The way we treat the earth reflects who we are as human beings. That is why I believe strongly in organic farming and sustainability. For too long, we have treated the planet as a garbage receptacle. In the same way, many people do the same to their bodies when choosing what to eat. Agriculture is the backbone of India. With a large percentage of India used for agricultural purposes and its people toiling in the fields, what we put into the soil and then from there into our bodies needs to be sustainable, organic and pure.
I personally discovered a while ago that eating organic vegetables resulted in a very positive change. Simply put, I felt better – more energetic, healthy and satisfied. I wanted more people to reap the benefits of organic living, so we at Jaipur Rugs decided to use organic vegetables in our cafeteria and we now give employees the opportunity to purchase the produce at a minimal price.
To take things to another level, we are now working with local farmers to expand organic farming. More than 100 farmers participated in a workshop at our organic farm to learn about the importance and benefits of organic farming. We hope to form a network of local farmers who can sell organic vegetables and earn profits. Our goal is to spread organic farming across the country because it is so beneficial for people and the planet.
Taking care of Mother Earth also means saving her from excessive waste. By eliminating plastic waste from our organization and making packaging more sustainable, we hope to make a small difference for the planet. But we also want to educate our employees about the environment because it takes small efforts by a large number of people to make a powerful impact.
Our weavers are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste. A workshop with weavers taught them how to create useful and unique items with waste yarns. Not only does this recycle something that would have been thrown out, but it can also lead to one-of-a-kind products.
Another very important project that we are working on involves making village artisans aware of their leadership abilities. Through our Teal Project, small groups are formed and self-managed with the ultimate goal of producing work with zero defect, zero waste and 100% on-time delivery. Whatever monetary savings come from the projects are added to the artisans’ incomes.
While the extra income is obviously very valuable to the weavers, the leadership skills that are acquired by the artisans and the resulting environmental benefits are priceless. Protecting and preserving the environment is a daunting task, but if we all collectively make little changes, big differences will result.