A Philippines Cafe Makes Straws From Coconut Leaves As A Perfect Alternative To Plastic Straws

By Mayukh Saha

Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  Of course, he was talking about the Moon landing. But considering the present condition our society is in, it could very well apply to us. With the continuous influx of pollutants into our environment, it is high time we take teeny tiny steps ourselves to some solution. It might go a long way towards helping the environment.

And us.

According to a report in 2016, 40 kg of plastic is produced for each of the 7 billion humans every year. It’s no mystery that it will grow. And because of that hundreds and thousands of marine animals continue to fall victim to gruesome deaths.

Plastics are non-biodegradable substances which take centuries to decompose. They clog the throats of marine animals leading to them choking and dying. They also contain harmful chemicals that make the soil infertile for future cultivation.

While plastic straws are not the main contributors to plastic pollution, Americans still use around 500 million straws daily. And at least 8 billion plastic straws end up on beaches globally. Also, plastic straws do comprise 4% of the total plastic waste, which is not negligible.

And that’s why small changes tend to matter a lot.

In the Philippines, the manager of Café Editha in Surigao Del Norte, Sarah Tiu, has chosen to go down the non-plastic route. She never liked plastic anyway. At first, she tried using stainless straws and paper straws to replace plastic straws. Well – the customers weren’t fans of the alternatives. She had to find some other way.

When she went on a trip down to Corregidor Island, she found a way to transform her eco-friendly ideas into action, without causing dissatisfaction among customers. There she learned how to use natural products like cut lukay and fresh buko to make straws. Lukay is coconut fronds and leaves while buko is coconut juice.

Once she learned to make these ‘natural’ straws, her idea was to implement it in her cafe. And she did so. The customers loved it. They started sharing the news, along with pictures, on social media. These straws were biodegradable, but the best part, they did not make any sounds and were leakproof. Customer satisfaction guaranteed!

The straws are easy to make and Tiu has shared pictures of these straws to encourage others to adopt them. She makes them with her workers’ assistance before the store opens in the morning.

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IMAGE CREDIT: Cafe Editha


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Scientists Are Baffled Why This Group Of Bees Built A Spiral Nest

By Mayukh Saha

Of the 20,000 varieties of bees in existence, the Australian Tetragonula carbonaria is one of the 500 varieties without a stinger. Do you think that makes them defenceless? Well, think again.

If any bug or insect tries to mess with this bee, it gets sprayed with a mixture of wax, plant resin, and mud — thereby being mummified alive. In fact, these bees are known for being in drawn-out battles with other such stingerless neighbors that lead to bee casualties, a regular coup d’etat.

Why such possessiveness, you might ask. Well, after seeing the hive they construct, you wouldn’t anymore. A Reddit sub displayed a picture of T. Carbonaria rearing the young in spiral-shaped towers called brood combs that have thousands of eggs interlinked on the staircase-like structure.

Tim Heard of CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) mentions that the photo on Reddit is simply a single layer of the hive. There could be at least 10-20 layers in all if it was fully developed. One layer, as the photo displayed, is a part of a continuous spiral structure.

The tiny circular pods that make up the comb are the brood cells. This is where the bees develop from eggs to a full-grown bee in 50 days. This has all been mentioned in Heard’s book The Australian Native Bee Book. These cells are created through the secretions of wax from the abdominal glands of worker bees, which then get mixed with the plant resin. This forms a cement-like material called cerumen.

After construction, the cells are provided with provisions as the nurse bees regurgitate enough nutrients for a bee to grow completely. After that, the queen bee lays eggs on all the provisions. And at the end of it all, the cells are capped off, so that the bees can grow in a closed environment.



As one cell gets constructed, worker bees move onto the next. They keep building cells, in a spiral shape. And, as the bees grow up and leave the cells, one can actually see the retreating edge or the empty cavities that they leave behind. The exit usually starts from the center, and the trail moves outwards.

Even though the cavity keeps on increasing at the lower levels, worker bees keep on building over them. Heard figures that if the queen had enough eggs to lay, the entire community would live together at one place indefinitely.

Why is the pattern spiral?

For centuries, almost every beekeeper, or scientist has tried to figure out the reason for the spiral shape of the hive, without any success. Heard has decided to leave it, proclaiming that it could either be adaptive or a random event. He shifts more towards adaptive, for this way of building hives reduces the amount of space required, thereby making the structure even more compact. Also, it helps them allow air to pass through all the layers.

