New Delhi–based social activist Vimlendu Jha is an environmentalist to the core. He runs a nongovernmental organization called Swechha, teaching the city’s youth about ecological issues and empowering them to take action for a better environment. Jha believes that change begins at home, so last year, when Swechha was shifting to a new building, he decided to experiment with trash to create his office space. With a half dozen team members and many more staff and volunteers, he contacted a few rag pickers, set off to the nearest kabaddi wallah—someone who dismantles objects and structures to sell the parts—and shopped from organized garbage markets in the city for trash.
In less than a month, they put together what is quite possibly India’s first upcycled office. Jha uses the space to share ideas about upcycling with students and anyone else who wanders in out of curiosity. The office also houses a production unit for Green the Gap, an enterprise that makes products from waste and sells them online and through a retail store.