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Students barter scrap from home for attractive stationery to save paper

A unique idea with no money involved teaches students to recycle and save Mother Nature.

punjab Updated: Jun 25, 2018 15:05 IST
Parina Sood
Parina Sood
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Save environment,recycle paper,Tricity schools
Students of The Gurukul School, Panchkula, exchanging scrap papers for stationery made from recycled paper with Anju Gupta, founder of Anadee.(HT Photo)

They do great things: make handmade and recycled paper products dedicated to nature and teach children about conserving paper. “Anadee means eternal and endless. I finalised this name taking inspiration from Mother Nature that gives us endlessly, fulfilling all our needs”, says Anju Gupta, founder of the eponymous firm.

The beginning

An ex-insurance industry employee, Gupta thought of turning an entrepreneur for the environmental cause, spreading awareness on conserving paper and in turn saving trees and pitching a unique idea to schools in the tricity in 2015 under the banner of ‘Recycle with us’. As part of a barter system, students were asked to bring scrap and waste paper from home and were given attractive stationery made from recycled paper in return. No money was involved. A small experiment in her alma mater DC Model School, Sector 7, Panchkula, proved to be successful and in a span of two days, 1,910 kg (or close to 2 tonnes) of scrap paper was collected.

“Every month, on one specified day children contribute scrap paper, magazines or newspaper. Now saving paper comes automatically to them”, says BB Gupta, director, DC Model group of schools.

‘Recycle with us’ was revamped and rebranded as Anadee in November 2017 and has worked in close association with more than 30 schools in tricity till date, including Learning Paths, Mohali; and Stepping Stones and Bhavan’s Vidyalaya, both in Chandigarh, among others.

Children excited about idea

“Children get excited about the idea of receiving unique stationery items like pencils made from old newspapers while learning about saving the environment”, says Harsimran Kaur, principal, The Gurukul school, Panchkula.

The paper deposited by the children is weighed in kilos and stationery worth the amount a scrap dealer would have paid for it is given to the children. “Scrap paper is sold at around Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kg in households. We use this transaction rate to provide stationery to children. A pack of pencils could be bartered for 4 kg of scrap paper, which translates to Rs 48”, says Gupta, who is in her thirties.

As Anadee looks forward to reaching its break-even point soon, it is already in talks with the online retail giant Amazon to finalise on an e-selling route.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 15:05 IST