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 Climate Change

Environment
Published on: June 26, 2020, 7:46 a.m.
Don’t scrap that old phone!
  • Chulet, Dasarathi and Sarabhai hope India can take the lead in reusing products to save the environment

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

Online marketplace Quikr is helping save 204 million kg of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of 10 million trees. This, according to a study conducted in collaboration with Centre for Environment Education (CEE), is nearly equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Shimla’s last recorded population of nearly 170,000 according to the 2011 census.

Its business model of reusing as a concept right from its establishment in 2008 also helps Quikr save five billion litres of water annually – an amount that is nearly equal to the annual water requirement of a city with a population of 100,000.

With this study, which highlights the environmental benefits of the used-goods market in India, Quikr and CEE are working to spread awareness among Indian consumers on this concept. “Being a Made in India business, we are working to make our passive consumers aware of environmental benefits,” says Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet. “We hope that they will become active and lead the path wherever possible.”

The products considered for the Quikr-CEE study are those that generate the highest traffic on QuikrBazaar, the consumer goods vertical that includes laptops, computers, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, smartphones, television sets, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, music systems, gaming consoles and wooden furniture. The study, released by Chulet and CEE founder-director Kartikeya V Sarabhai at a function in Bengaluru along with entrepreneur G.V. Dasarathi who is an ardent propagator of the concept of reusing, also points out people all over the world have started reusing to reduce the amount of waste generated.

Reusing is not the only answer to haunting natural calamities like global warming, but this kind of resource efficiency reduces the pressure on the environment. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Scotland and Japan are among those that are already implementing initiatives that encourage this model. “Quikr is proudly one of the first few to talk about reusing in India,” Chulet adds. “Our consumers can help in creating a multiplier effect on the environment.”

With Quikr’s presence in 1,200 cities and a monthly user count of over 30 million, it can surely help this happen. The endorsement by CEE, the environment ministry-supported Centre of Excellence in Environmental Education that is developing programmes and material to enhance public awareness about the environment and sustainable development, makes the target even more achievable. Add the average Indian’s inbuilt thrift and the system of ‘raddi’ or ‘kabadi’ ingrained over generations, it’s a winner!


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