The average American produces roughly 280 pounds of plastic waste per year, so transitioning to sustainable home products might seem daunting. Ecozoi founder Bhavana Deshpande made that transition with her own family, and through her line of sustainable home products she hopes to show that change is within reach.
Deshpande founded Ecozoi in 2016 after a trip to visit family in India. When her son asked why his grandparents only had wooden toys, Deshpande started to rethink her plastic-filled home. Zoi means “life,” and Ecozoi’s mission is to “redefine lifestyle with eco-safe and healthy products creating sustainable happiness and making people’s lives better.”
Ecozoi primarily sells kitchen products and cleaning supplies, including stainless steel lunch boxes and reusable bamboo “paper” towels. The company sources most materials from India, aside from the bamboo which is from China. Domestic shipments are 100% carbon-neutral. Ecozoi offsets emissions by donating to various environmental projects.
Growing up in India, Deshpande found it normal to reuse household materials. “We used to make toys with used toothpaste tubes, bottle caps, and fallen tree branches,” Deshpande says. “Since we did not see consumerism as much, we never found it difficult to not have certain products in the home.”
Shortly after moving to America, Deshpande became accustomed to single-use items. A return to her sustainable roots posed some difficulties. “It was not an easy task back in 2015 to find sustainable alternatives to single-use products here,” Deshpande says. “We started ordering products from India instead and realized that we have an opportunity to extend this change to our friends and neighbors.”
“At Ecozoi, we believe in what Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world,’” Deshpande says. She started Ecozoi by changing her own practices first. Deshpande ensures that her family and employees love Ecozoi’s products before she offers them to customers.
“We only launch products once they become our staff favorites, since they are our extended family,” Deshpande says. Her personal favorite is the grocery bag with organizing pockets, as it is hand-made by women artisans in India using 100% renewable energy sources and 100% organic cotton.
Deshpande hopes that Ecozoi’s products spread awareness and education about how to live sustainably. She believes that if customers think long term, they will be inspired to change their practices. “Think about future generations and what we are leaving for them to deal with,” she says. The savings from ditching single-use items for sustainable ones will also do customers’ wallets some good now.
Find out more here at ecozoi.com/