But whatever be the case, it is indeed fascinating.


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

IMAGE CREDIT: Tim Heard

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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This All-Natural Toothpaste That Comes in Tablet Form Can Help Reduce Plastic Waste

By Mayukh Saha

Oral hygiene – it’s something that has a major role in our life. All of us desire those pearly-whites. Plus, if you have ever had cavity in your tooth, you would know what an agonizing experience it can be. That’s why it is necessary to go to the dentist every six months. And to brush our teeth daily with proper toothpaste.

But is there a proper toothpaste out there? Well, most toothpastes are loaded with harmful chemicals that can have devastating effects on your body. Plus, if you are concerned about the planet and follow the developments, you’d know that over 1 billion toothpaste tubes go to landfills and is one of the chief products in landfills. As concerned individuals, we would do anything to drop toothpaste or go down any sustainable route – something that would not harm our body or planet, but keep our pearly-whites healthy.

Enter Lindsay McCormick and Bite Toothpaste – founded back in 2017. She has produced a tablet toothpaste which you just need to pop in your mouth and then use your toothbrush to foam it up. It acts just like any other toothpaste – but it does not have any kind of harmful chemicals in it like sodium lauryl sulphate and fluoride. But there’s more to it. The tablet is vegan and intentionally sold in glass bottles with cardboard refill packets. The bottles tackle the problem of landfills – these are recyclable for infinite number of times, unlike even recyclable plastics which tend to go through a couple of recycling processes before ending up in landfills again.

If you are worried about quality – Lindsay has you covered. She doesn’t take any shortcuts. While most multinational companies outsource manufacturing to cheaper countries, sometimes even getting involved with sweatshops, Bite Toothpaste comes with a difference. The bottles are manufactured in the US and the ingredients are also tested so that they are the highest quality. It could be easily cheapened by outsourcing but Lindsay is not going down that route.

Lindsay was struck with this idea when she was traveling and she had nothing to use but the mini-toothpaste tubes which she knew would be harmful for the planet. She wanted to bring about a change and Bite Toothpaste came to her. She started it in her home. She started making toothpaste powder and, then, she bought machines that could transform them into tablets. The first was a handheld press machine, but she had to really work a lot during that time – especially when the orders starting pouring in. She was also putting them in glass bottles. The entire process was really inefficient.

But the business grew and, eventually, Lindsay started a woman-run manufacturing company present in California powered by solar energy. As of now, the company has shipped approximately 12 million Toothpaste Bits in Canada, U.S. and Australia. You can get it either through subscriptions for refills or single packages too.

Lindsay is proud of her company and she hopes that it would inspire other young entrepreneurs to build something that is sustainable and good for the planet. While she knows that entrepreneurs are glamorized in the current world, she doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. If there are more people innovating for the planet – it will be amazing, not only for us, but for the planet as well.

Let’s hope the best for Lindsay and all the future entrepreneurs looking out for the planet.


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com

Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

Images Source: Website

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Levi’s Is Using Hemp In Their New Line Of Sustainable Clothing

By Mayukh Saha

December marked a historic moment in the United States with hemp legalization. No wonder the industry is now flourishing. It has been estimated that the industry might go up and stand at a value of about $13.03 billion by the year 2026. You might have already come across hemp-derived products in the market, but now Levi Strauss & Co. is capturing a part of the fashion world by using hemp for sustainable clothing.

Levi’s is a denim icon and many people will swear by its name. But to keep up with its goodwill, as well as do something for our planet, Levi’s is going for sustainable clothing. While you might think that cotton is a harmless product, the water requirement of cotton is huge, almost 2,655 liters of fresh water, just for cultivation. With processing and finally using it in garments, it takes about 3,781 liters of fresh water. These are data that has been collected from the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Using alternatives like hemp can cut down the water use by 2/3rd.

So, in March, Levi’s collaborated with the Outerknown label to introduce a jacket and a pair of jeans made out of 69% cotton and 31% hemp blend which gives the pure cotton feel. The cannabis plant uses a lot less chemicals and water than cotton but is a bit difficult to manage too. While cotton is derived from the puffy bud found on top of the plant, indicating its softness, hemp fibers are taken from the trunk. It’s coarse and stiff, according to Paul Dillinger, the head of Levi’s global product innovation. It can be converted into a sturdy rope easily but for clothes – it just doesn’t seem like the ideal material.

