You will automatically fall in love with the beauty it conceals and tend to avoid polluting it, âhe added.
âGreenâ and âsustainabilityâ, two terms that go hand in hand, represent nature and the duty of all mankind to preserve it. Therefore, choose to plant your own Christmas tree and become a pioneer. Majid further emphasized that we must influence others by our own example: âAlthough the majority of the power to initiate environmental protection programs rests with the authorities, we are not completely powerless ourselves. We must take every opportunity to express the problems related to nature. Although very little we can do, it can still make a significant difference. “
The micro-gardening trend
One of the major challenges we face today is the lack of space to develop a garden. Hence, this is also one of the most common issues that come to Majid’s attention. Taking these issues into consideration, Greener Fingers is dedicated to promoting the concepts of micro-gardening. This method of gardening has proven to be the best way to fulfill his dream of growing a wide range of plants in a limited space.
Greener Fingers has a variety of plants and boxes to choose from. The “pepper box”, an assortment of five types of chili peppers, includes green chili, curry pepper, nai miris, varaniya pepper and kochchi. The âthree green boxâ contains gotukola, kankun and spinach. The “vegetable box” and “herb box” among many other options are their most famous products. They also customize the boxes to meet customer requirements and as gift options for any special occasion.
âI am also currently experimenting with a few other options which I will present through my social media platforms based on their successful execution,â said Majid.
In addition to the wide range of plants, they also provide assistance to buyers. Tips, brochures, providing organic fertilizers, and recommending YouTube tutorials are the most common methods they offer to customers who have asked for their help. Customer satisfaction is an important part of their routine. Therefore, if the plant wilts within the first week of purchase, it will be replaced with Greener Fingers for a lower price.
âPlants are similar to humans and therefore need to be well cared for. When we change its environment, it experiences a “transplant shock”, which hinders its ability to take root properly. We must pay special attention to the plants during these first weeks. People can also contact us for help on these issues.
Greener Fingers, created in 2020 during the pandemic, was a lockdown project for Majid. Using his spare time during the pandemic, Majid has managed to master the art of planting and using organic material for plant care. Understanding the correct proportions of sunlight, soil, organic pesticides, and compost fertilizer needed for good plant growth was an area that caught his attention. âI just learned by trial and error. However, the result has been gratifying. Nonetheless, the pandemic has brought us back to our roots, âhe said.
Majid plans to pursue his passion while encouraging as many people as possible to plant more and end any food shortages that may arise. âIt’s a great achievement and a moving activity to get involved in. Going green is our ultimate goal, âsaid Majid, encouraging everyone to give micro-gardening a try.
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