The Accidental Environmentalist

Aug 12, 2011 No Comments

Padma Pandya is the founder of Eco Adepts, the parent company for GreenTrashBags.com and GreenDoggieBags.com.

“This is inherently a very unglamorous, unfeminine product,” Pandya says. She tells Interviewher.com that she rarely deals with other women in her male-dominated field.

And even though people will double check to make sure Pandya’s running her own company (as opposed to having inherited her father’s company), she insists that other people’s stereotypes are their own problem. “There’s nothing you can’t turn into a strength,” she asserts.

padma-pandya

Being a young female in a field dominated by middle-aged men, Pandya considered herself unpredictable. “You can’t ignore me,” she says. “You can’t confuse me with another band.” This is why she’s allowed herself to become the face of her company, EcoAdepts.

 

EcoAdepts is an incredibly clever trash bag solution for the eco-conscious consumer.

Eco Adepts

EcoAdept bags are biodegradable, but they don’t dissipate when exposed to the sun. Instead, the trash bags are embedded with an organic nutrient at the molecular level. Besides the added nutrient, they are manufactured and used like regular trash bags. But when the bags are deposited into landfills, they are exposed to microbes which eat the nutrients in the trash bags. In this manner, the bags are decomposed.

Because the bags only decompose when exposed to microbes, they won’t dissipate after sitting in the sun, nor will they fall apart in the cabinet. Pandya’s smart solution allows trash bags to be truly biodegradable, since many biodegradable trash bags sit buried in landfills, with no exposure to sun, Pandya explains.

Pandya tells Interviewher.com that many biodegradable bags are often not what they say they are, and this – along with a whale watching vacation – is what inspired her to start EcoAdepts.

While planning for a whale watching vacation a few years ago, Pandya stumbled on an accidental discovery: she learned whales were consuming thousands of pounds of plastic, and subsequently being poisoned to death. She learned about landfills twice the size of Texas that sit in our oceans, disrupting our ecosystem. “It really is an out of sight, out of mind problem,” Pandya says.

But Pandya’s solution was really just answering a simple equation. “Plastic’s in the ocean. Plastic’s permanent. How do we make plastic temporary?”

Currently her company only sells trash and doggie bags, and though Pandya would like to expand EcoAdepts, she says she’ll only focus on specific products that are necessary.

That means you’ll never see plastic shopping bags and water bottles with the EcoAdept brand, as Pandya refuses to “encourage the use of useless plastic for the sake of convenience.”

Pandya hopes small changes like these will turn into bigger steps down the road.  “We just create such an obscene amount of garbage. Completely incomprehensible,” she tells Interviewher.com.

Other than the green color of the EcoAdept trash bag, there is no way to physically tell the difference between her biodegradable trash bags and a regular trash bag.

Pandya is selling the trash bags first on her own web site. After that, they’ll roll out sales to other web sites. “You can only drive so much traffic to your site,” she says. “There’s a ceiling at some point.”

After building momentum on the web, the bags will be distributed to stores. “I really feel that online needs to be where the focus is for awhile and then we can move into retail distribution.”

Pandya admits to Interviewher.com that distribution is not one of her strengths, but she plans to take slow, deliberate steps towards her goals.

“When you’re a kid, everyone always asks you what you want to be,” she says “You don’t even have {entrepreneur} in your vocabulary!”

And though she sometimes looks up from her work, somewhat startled at what she’s achieved, there’s little doubt Pandya will find success in her green solution for cleaning up our world.

 

Written by: Mary Ronau

Edited by: Jenny Ortiz

 

ECO ADEPTS

www.EcoAdepts.com

www.GreenDoggieBags.com

www.GreenTrashBags.com

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