But Levi’s knows how to mix and match ideas and come up with a working solution. Dillinger observed the growth trajectory of cotton demand and compared it with the fresh water requirement in both cotton processing and cultivation. It was pretty apparent that alternatives had to be found. Hemp was not on his mind, until the company discovered cutting-edge research that was being conducted in Europe in places where hemp was legalized. Details of the breakthrough or the partners involved were not revealed by the company but, within three years, the final product was in their hands and ready to be integrated into their clothing.

If cottonized-hemp can be integrated completely with the products of the industry, it can make way for a revolution. But Dillinger does not want people to get their hopes too high for now. This process is still in a novice state, and overnight revolution will not be possible. More research should be conducted before a shift can be made. It’s more likely that hemp will become another natural cotton alternative rather than a replacement of the versatile cotton.

Dillinger does not believe it will be a fad either. Generally, when people go for a sustainable product, they have to sacrifice some quality which the non-sustainable product boasted of. Oftentimes, they would make that sacrifice out of ‘choice’ or because it’s ‘cute’. But for cottonized-hemp, such a sacrifice would be unnecessary. According to Dillinger, customers won’t be able to spot a proper difference from pure cotton. Once proper research is done, he believes that within 5 years, such a product and the revolution is possible.

If it really turns out the way Dillinger hopes it would, we can save up a lot of freshwater. With the planet’s depleting resources requiring rapid preservation, this can be a massive development. Kudos to Levi’s, if they can make this work.


IMAGE CREDIT1: Levi’s

IMAGE CREDIT2: New Hope

Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Scientists Find Cocaine And Ketamine In Freshwater Shrimp

By Mayukh Saha

We have been fighting a battle for our planet for quite some time now. While human activity has resulted in devastating effects all over the world in land, air and water, currently we are concerned about marine life. Corporations all over the world are trying to phase-out single-use plastic to bring a difference to the planet. So, when scientists discovered traces of drugs like cocaine and ketamine in shrimp, it gave them a surprise.

Researchers from King’s College in London, working in collaboration with the University of Suffolk (England), conducted certain experiments in 15 specific areas around Suffolk. The samples were collected from rivers Box, Alde, Gipping, Deben, and Waveney. What surprised the scientists was that the samples had traces of cocaine as well as traces of ketamine. Whether this issue is localised to the county of Suffolk or not is something that needs to be examined further. The testing has to be done all over the UK and even abroad if possible.

The world is already reeling under the pressure of microplastic pollution and climate change. This invisible chemical of drugs is a new addition that can potentially harass the wildlife of the country. This exposure of micropollutants on wildlife and organisms like the Gammarus pulex or freshwater shrimp has been documented in a study that has been published in Environment International. Along with the drugs, there were also the traces of banned pharmaceuticals and pesticides found in these shrimp. On the good side, the researchers believe that the potential harm of these substances on shrimp will be low.

However, according to a press release, the presence of these illicit drugs in these wildlife rich areas was really surprising for Dr Leon Barren. It is expected that such high content in wild- or marine life can be found more in urban areas than in rural areas. Another mystery remains, regarding the presence of banned pesticides in the shrimp. Traces of fenuron were also found, which is a pesticide that has been banned in the UK for a long time. The source remains unknown.

This is definitely an astonishing find. We just need to study more about it to find out the effect that it can have on wildlife. Hopefully, this does not turn out to be a tragic development like microplastics.

IMAGE CREDIT1: dolgachov

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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This Is How Lay’s $177 Billion Owner Tried To Sue Local Indian Farmers For Growing Their Patented Potatoes and Failed

By Mayukh Saha

In a twist in the classic David vs Goliath story, the Goliath has rallied against David here. We are talking about the potential lawsuit with which PepsiCo has threatened small-time farmers in a small village near Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India.

But why?

The multi-billion dollar industry has alleged that four farmers of this particular village have been growing a special variety of potatoes whose rights have been bought by the industry. This means that what they have been doing has been a classic case of infringement on one’s patented property. And while they have threatened the small farmers with a lawsuit containing reparations of almost $143,000 each, they have decided to first try to settle amicably.

The potatoes in question are FL-2027, a variety that PepsiCo has exclusive rights over, since 2016 as submitted in the district court, and verified by CNN.

