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Greening the Pujas!

Upping the eco friendly quotient, EarthSmiles.net, like last year will be hosting the Planet Points Planet Friendly Sharad Shamman.
Eco Labeling and Eco Enabling the Pujas across Kolkata, the Planet Points evaluators team will hit the road on Panchami, 29 September.

This year the eight shortlisted planet friendly pujas that qualified will be evaluated by the PlanetPoints team:

Rammohan Sammilani Brindaban

Matri Mandir 66 Palli Durgotsab

Commitee Badamtala Ashar Sangha

Suruchi Sangha Hatibagan

Sarbojanin Durgotsav Committee

Maniktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty

Durga Puja Committee Golfgreen

Sarodutsav Committee

Watch this space for more news on the evaluation, and the winner of 2014 - Kolkata's most Planet-friendly puja!

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Meera Bhowmik, Correspondent
No greenwash - just green truths.
Green shopping spree
With EarthSmiles.net's PlanetPoints greening the Puja Pandals, and Earth Day Network in association with the South City International School dressing up the revellers, we wish you all a very Green Puja!
“Aye re chute ae pujor gondho eseche…” (Let’s rejoice, Puja is almost here) Although dark gloomy clouds are covering up the ideal Sharat skies, Bengal’s grandest festival - Durga Puja is just around the corner. With less than nine days to go for the celebrations to kick off, the Bongs are wrapping up their shopping sprees. Girls flocking towards accessory stores, and now heading towards the parlours for the pre-puja touch up. Kumortuli is in an ultra busy mode with the artisans giving the final strokes.

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Goddess Durga and her family in a
traditional potchitr...
Eco ideology and Spirit of the Pujas entwined at Earth Day Network, in association with the South City International School, Green Puja Bazaar. Saturday, 20 September saw the school cafeteria turn into an eco friendly marketplace, welcoming all to all to buy natural, eco-friendly and organic products.

On the racks were designer Sanjukta’s quirky and vibrant colours - Sanjukta metamorphoses Lungis and Gamchas into offbeat sarees and accessories. “This is my first sari and jewellery exhibition with EDN,” smiled the designer. Her eco contribution to the planet this festive season would be less shopping! “The best way to go green is to control consumption. So I’ll be controlling my consumption and shop less this year,” she said.

Namrata Manot’s Aura X Biome was also available - lifestyle products to designer outfits. The GOTS certified Aura products are not only comfortable but also stylish. For Puja exclusives Namrata offers a variety of kurtis and jackets along with Chinese collared shirts. Herself dressed in an comfy and airy (Aura X Biome) attire, Namrata said, “With better technology prices have also come down to a great extent. Being eco-friendly doesn’t always bite hard on the pocket you see!” she added.

Further down the line of exhibits, EarthSmiles.net found a Saree lover’s heaven. Sitting pretty in an olive green saree, Suchismita Dasgupta spoke about her clothing line - Nextiles. Made of noile, i.e. the waste from silk yards, the vibrant drapes range between INR 2,500 to 7,000. Speaking of fashion during Durga Puja Suchismita said, “I believe Puja is not quite the time to experiment. So I would prefer to stick to traditional colours such as red and white, yellows, oranges and pinks.”

Displaying a wide range of natural oils, hair care products, air fresheners, and lip and heel balms was Kamuuda. Started by bio technologist Bijoyaditya Mukherjee, Kamuuda is run by a husband-wife duo. Kamuuda aims at going absolutely artificial free and offers natural cold processed handcrafted soaps. A Puja exclusive at their store was the Shiuli soap. With a bee wax coating, the soap is made of Shiuli flower that blooms only during Durga Puja. Apart from the designer attires and lifestyle products, the Green Puja Bazaar showcased a wide array of home decors and handicrafts from various corners of West Bengal.

Both Banglanatok Dot Com and Artisana CCWB (Crafts Council West Bengal) displayed the lost arts of the state. From Chaau masks to Pot chitro and pottery items the stalls had the perfect set of home decors.

Poulomi Chatterjee of Artisana expressed her concern for the dying arts of Bengal. “Supporting the artisans and potters and also creating awareness, so that more people get to know about the wonderful arts of Bengal is our aim,” she said. Adding to the style quotient was La Mode Salon. An organic salon that helps you relax with a foot or body massage, without harming the environment. Just the place to be for a pre puja touch up, right, planet lovers?

But the star of the green bazaar was a Bong favourite. Yes, Misti! But no ordinary sweet, it was EDN’s 100% organic ladoos. “We are aiming at planting the idea of organic misti at various sweet shops. Just like diabetic sweets became a hit, we are hoping organic misti will also work wonders,” said Karuna Singh, country director, EDN.

From top: Products from Down To Earth; Noile Sarees from Nextiles; EDN's Organic Ladoos!