Did you know Water Hyacinths were introduced into India by the British? The gift has since become a menace to Indian water bodies. The invasive nature and the quick growth of the plant have a negative impact on aquatic fauna and flora. However, six young women have come up with a solution: making biodegradable yoga mats out of them!
In Assam, the freshwater lake of Deepor Beel was getting destroyed by water hyacinths. The lake, however, is visited by about 200 birds during their migration. It is highly valuable to environmentalists as well as wildlife biologists.
However, the government was failing to solve the water hyacinth problem even after spending crores. So these six girls turned them into biodegradable yoga mats which are eco-friendly. Since 2021 February, they have been trying to make a livelihood out of it while returning the former glory of the lake.
The Biodegradable Yoga Mats Is Both Economy And Environment Friendly
Mitali Mainu Das explained that the lake’s fishing activity, as well as the fishermen’s livelihood, was being hampered by the plant. The migratory birds were being affected as well since they were unable to fish properly due to the plant. Their first idea was to make sustainable bags out of discarded fishing nets. But then they decided to use water hyacinths as the raw material. Eventually, they ended up with biodegradable yoga mats.
Rumi Das explained the process. First, they collect and sun-dry the plants. They get about 3kg of material from 12kg after drying. Once dried, the plants’ stems are woven in-between threads of cotton to make the biodegradable mats.
Rumi adds that no chemicals or artificial colors are used. Only natural dyes are used for the colors. The others are Mitali Das, Sita Das, Bhanti Das, and Mamoni Das. The biodegradable mats are named Moorhen Yoga Mats. Each retail for about Rs 1200 to Rs 1500.
The practice has since become a major source of income for the region’s women. Further training is given by the Indian Government every year. The mats take about three weeks to prepare and are completely biodegradable. Almost 1,000kg of the invasive plant has been cleared as well.
Why not make the environment healthier too with Yoga?