A spokesperson for the company told that they were looking at a lawsuit only because they wanted to safeguard the rights of several thousand farmers who were under a contract with PepsiCo. This would ensure that their privileges and rights aren’t infringed.

Interestingly, PepsiCo is India’s largest potato buyer, and this particular potato has been used to make its uber-famous Lays. PepsiCo is also one of the first international companies in India that went for localization and employed several thousand farmers to grow a variety of these protected potatoes.

PepsiCo mentions how there were many farmers who were given the legal right to grow these potatoes, but not Fulchand Kachchawa and Suresh Kachchawa living near Deesa, north of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

But as we would have it, the small farmers have found themselves being supported by a number of activists and lawyers. Around 190 activists have written to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, stating how these claims were not only false but could also be an attack on the sovereignty of the nation itself. India Today, a big-time media company writes how the activists believe that these claims are untenable and go against the spirit of a true business transaction.

Now, unless the matter is taken to court or dealt with amicably, we wouldn’t know who is in the wrong.

But if the words of Kapil Shah, head of the law group Janta is to be believed, the behemoth has made a big mistake by accusing these farmers. It will go against their rights to practice free agriculture.

On the 2nd of May 2019 Pepsico announced that they have withdrawn the Indian potato farmer lawsuits after political pressure.

In the end it’s awesome to hear that justice finally prevailed.

IMAGE CREDIT: Twitter

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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ALDI Announces They Are Turning To 100% Sustainable Packaging

By Mayukh Saha

The end of non-biodegradable plastic seems to be very near! With big corporations and supermarkets starting to make changes in their policies, it seems that we are looking forward to a bright future for our planet. It has been a long fight and the struggle continues, but now that we have corporations on our side, we can be positive about our victory and have it much earlier than expected.

This time, the supermarket chain ALDI has claimed that it will offer 100 percent recyclable, compostable, and reusable packaging for all the products by the year 2025. The company has put out some specific goals in a press release and the company has particularly said that they would be reducing their plastic packaging within five years.

The reason that this can be termed as a major win is because ALDI, as a grocery chain, has a major influence. It has about 1,800 stores in 35 states. They have a major impact on the lives of the American public. The problem until now was with the packaging that they received, which was just thrown out.

However, the giant had wanted to go down the sustainability route for quite some time and Jason Hart, their CEO, chose to speed up the process. They are aware of the global plastic crisis and are willing to do their best to prevent contributing to it.

ALDI has been a responsible grocery chain for quite some time now. They did not provide single-use plastic bags and have also assisted in keeping plastic grocery bags out of oceans and landfills. However, they are not satisfied. Keeping in mind how plastic continues to plague the world even now, it was important for them to do something more about this issue.

Hence, they committed to bring about a reduction in plastic packaging waste as a whole so that this menace can be stopped. They are all set to develop a future that they and all of us could be proud of. A future that is suitable for the next generation.

In the press release, ALDI claims that they have recycled over 250,000 tons of materials which include plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper. And this recycling process came with more benefits too. Due to this process, ALDI was able to avoid the creation of greenhouse gas which could have been equal to about 8,094,533 gallons.

As of now, about 90 percent of products which are sold in ALDI are packaged and produced for ALDI. This gives them the ability to initiate this step that is both ambitious and important, by doing this they will be setting a benchmark for all other corporations to achieve.

However, while the company may be producing recyclable packaging, our responsibility does not end there. It is our duty to support them, create awareness, and actually recycle these plastics so that more wastes are not produced. It is only by proper teamwork that we can achieve something.

ALDI shows the courage and responsibility to do something for the world. All it asks is your help and participation in it. So, are you willing to be a team member for a better tomorrow?


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

IMAGE CREDIT: Максим Кузубов

This article was sourced from Truth Theory

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School Replaced Detention With Meditation And It Created Incredible Results

By Mayukh Saha

We have all been through those terrible detentions back in school. But it’s really debatable whether detention actually results in any proper productive development in children. While many of us may have been told to step outside the class or stand while others are sitting, in a method to shame us, it always affects us negatively. Rather, we need to find a new way that will actually help students become better than they are without impacting their self-esteem.

