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In the cover feature of Verve’s Environment Issue, Sahar Mansoor, founder and CEO of the Bengaluru-based zero-waste social enterprise Bare Necessities, quotes the 19th century Native American leader, Chief Seattle: “Man didn’t weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” We at Verve couldn’t agree more. A call to arms is what is required at this time, and we move beyond documenting concerns about the environment to covering those who actually live the sustainable dream. In this issue, we take a deep dive into mushroom farming — which has a smaller environmental footprint than other farms — with Mumbai’s own mushroom provider, Rohhaan Gawde of The Mushroom Company, who enlightens us on the health benefits of mushroom coffee and tea and the vegan benefits of using mushroom leather. Navigating the country’s streets in a car is hard enough, but we look at what it is like to be a woman riding a bicycle. Five urban women talk to Shreya Dasgupta about this more affordable means of transport that does not burn fuel (only calories) or emit noxious fumes, despite the sometimes unwanted attention and catcalls. In these days of lockdown, award-winning journalist Shalini Singh, who has broken stories on climate change and its effects on the environment, reminisces in words and pictures, about her most challenging travel assignments, in the bargain discovering that being out in the field is actually a journey within. While a different kind of inner journey leads to sisters Tashi and Tara Mitra discovering their personal style in second-hand clothing and thrift stores, as they eschew pollution-producing fast clothing and brands. And finally design must bend to the requirements of green living as well. We speak to nine design entrepreneurs who are making it convenient for us to upgrade the quality of our lives with arresting designs for their sustainable products.

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