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Ring in the new: Start 2018 on a greener, more sustainable note

Give old objects a new life with some upcycling, mark time in quirky formats.

mumbai Updated: Jan 05, 2018 22:49 IST
Upcycled items,Upcycling,Recycling
A planter made from upcycled glass by Bangalore-based brand, Rimagined.

If 2017 gave you (and us) enough reason to frown, weep or fear the end of the world, how about starting 2018 on a determinedly feel-good note? We’ve rounded up the coolest ideas in upcycling, allowing you to start off the year by doing your bit for the planet, and to help you schedule your good deeds, calendars that do more than mark holidays and long weekends.

This used to be what?

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Rimagined upcycles everything from Tetrapak to vinyl records, to create jewellery, stationery and home décor.

“Courier us the material you wish to upcycle or buy finished products from us,” says founder Shailaja Rangarajan.

Pritesh Shah, 24, a businessman from Thane ordered a pouffe made out of labels taken from discarded jeans. “It is a piece of art,” says Shah. “Makes my room look informal, casual and hey it’s green.”

Adding glam to junk started as a hobby for Saniya Agarwal, 19, a design student from Kolkata. “I made coasters by sandwiching elastic bands, safety pins and band-aids between two CD covers, and converted old beds into chess boards,” she says.

Online portal, Engrave, turns old encyclopaedia and dictionary pages into art, printing vector graphics over, and framing them.

The hobby is now a fledgling business, Saniya’s Duniya, and includes acrylic, papier-mache and metal upcycled into cool gear.

Encyclopaedia or dictionary gathering dust while you Google? Nimish Adani, founder of Engrave, will turn them into art. “We take the pages and print vector graphics on them and frame them for sale,” he says. Engrave also has upcycled yoga mats, cloth slippers and glass bottle pendants.

Wonky Works turns glass into hanging planters and serving trays. “You can also just add an LED bulb to a bottle and shine up the space,” says Ekta Doctor, founder.

It’s a date

Pranita Kocharekar’s calendar, 12 months 12 goals, lets you set a simple yet achievable targets for each month.
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Are you ready for a greener year? 21fools, an online portal started by Divyanshu Asopa in 2012, has created an eco-friendly calendar that has seeds from a different plant sown into each of the 12 pages.

“The pages have been made from beej kapas paper and embedded with seeds; the frame from reclaimed wood from outskirts of Jodhpur,” says Asopa. The seeds include basil, tomato and marigold. Delivery happens in three phases – in January (with sheets of four months), April and in September so the paper is fresh. When the month is done, moisten the paper; put it in a pot, cover it with mud, water it regularly and wait. A lovely plant emerges in a few days.

If you want a calendar that’s a to-do list for your kinds of tasks, turn to Pranita Kocharekar. The 25-year-old Mumbai illustrator and artist created a calendar for those who “wanted to know how to be productive and get things done,” she says.

A page from a Bhuli calendar showing the Chhau dance in an art style inspired by the traditional Kalighat paintings of West Bengal.

Amid the colourful doodles and illustrations are simple goals set every month. For January: stay in touch with family and friends; February is for drinking at least 4 litres of water a day. “People don’t use calendars these days so you need to offer them something different,” she says. “I’ve listed fun events like national ice-cream day, to keep it light.”

Learn more about India as 2018 progresses. Tanya Singh, 29 and Tanya Kotnala, 24, founders of Bhuli, have a calendar showcasing lesser-known dance forms illustrated in that state’s traditional art form.

There’s Choliya illustrated in an Aipan painting from Uttarakhand; Ghode Modni inspired by Azulejo tile work from Goa; Rouf, in a Jasrota painting from J&K. “Most of these forms are performed by last generation of artists.

We wanted to spread awareness,” says Kotnala, the designer and illustrator; 10% of proceeds go to help 10 malnourished kids from Uttarakhand, with the help of the state government.

First Published: Jan 05, 2018 22:49 IST