India is a land of religion, where people are accustomed to offer flowers, garlands, coconut and milk to the deities in the temples, churches, gurudwara and mosques as they are considered a symbol of devotion and reverence. Everyday, millions of colourful flowers are offered in the name of religion. While they create a picturesque scenery at that moment, they are later disposed into the rivers, killing fishes and other living beings, creating chaos in the fragile atmosphere and thus causing enormous water pollution. Every year, 80 lakh metric tonnes of flower waste is dumped into the river bodies, and with no way to recycle them, these generous offerings turn into colossal waste.
The students of Connecting Dreams Foundation, SRCC have come up with an evergreen solution for this problem. Their brand, Esscent by Arpan, is a line of premium flower-based incense sticks that are made from dried flower waste and are 100% charcoal free.
They started with the identification of the problem. Burning of regular incense sticks releases carbon dioxide and hazardous carbon monoxide because of the presence of charcoal. However, after extensive research they discovered that flower waste can be substituted as a component in place of charcoal. This prohibits the release of hazardous carbon monoxide. After performing market analysis, they validated their idea by developing a formula and conducted research and lab testing at Patel Chest Institute.
The transformation of flower waste to incense sticks takes place in multiple stages which includes collection and solar drying of flower waste, combining different components to obtain the paste, hand rolling of incense sticks and finally packing them in eco-friendly boxes.
India, a country known for its diversity, often suffers with the problem of providing equal employment opportunities to each and every strata of the society. Having identified this problem, Esscent employs specially-abled people and rural women who are often overlooked owing to their comparable working efficiency. However, Esscent, upholding the virtue of compassion ensures local communities connect by empowering and making them self-reliant.
1000! Yes, it takes these many years for plastic to decompose. A problem detrimental to the environment. To tackle this, Esscent incense sticks come in a three-layered eco-friendly packaging with zero plastic usage, thus, protecting the environment.
All in all, Esscent is a divine offering to nature, accomplishing its objectives of empowering people, conserving the planet and promising purity.