In Baltimore, the Robert W. Coleman School brought about a change in their ‘detention’ method and it was a grand success. Taking help of the ancient Hindu practice of meditation, the school introduced the Mindful Meditation Room in February 2016, as reported by Uproxx. Here, meditation was used to calm and help students deal with anxiety and stress – thereby disciplining their mental thoughts. This method was introduced through a wonderful partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation. The school chose to break tradition and it seemed like a risky move. The question was – will it work?

Turns out – it did. The suspension rates in the school lowered significantly. Some of the students have mentioned how the program changed their lives. For example, if they were taking a test, they would just start taking deep breaths. In the midst of noise, they would meditate to tune out all the noise and become one with themselves. And the best part – it actually helped them to build their character. One of the students recalled that in the middle of a conflict with their parents, they were about to lose their cool when they remembered the breathing techniques. After breathing in and out – the anger was gone. That might actually be the best conflict resolution ever. Here are some of the kids practicing meditation:

√HLF uses a reciprocal teaching model so that the kids will go home and teach their families.

Young yogi in the making:

We need a change in our detention system so that we can actually help these students become good human beings in the future. Robert W. Coleman School has set up a wonderful example. Now, we can only hope that the other schools may follow through.

Image credits: Holistic Life Foundation / Facebook


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Artist Uses Everyday Organic Objects To Make Wonderful Patterns

By Mayukh Saha

Kristen Meyer, a designer and prop stylist based in Connecticut has found her unique art form. She makes wonderful geometric flat lay art by just using organic material she finds. By using common things like egg shells, petals, pebbles, etc., she has been able to create stunning patterns. Kristen puts the objects is such a meticulous fashion that they look perfect and whole.

But just placing objects is not art – you have to judge your surroundings properly and utilize the available materials in a specific manner to actually develop something into art. Kristen is able to do just that. She generally matches her work with light backgrounds which are pastel-colored and uses negative spaces so wonderfully that it brings out the art and the messages quite clearly. It’s almost like her art is going through a process of deconstruction. She describes it as “nature meets scissors”. Sometimes she uses the object as it is and sometimes she shapes it to make it perfect – just like her vision.

In one of her pieces, she has lines of different lengths made out of dry spaghetti sticks which are placed in a way that forms a circle. It actually resembles a gold coin. In another one, she has used autumn leaves to show that there is beauty in imperfections. That’s probably the motto of this artist. Whatever people throw away – maybe into a compost pile or in the garbage – are collected by her. Even if she goes out for a short walk, she would collect two to three leaves.

Her work is showcased in her  Instagram handle as well as her website. They are just so wonderful. Here are a few of her works:

Credit: Kristen Meyer: Website | Instagram

That’s just art – finding beauty where no one else sees it. Meyer shows that you can make art out of anything. You just need to have the vision to do so.

This article was sourced from Truth Theory

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Thailand Supermarket Uses Innovative Banana Leaves Packaging To Avoid Unnecessary Plastic Waste

By Mayukh Saha

Plastic Plastic Plastic!

The world is slowing getting overwhelmed with the rampant use of plastic. You walk into a supermarket and all you see is heaps of plastic. Even single pieces of fruits and veggies these days are wrapped all around by plastic.

You might very well ignore this issue altogether but very soon we might be living in a sea full of plastics and would have no place to go unless of course Mr. Elon Musk lands us into Mars, eh?

Welcome to Rimping. You guys have definitely heard of Chiang Mai, Thailand right? It is the new hub of startups. And Digital Nomads, like me, hover to this place like bees.

Rimping is the supermarket that is trying to break out of this norm of using single-use plastic and trying to find an innovative and alternative solution to this growing problem.

This alternative is an interesting way to use a packaging material that can very well replace plastic.

Enter banana leaves. Being situated near the equator, Thailand is a haven for banana plantations. So, this new method is using banana leaves to wrap up the packaging and prevent the use of excess plastic.

It is definitely not a completely foolproof method just yet, as a very small amount of plastic is still required in this new technique of packaging. But this is definitely a very viable and efficient first step in the reduction of plastic waste and plastic packaging.

Let’s hope that more and more people can come up with more innovative and newer solutions to replace plastic. This surely is an amazing first step.

Kudos to the brains behind this idea who are surely making the world a better place for our future generations, and making our oceans a safer place for all the endangered species of marine life.

Following is a list of pictures taken by Simon from Perfect Homes Chiang Mai Limited. This is what he had to say about the idea:

These were simple pictures taken off my mobile phone of a what I thought was a great idea. I certainly was amazed when they went viral.

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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