Planning to live a zero-waste lifestyle, take inspiration from Anand Raaj from Bengaluru who left his 12-year-old radio jockey career, took over his father’s Juice shop business and decided to give it an eco-friendly makeover.
Before starting his own business, Anand worked as an RJ in India’s IT Capital for 12 years. However, in September 2017, he gave up his flashy profession to take over his late father, BS Nagarajjuice,’s counter, and he named it “Eat Raja” in honor of him. When Anand was a child, his father jokingly said, “eat, my king,” translated as “thinnu Raja, thinnu Raja.” As a result, his company’s name incorporates these exact words.
Additionally, Anand wanted to incorporate his mother, Saroja Velan, in his new work and utilized the tagline “created my mum” to do so.
The idea behind the phrase was to spread the statement that mothers have a place outside of the home and in the kitchen by letting people savor the flavor of mom’s home-cooked meals.
“My father has been managing the juice bar for the past 45 years. I was developing a lucrative career as a radio jockey during the same time because I’d constantly desired to do so. However, an unexpected tragedy occurred in 2016, my father passed away, and I was tasked with running the juice corner. We had the shutters down for over six months because we had no idea what to do. It was disappointing that my grandfather established a business from the ground up and was sitting empty. Soon after that, I decided to leave work and start over.” Anand said.
Anand connected with many people who enormously contributed to the environment while planning shows. For example, he had observed how much trash his father used to produce while running the business, including waste from cups, straws, PET bottles, and carry bags. As a result, when Anand took over and decided to get rid of this trash legacy, which is how the small juice business transformed into Bengaluru’s first zero-waste juice corner. He eventually got in touch with several environmentalists involved in solid waste management, and they guided him along the way.
As an RJ, he came across many environmentalists and activists fighting for the environment in one way or another. For example, Vani Murthy and Meenakshi Bharath began their waste management journey in 2008 and 2009. They established a Solid Garbage Management Round Table Group in Bengaluru to educate others on the importance of beginning to manage their waste correctly. He was consistently profoundly moved by their actions. He reconnected with Vani Murthy and Meenakshi Bharath when he decided to take over the juice bar to make it waste-free to pick their brains on how to live more sustainably.
He initially used biodegradable cups, followed by reusable cups that could be safely disposed of and cleaned. But he soon found that a lot of water was wasted, which still produced a lot of trash. So he came up with the original handle at that point.
So he was constantly thinking of ways to put creativity to use. One day, he tried serving the fluids in the pineapple or watermelon fruit shells to keep that spirit alive. It served two purposes: first, it allowed us to use a waste product, and second, it allowed us to conserve water by preventing repeated washings of the utensils. Natural alternatives can save all 200 ml of water needed to wash one glass.
Earlier, he used to serve juice in fruit shells, and heaps of fruit skins littered the ground. That is not what one would consider zero waste. So Anand began the noble effort of feeding the cows with fruit waste to resolve this problem. He refers to it as the quickest method of making compost.
Additionally, Eat Raja began producing bio enzymes under the direction of environmentalists by fermenting fruit waste with jaggery. Natural cleansers from this mixture work well to clean floors, clothes, and even toilets.
Next, Eat Raja developed the Cycle Mixie, a device that allows users to juice their own fruit pulp by pedaling to address the problem of electricity use when juicing.
Anand recently worked with a social worker to create candles and soaps from leftover fruit. As a result, many poor women, including the transgender community, have received training through this initiative.
All of the items that are made from fruit waste are also packaged in biodegradable materials. Additionally, tissues are no longer allowed at the juice bar. And you’ll be happy to know that they accept pets!
Eat Raja is now up for franchising after seeing such tremendous success in Bengaluru, and Anand has received several phone calls regarding the business partnership.
He has been honored as one of the participants of Icons of Bharat a show sponsored by the freedom app through his “Zero Waste Management Dream”, which aims to reduce societal waste. Take this course, “0 Waste Juice Shop,” on the ffreedom app if you are motivated by his work and want to begin practising Zero Waste Management..
It is helpful to hear stories about making a difference in society. It addresses the misconception that only the rich can affect society positively. This stigma has been proved wrong by Anand, who has become an idol for the nation.