Divyanshu Asopa is creating a revolution of sorts with his calendar and paper products that grow into plants when sown.
What if we told you that your calendar can be more than just a list of dates and events? Divyanshu Asopa is the founder of ‘Kyaari’ — a calendar that grows into a garden. Made using beej-kapas and reclaimed wood, this innovative calendar by 21Fools is causing a stir.
“Back in 2014, we introduced a handmade and biodegradable paper, beej-kapas, for the first time in India. It has seeds and pre-consumed cotton waste (the excess material generated at textile industries), and grows into a plant when sown in soil. One has to only fill a pot with soil, moisten the paper and tear it into pieces, and place it in the soil. The seeds germinate once you start watering it,” explains 30-year-old Divyanshu, adding that the paper is manufactured at Sang-aner, a small town near Jaipur.
The calendar has 12 different seeds — marigold, tomato, holy basil (tulsi), chilli, grass, petunia, coreopsis, cosmos, vinca, pansy, balsam and portulaca — for each of the 12 months of the year. While the calendar was introduced only recently, Divyanshu has been making bookmarks, coasters, greeting and wedding cards, planting kits, paper bags, rakhis and business cards using the eco-friendly paper for a long time. “Since we want the seeds to remain fresh, we send the calendar three times a year with different seeds. The entire process is like parenting to us, where the plant is the baby. We have sold 2.5 million products, so imagine the number of plants that have grown!” he adds.
Talking about how he began turning paper into plant, he says, “In 2012, while studying engineering, a friend and I started 21Fools. We thought one can be happy when they are foolish and we loved the number 21. It was first a magazine, then we made greeting cards. My friend quit as the progress was slow but I didn’t give up. I moved to sustainable products after realising how much paper was being wasted.”
Divyanshu, now has a team with members from across India. Talking about the need to save our environment, he says that one can make simple changes to their lifestyle. “For instance, why use a plastic straw while drinking something? I am also coming up with a planting kit for kids, which will have interesting eco-friendly products,” concludes Divyanshu.