About Us

Meet Our Team
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Our Journey

We believe that the key to a cleaner and greener future is in our hands. It is only together, that we can build a better a tomorrow. The Start Upcycling Now (SUN) journey began in the outskirts of Mumbai, on a family trek to the beautiful Chinchoti waterfalls. The forest is so beautiful, serene and magical, we love everything about it, except for the plastic trash that leads you to it. We always tell our children if you ever get lost follow the trash trail! The trash trail was disturbing. We also came across them at 10000 ft above sea level at the beautiful Jogini waterfalls (another exciting family trek). This gave birth to the idea of SUN, our passion project that promotes living a greener and a plastic free way of life.

Christmas 2012 – We put up our 1st plastic tree installation with bottles donated from people all over Mumbai. The installations were put together with the youth of Mt Carmels church parish Bandra, Mumbai. 

February 2013 – We were invited to participate in the Kalaghoda art festival, Mumbai. We unveiled a plastic bottle bench and a plastic bottle shed put together by the employees of Bisleri. 

February 2014 – We were again asked to participate in the Kalaghoda art festival, Mumbai.  We assembled a plastic bottle mountain, 20ft high! This symbolized how plastic caused harm to our animals, plants and water bodies. This feat was made with 2000 hands from 18 schools. Across Mumbai!. 

Today, we continue to work with schools to educate children on how household (wet and dry) waste can be upcycled and more importantly channelized correctly so it ends up being a resource rather than waste. We also have societies and organizations converting their food waste into compost and upcycling their compost for an organic urban farm.

Our Team

Ajay Dcosta

Ajay Dcosta

An avid trekker and a part time herpetologist and the co-founder of SUN, Ajay is a wanderer who loves to explore new places and find new places to go to. He strongly believes that practicing, composting, growing organic foods and experiencing nature, is the way ahead. In his own words "Finding new places for kids to explore is thrilling. My favorite exercise for kids on treks is to make them hug a tree they connect with. Normally, they don’t stop after having hugged one! There is so much to learn from our kids of today"
Natasha Dcosta

Natasha Dcosta

Armed with a degree in Interior design, Natasha has invested close to 10 years researching how plastic bottles can be used as a resource at the household level. Which in turn gave birth to the idea of “Start Upcycling Now”. The idea was simple, let’s teach people to upcycle plastic bottles into 5 utility items. We want our children and their children to get the opportunity to trek a “trash free” trail. But this was only the tip of the iceberg.

Media Mentions

“In a concrete jungle like Mumbai, a terrace garden awakens a sense of environmental consciousness” said Director, Fr Gregory….

Mumbai students turn terrace into farm, harvest veggies, fruits and herbs
Hindustan Times - know more

The downpour of last week not only announced the official arrival of monsoon but…

An upside-down plant that purifies air
DNA - know more

With waste management becoming a concern in housing societies amid the coronavirus lockdown…

Waste segregation, community cleanliness methods
Hindustan Times - know more

Vegetable vendors at Kandivli’s Thakur Complex have a new eco-friendly source of income…

Don’t waste your waste: new mantra for Mumbai′s veggie vendors
Hindustan Times - know more

Adding to the growing list of environment-conscious citizens are residents of a Bandra society…

Mumbai residents convert terrace into garden
Hindustan Times - know more

This Mumbai school gets 150kg of kitchen waste in a week from 800 students, Classes 1 to 10….

Composting in Mumbai school: Waste not, turn it into manure instead
Hindustan Times - know more