Environmental Sustainability has become an essential international cause that needs support and while we are busy with our tech devices, there are many environmentalists ready to lead the way! The founder of Earthling First, a waste management service, Tamanna Sharma is one such leading lady with a mission to foster environmental sustainability in the world. Her brainchild, Earthling First is working on facilitating efficient and effective waste management and addressing the much-needed issue of responsible waste disposal. Read this blog to know about her journey and how she founded Earthling First.
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Early Life and Career
Born in New Delhi, Tamanna Sharma hails from an activism background and an army family. Originally interested in studying journalism, Tamanna realised that she liked campaigning better than reporting about it. So, she became an environmental activist and also worked as a project manager for a private waste management company. She grew fed up with being on the sidelines and decided to jump into the fray and become part of the solution rather than counting the problems.
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The Inspiration Behind Earthling First
Tamanna Sharma has revelled on the actual moment of inspiration behind Earthling First in many of her interviews. The story behind how she came up with the idea of this startup is that she witnessed an Environment day event and how after it concluded, the place was completely littered.
“It was ironic and hard-hitting the truth between aspirations and the reality of our efforts towards a sustainable world.”
This is where the early inception of Earthling First happened and around 2016, she manifested her idea as a sustainability consultancy and waste management service provider with 5 people in just one city. Then after a few collaborations, they expanded a lot more in 2017 and have worked with Maruti Suzuki Devil Circuit, Oxfam and many more such organizations.
In the initial days of Earthling First, Tamanna Sharma were faced with the challenge of finding suppliers and even clients. They tried to bring local unexposed suppliers to bring them to the market instead of delivering the products from one corner to another. For clients, they approached and reached out to various organizations with requests to go green. Some understood it, some had to be convinced but the market opened for them slowly. The government policies not being sustainable became another issue because in most Indian states there were no standard waste management facilities. Incorporating sustainability into the operational budget was another thing they had to deal with.
“We cover an array of gaps in the system instead of a single problem which places us on a unique pedestal and makes our supposed competitors – our partners.”
Earthling First’s Mission of Sustainable Waste Management
“The broader vision was always to work on bringing sustainability to the center stage. Becoming a part of the linear economy and making it circular was the idea initially.”
Earthling First’s essential aim was to organise sustainable and eco-friendly events because that’s where temporary bulk generators of waste actually happened. Thus, the consultancy first understood how segregation works, experimented with it, partnered with the right waste management places and then took in clients. But, then Sharma realized that the workers lacked basic equipment like gloves and masks so they were provided with all the equipment to work with dignity and safety. The consultancy also ensured that more women were hired so that the ratio between female and male was maintained along with trying to solve the issues of getting women equal opportunity and wage gap.
“The idea that women can’t work as efficiently as men are utterly superficial.”
Earthling first has been working on creating clean, green and sustainable events through their Pan India Service. Their mission is to send zero waste to landfills and help organizations reduce waste generation through sustainable planning, waste management and strategic disposal of the waste. They have also recently launched ‘Project Jalori – an experimental waste management and eco-tourism model by Earthling First at 10000 Ft above Sea Level in Himachal Pradesh.’
From the initial days of struggle to finding their forte in waste management and disposal, Earthling First has itself become a testimony to the perseverance and fighting spirit of Tamanna Sharma. We hope that you liked this blog on Tamanna Sharma and her success story as she founded Earthling First! For more such inspiring stories and content, follow Leverage Edu.