Green Cart Pilot Project

READ, REUSE, RECREATE: Giving New Life to Old Books and Magazines

Social Media Campaigns for the Collection of Magazines and Books

We launched a potent social media drive to collect old magazines and books. Exploiting Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, our dynamic two to three-day campaign inspired friends and family to generously donate. The resonance of our cause reverberated through digital channels, leaving a lasting mark on our close-knit community. Our campaign symbolized collective benevolence, using vibrant images and captions to highlight the value of giving old books a fresh start. The call to action resonated widely, evoking heartwarming support from friends and family who reconnected with cherished stories. This interactive journey fostered shared experiences, amassing reading materials and fostering camaraderie, reinvigorating literature through goodwill. 

On-Ground Work Execution

  • Collection of Old Magazines And Books
We embarked on a mission to gather used magazines and neglected books, reaching out to family members and friends who shared our passion for donating. As we collected these literary treasures, we took care to assess the paper quality. This was crucial because the used books and copies we accumulated would be repurposed for crafting golgappa cups. With a team of five dedicated members, each contributing over 20 books and a variety of magazines, our efforts resulted in an impressive collection. In total, we gathered around 80 to 85 unused books and 30 magazines, a testament to our collaborative determination and commitment to sustainability.
  • Survey at Golgappa stall in Silchar
our volunteer engaged in survey
Having gathered magazines and books, our attention turned to a significant task – surveying nearby golgappa vendors. At different locations at Silchar, we aimed to convince vendors to switch from plastic to ecofriendly paper cups for serving golgappas, prioritizing a greener approach to their business practices.

In these interactions, we discussed the environmental benefits of shifting to paper cups with vendors. Many were receptive, showing interest and engaging in discussions. Some asked about the change's execution, indicating a willingness to consider the shift. A few vendors inquired about the logistics of implementing paper cups, and we provided insights and samples. This engagement revealed the potential for eco-friendly practices, aligning with our report's focus.

  • Testing Samples Before Distribution
testing the viability of our handmade cups
In our process, we meticulously craft preliminary samples prior to distribution. This step allows us to thoroughly evaluate the need for potential adjustments while also actively seeking input from the puchkawalas, who bring valuable on-the-ground insights. Through rigorous testing and analysis, we can discern a comprehensive array of essential factors, including: 
  • Water leakage occurs after 10-20 golgappas.
  • The need for enhanced paper quality.
  • The requirement for thicker paper.
  • Some golgappa stalls declined our idea of providing paper and magazine cups.
Making of cups

    After testing multiple samples, we have gathered comprehensive information about the cups, and we are now fully prepared to commence the production process. Our first step is to enhance the quality of our papers. Secondly, we've found that the cups start leaking after 10 to 20 uses, so we use two layers of paper to ensure the cups prevent leaking. We also conducted testing on the cups at home. In total, we have successfully created 347 cups.

handmade paper cups by our  team
    We were actively involved in distributing paper cups to the golgappa stall. While we did face some initial rejections, we were able to find three golgappa stall vendors who enthusiastically embraced our paper cups and even replaced their factory made cups with them. Detailed information about these golgappa stall can be found on the next page. 
    During our interaction, we proposed selling paper cups to them (e.g., 50 cups for 5 rupees), and they readily agreed to the idea. They also requested the contact information for the NGO. In addition to this initiative, we also provided the golgappa stall with old books to support their businesses.
    In total, we distributed 345 cups to them. Despite encountering issues with the initial batch' s quality, similar to the first set of 345 cups, the golgappa stall declined to take them. However, we improved the quality for subsequent batches. 
    To enhance our engagement, we affixed stickers onto their carts and took photographs together. A collection of these distribution photos can be found on the page following the informational section. 

Feedback from Golgappa Stall Owner
1. The adoption of paper cups is being well received by individuals, showcasing a commendable level of acceptance. 
2. On a daily basis, we witness the utilization of a significant quantity, precisely 100 paper cups, meeting diverse needs. 
whole team of volunteers near a golgappa stall
Executed by Volunteers:
Arnab Chakraborty, Priya Joisy, Anupam Saha, Prasiddha Dey & Nandita Saha