Greenie gives areca palm farmers an alternative to burning the plant’s waste by turning areca leaf sheath into reusable materials for home and office furniture. That way, the social enterprise protects the environment and gives farmers, waste collectors and artisans a decent income.
Co-founded and led by a young female environmentalist, Greenie uses sustainable natural materials to manufacture furniture, tableware and home decoration. These items are made from non-timber forest products and agricultural waste, mainly from the areca nut plant. While Indonesia is one of the world’s top growers of this palm tree, production is not without risks. The areca leaf sheath falls down every month and is usually being burned by the tree farmers, causing pollution and health problems among rural communities.
By reusing the leaf sheath to make board, adhesive and other materials for furniture, Greenie reduces these risks. It also gives conscious consumers an attractive alternative. Their minimalist, fresh nature-inspired designs are premium quality and cheaper than traditional wood-based furniture and crafts.
In addition to paying the non-timber farmers, waste pickers and artisans they work with a decent income, Greenie empowers them in different ways. By co-creating innovative products from waste, the social enterprise promotes community-driven innovation. It also supports them to market and sell their products.
To date, Greenie has worked with 25 local communities from Jambi (Sumatra island) and South Tangerang (Java). Many of the producers are low-income women. With the support of these local producers, the social enterprise collects up to 600 tons of Areca leaf sheath per week and converts it into Areca Tableware and Areca Board to produce sustainable furniture.