TOP's 5 Eco-Warriors Conquering Climate Change in India
By: Lauren Pezzullo
Here’s a sobering statistic: according to a 2018 Greenpeace report, 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities were in India. The Supreme Court of India has already committed to phase out single-use plastics by 2022 and to achieve 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030. Still, the crisis is too urgent to leave it up to the policymakers alone.
Thankfully, India is also home to some seriously inspiring eco-warriors who are spreading the word and motivating the masses to join them in their movements for climate action. Keep reading to meet our favorite Indian environmental movers and shakers.
Ripu Daman Bevli
Ripu Daman Bevli is proof that even small steps can inspire big movements. The running enthusiast and environmental advocate is the pioneer of “plogging,” a Scandinavian eco-fitness craze that encourages people to pick up litter on their daily jogs. Plogging allows folks to get exercise while also helping to keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills and waterways. As the founder of Ploggers of India and creator of the #ploggingmovment, Ripu has organized 50 plog runs across 50 cities in India and has been recognized as the Plogging Ambassador of India. Ripu is now challenging others to join the movement to “run to make India litter-free,” one city at a time.
Sagar Singh’s profession as a social science teacher was the seed for his calling as a climate change activist. After the Indian government cut down 2,500 trees in the Aarey Forest—also known as the ‘Lungs of Mumbai’ -- for a city metro project, Singh took matters into his own hands. He has pledged to plant 4,000+ trees in and around the Aarey Colony to restore what was lost. He’s teamed up with Youtuber Saiman Says to spread the word and mobilize action through tree plantation drives and beach clean-ups on his platform, Eco Warriors India. To help with the purchase of saplings and trees for Singh’s reforestation project, visit his crowdfunding page to learn more.
Eco-Youtuber Nayana Premnath has committed to a low/no-waste lifestyle—and she’s inviting us along for the ride. With popular videos such as Go Zero Waste Today: 5 Simple Steps You Can Take to Start Your Journey, Nayana dispels the common myth that low-waste lifestyles are less convenient. She’s realistic and encouraging about her journey, proving that the swap is actually as simple as making more thoughtful choices throughout the day. Nayana shares easy tips for waste-free living, sustainable lifestyle guides, and reviews of green home and beauty products, making low-waste living simple and accessible for all.
As the creator of Style Destino, a luxury vegan fashion blog, Shruti Jain is much more than just hemp and Birkenstocks. She proves that ethical fashion doesn’t mean compromising on style, and strives to teach us why our shopping choices matter so much. After all, the fashion and footwear industries are responsible for more than 8% of global greenhouse gases—that's more than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined! Shruti helps us become more conscious consumers, by choosing cruelty-free fashion apparel that’s as sustainable as it is stylish.
If you’ve got a green thumb—or want to learn how to get one—Satyam Jha is the teacher you’ve been waiting for. As a self-professed “agriculturist, green activist, and natural farmer,” Satyam takes to Instagram to educate people on how to grow their own food and eat green. His page features helpful tips such as how to make your own DIY recycled herb planters and natural ways to get rid of plant pests. He’s also passionate and knowledgable about wildlife. Satyam shares content about different animals and pollinators, including endangered species, explaining how and why we must protect them in order to protect the ecosystems that support us all.
Feeling motivated to make some real change? To find out how forward-thinking influencers are inspiring climate action—from Latin America, Europe, and the UK—check out our series highlighting our favorite eco-warriors around the world.