“Don’t Smoke. But if you have to, at least follow it up with some good Karma!”
This is the message from the makers of Karma Tips, an ingenuous invention by a husband-and-wife team from India. These earth-friendly tips actually sprout spinach & amaranth seeds! They’re a great alternative to regular smoking tips, which may contain harmful chemicals. Check out this awesome video to see how they are made…
Karma Tips – The Story
When husband and wife Ved & Chetana Roy attended a briefing by a big tobacco company in Bangladesh, they were horrified to discover the amount of chemicals added to cigarette paper. Butane, toluene, nicotine, acetic acid, methanol, acetone, cadmium, arsenic, benzene, ammonia, hexamine and many more harmful chemicals keep the paper burning continuously.
They decided this needed to change. A visit to the Arctic Circle in Greenland really sealed the deal, when the couple found cigarette butts everywhere – even on the ice caps! So they put their heads together and came up with a product that could help to make smoking a little more responsible – and perhaps even rewarding for the planet.
So Ved & Chetana, a writer and an artist/sculptor by profession, launched Prasadam Industries. In Sanskrit and many Indian languages, “Prasadam” means a holy offering from God. They soon came upon the idea of creating a special filter designed specifically for hand-rolled cigarettes – Karma Tips.
What’s Special About Karma Tips?
Karma Tips are made by a patented process, using fruit and vegetable pulp to make 100% biodegradable paper. The paper contains absolutely no chemicals or artificial binding agents.
But what’s really unique about Karma Tips is the seeds inside! During the paper-making process, Ved & Chetana add seeds from various different herbs, grasses, and flowers to the paper. Right now, the seed varieties include basil, spinach, amaranth, and New Zealand lawn grass. Soon, they hope to include carrots, daisies, petunias and many other species.
The specially-designed paper protects the seeds against nicotine and heat, and also absorbs tar. The paper is handmade, and does not use any wood – which means that no trees are cut to make Karma Tips!
To germinate your Karma Tips, simply place under a shallow layer of soil and lightly water. Try it in a pot on the windowsill! It should only take a few days for your Tips to put out a dozen or so tiny green sprouts. And just to demonstrate – here’s a time lapse Prasadam sent us of the germination period.
Litter From Cigarettes Is Everywhere!
Every year, people litter our precious planet with 4.5 trillion non-biodegradable cigarette butts! According to Ocean Conservancy, it’s the common type of trash found in the ocean. Plastic bags and food wrappers are a distant second.
If every smoker rejected non-biodegradable cigarettes made with toxic chemicals and opted for additive-free rolling tobacco, unbleached papers and Karma Tips, the end result would be highly beneficial for the planet! Of course, it wouldn’t mean that smoking tobacco magically became a good thing. Even with all these things in mind, it’s still extremely harmful to health. However, it could be a major step in the right direction.
About Prasadam Industries
Ved & Chetana say: “We believe that every good you do changes your karma. Planting greenery unconsciously will definitely result in positive karma for the planter”.
“We have set up a very small manufacturing unit, in a small village called Mallasandra, about 75 km north of Bangalore. We chose this place because we felt that giving the women an opportunity to earn and contribute to their family’s earnings may just help this small farming community repay their debts in this drought-ridden part of the state”.
“So far, everything is well and we hope that the world accepts this small offering we call Prasadam”.
Prasadam is not limited to simply making filter tips, however. They’re currently working with farmers in Karnataka, a severely drought-affected state in southwest India, to develop a cheap irrigation method that could revive the farming industry and improve thousands of lives. Watch the video below to learn more!
Karma Tips have found a small, niche market in various countries across the world. For now, they are remaining cautious about the distributors they work with so that they only work with ethical partners. If you’d like to get in touch with Ved & Chetana about Karma Tips, just contact them through their website or Facebook page.