The joy of recycling flowers

recycling flowers

Flowers play an important role in Indian culture. There is no event or occasion which does not happen without the presence of flowers. Looking objectively flowers are perhaps the best way towards an organic celebration. They are bio degradable, easy to grow and transport and available in the widest range of colours nature can offer. Flowers provide considerable income opportunities to the famers who grow them and the supply chain who bring them to the city markets. However the story of a flower has much more to offer.

How we got the idea of recycling flowers

One of our volunteers suggested the idea of recycling flowers. We researched on the internet and did our first trial four years back using a DIY video as a reference. We used flowers to create organic colours for use during holi.

Once we were confident on the process, we began looking for sources. We coordinated with a few temples in the vicinity to get fresh flowers every afternoon and left the flowers to dry. We also have a tie up with a community centre who provide us with flowers in the morning after the wedding rituals are completed the previous evening.

Once the flowers are received we segregate it visually to remove the damaged petals to maintain the overall colour profile. Petals are removed carefully and allowed to fully dry. Washing and drying is not done so that the process does not use water and electricity. Dried petals are collected and grind into a powder. Care is taken that no contact with water is made at any time. In the end, the dried powder is packed and ready for sale.

The colours in demand

The most common colour used is gulal or red. This can be created by using rose petals or hibiscus petals. Orange is again an easy colour using marigold which is very commonly used in temples as well as weddings. Finally the green leaves are used to create natural green colour.

Red and orange can be mixed to obtain an even intense red called Vermillion which is again a popular colour in India. We also get enough of white petals from various wedding flowers to get a neutral white powder.

Our process of making colours is fully organic and most of the work is done by hand. We have a loyal customer base who support our cause by regularly purchasing organic colours. We are more than delighted to work our bit for the environment.

Are there any other products possible other than organic color’s? Wait for the next article to know.

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