A lifestyle change that had started in 1989 for Dr Meenal Kabra, followed her till 2019 when she finally launched Kivu, a vegan cookie brand that relies on solar energy.
“My family has been using solar cooker since 1989. I thought if I channelise it in a proper way it could be very good for the planet,’ says Dr Kabra. Her cookies are baked using solar energy and are sugar-free and preservative-free.
As a dentistry student from Maharashtra, Dr Kabra had come across many children, especially from rural areas, with dental problems. Another thought that troubled the 34-year-old was the mothers accompanying these children who would share their issues of unemployment and limited finances with her. Dr Kabra wanted to find a solution to both of these problems.
“Our vision is to do good for society alongwith caring for the planet. Specifically for the rural women, we wanted to provide a better livelihood and a very respectable profession,” she adds.
In 2016, Dr Kabra started experimenting with different food items such as buns, breads, muffins, cakes to explore the various possibilities of using a solar cooker and eventually settled on cookies. In 2019, using the solar cooker designed by her husband, she perfected her style of baking cookies.
Speaking about the challenges in her business venture, she says, “Developing the recipes for the cookies, and then to bake them in the solar oven was the biggest challenge because there is always a fluctuation of temperature in solar ovens. You can’t get the constant temperature all the time like a conventional electric oven. Training the women from rural areas and creating a market in between a pandemic was also a big challenge.”
“Like we take our health as our responsibility, the health of the planet is also our responsibility. If we start individually with some small changes in our lifestyle, definitely, collectively it can create an impact on the planet. We should shift to renewable energies. For example, I will say if we start cooking at least one meal in the solar ovens, we get exposed to the sunlight so that we get Vitamin D and also the LPG consumption gets reduced. Ultimately it is beneficial for everyone,” she adds.
Truly, an eco-warrior who has mapped her solar consumption.