Talking recycling and upcycling on a Sunday

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Bangles made out of leftover woollen threads and plastic flowers. Earrings made from old silk sarees and paper chips. Cute Indian breed puppies for adoption. Stalls full of second-hand clothes, bags and shoes for reusing. The West calls it the yard sale, we call it – ‘Reuse and Recycle mela’!

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After a successful fourth edition of the flea market, the fifth edition turned out to be even better. AICOBOO Grounds in BTM 1st Stage saw large participation from the buyers as well as the sellers. Around 50 sellers participated while the mela saw over 700 visitors during the day. 

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Recyclers and upcyclers

Vinita from Winnie’s Craft brought handmade cards, envelops, frames and pencils made out of paper chips and old invitation cards. “I started it as a hobby and my friends and relatives liked it so much that they started asking to buy. I still pursue it as my hobby.” said Vinita.

Rabi Ratnakar from Studio Refresh, brought lamps and bottles made from paper mache. He has been a regular seller at the Second To None markets and likes coming back over and over again.

Hema Ganesan from Rentoys.in (also a sponsor of the event) displayed attractive branded toys that can be rented for few months and then returned. “This will be lighter on the parents’ pockets and will give a variety of toys to children to play with,” she said.

Sonali Doshi displayed her Green Earth Bags which are eco friendly, strong and saves a lot of paper, and wood. “I would say these Polypropylene (non-woven or polymer) bags are better than cloth bags too because cloth bags get soggy in rains. These bags looks trendy too.”

Vidya Ramamurthy from Sattvam, a virtual store, displayed her collection of refurbished food packaging like cornflakes box, wine boxes and more to be used as gift boxes. “So much paper is wasted with these cardboard boxes. If you recycle these, it makes for amazing gift boxes,” she said.

Visitors’ Diary

Siddhatha Anand, a professional from Indiranagar who came to the event with his wife, said, “We attended the earlier flea market and thought this was a great concept to bring out innovative ideas.”

His wife Kavitha S was very fascinated with the creative paper earrings and wire jewellery. “These jewelleries look really cool with jeans as well as Indian dresses. (Usually) you have to go find different things at different places. But here, there are so many stalls with so many things,” she added.

Michelle, a communication student from Richmond town, bought a bottle of mango jam with red wine flavour from ‘Nature in a Bottle’. “Last time in the flea market at Jaaga, I took a different flavour of jam and everybody at my place loved it. They have some really awesome combinations of jams here.” She also added that the home-made nut cookies and muffins were also delicious.

Krishna K R came with her 6-year-old daughter who kept herself busy at the puppy adoption counter. “She loves dogs and we already have one at home. But she still wants to take another one home.”  But they decided to not adopt another puppy as they thought it was as challenging as taking care of a baby. “So two are enough,” she smiles.

Yummy treats

The market would be definitely incomplete without food. Homemade cookies, muffins, jams and samosas attracted the visitors.

Hema Mahesh who runs Nature in a Bottle said, “I used to make jams with different combinations for my husband. Later, he and my friends asked me to sell them as they liked it very much.” Hema researches for seasonal combinations like mango with red wine, Tomato and orange, Kiwi and Jalapenos, and prepares jams according to the seasonal fruits availability.

Paneesh Rao from In the Pink, an organic restaurant, sold items like Samosa, Jalebi, Veg rolls and Khichadi, all of it – organic. “We kept items like samosas, cutlets and rolls as we did not know how would people react to more traditional items.” But the khichdi, which was made of Foxtail Millet or Navane, quickly sold out.

Green efforts

Akshay Yadav, member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table and volunteers from Saahas, an NGO working on waste management, demonstrated the e-waste management process, waste segregation and its importance.

The founder of Let’s Live Together – an organisation that provides a platform for street puppies adoption, Achala Pani and her team of volunteers brought adorable pups, ready to get adopted. Young children were thrilled to see the pups and could be heard pestering their parents to take one home. 

Achala spoke to prospective adoptees to ensure they will be able to take care of the pets – asking if anybody will be home during the day, how big is their house, etc. It is after all a long term commitment – adopting a dog. At the end of the day, only two pups found homes. The rest are still waiting.

The Gift Your Organ Foundation shared information and how to donate organ. That is the ultimate reuse concept. NGOs like Toybank – collecting old toys, gift wrapping them and presenting them to children who cannot afford to buy them, and Samarthanam – encouraging and supporting people with disability, were present with their collection boxes to accept old clothes, books, toys etc.

The Green tip idea corner put up by Citizen Matters, was buzzing with ideas such as “Switch off the car engine while waiting at the signal”, “Put your computers on Hibernate mode when not in use, to save power” and “Use the water used to soak vessels, for the gardens.”

From the organisers

Anupama G, one of the organisers from 220, said the weather affected turnout. “A lot of people who said they would come, did not come due to the weather. But still, the number of people who came, as well as the response, is much higher than last time,” she added.

Meera K, from Citizen Matters, was happy to see many visitors donate old clothes and toys for the underprivileged. She said, “This was a great platform for NGOs like Toybank and Samarthanam who pass on the stuff to those who need it more”


About Anisha Nair 69 Articles
Anisha Nair is a Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters.