Seed flags for sustainable R-Day celebrations

Published on Jan 23, 2022 01:39 PM IST

Sow the flag in a pot full of soil, and with some water, sunlight and care, within four weeks you’ll see seeds germinating.

Plantable flags, which have seeds embedded in them, are an attempt to reduce plastic waste during celebrations.
Plantable flags, which have seeds embedded in them, are an attempt to reduce plastic waste during celebrations.
By, New Delhi

The sight of plastic flags dumped on the streets, after Republic Day celebrations, has led to quite a few organisations and individuals take up concentrated efforts to mark the occasion with a sustainable approach.

“Once the celebrations are over, we usually saw flags being dumped on the sides of the roads. With plantable flags, we want to manage waste, reduce plastic and encourage planting trees,” says Nayna Bansal from Back to Nature, which sells plantable flags across Delhi-NCR. “This Republic Day we aim to sell one thousand plantable flags. Our core focus is to educate kids in schools and even the underprivileged kids to use plantable flags instead of plastic flags. Post the Republic Day celebrations, all one has to do is sow the flag in a pot full of soil, and with some water, sunlight and care, within four weeks you’ll see seeds germinating.”

Plantable flags are embedded with seeds of tulsi, wildflowers, tomatoes, green chilli and marigold.
Plantable flags are embedded with seeds of tulsi, wildflowers, tomatoes, green chilli and marigold.

The flags are created out of scrap paper and cotton collected from corporates and textile industries. “They are recycled, and embedded with seeds of tulsi, wildflowers, tomatoes, and marigold,” adds Bansal. Meanwhile, Manisha Kaushik, from Inner Wheel Club that promotes the use of seed-embedded cloth flags, adds, “We are empowering underprivileged men and women to make cloth flags instead of plastic flags. Thin seeds are put in the flags and dried. Once dry, it’s ready to be sold, and can easily be planted after being used as part of the celebrations. Our green chilly flags are very popular.”

Bhavisha Buddhadeo, from a Noida-based NGO, Green Society India is working hard to create demand and spread awareness about eco-friendly flags among the children as well. “We are giving them out for office celebrations as people are becoming more and more conscious about avoiding single-use plastic flags. Flags with seed papers are much in demand at present. But due to the Covid-19 situation, schools are online and events are mostly less as compare to previous years.”

For the Instagram page Plantables.store, the story of seed paper flags started way back in 2019. Garima Capoor Nanda from the store, says, “The apprehension around the idea of planting Indian flag was resolved by the fact that respectfully burying it in soil was not in violation of the Flag Code. In fact, it’s better than throwing plastic flags in garbage. We’ve been seeing a massive demand for such flags. Amid the pandemic restrictions, the dip in sales was expected, but the acceptance to shift to an eco-friendly alternative remains on a steady rise.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naina Arora writes on City, Art and Culture of Gurugram, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City

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