Hafiz Khan, on the next day Diwali, was strolling along a beach in Chennai, Tamil Nadu when he found a way to reduce the waste the festival leaves behind.
When he saw empty boxes of firecrackers, he realised how he can recycle them to help mother nature prosper in times like these.
“After Diwali night I was passing through the beach and I found hundreds of boxes of firecracker lying down. I thought these will be trashes. But waste is a waste when it is wasted. We immediately picked up the boxes,” Hafiz Khan said.
Hafiz put out messages on social media asking people to collect empty cracker boxes.
Hafiz told us that the cardboard cracker boxes are perfect for the saplings as they retain the much needed moisture in a place like Chennai.
“Nature is simple and we have amazing solutions to complex problems. Whatever little is there in the firecracker boxes, wash it or rinse with cow dung water and it neutralises the whole thing,” he said.
“Put the sapling or seeds in the cracker box, add the required amount of soil, water it and allow the sapling to germinate. Once the sapling responds and grows by an adequate size, the cracker box can be put into a pot or straight into the ground,” Hafiz elaborated.
Hafiz and his team of 45 people, under a trust called Communitree, have collected almost 27,000 boxes of all shapes and sizes. “We have collected almost 27,000 boxes. We then call schools, colleges and corporates to use these saplings,” Hafiz added.