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June 3, 2009

It’s a sobering fact that a full 40 percent of the world’s population—some 2.6 billion people—lack regular access to a toilet. Add to that the fact that one child dies every 15 seconds from water contamination, and it’s not hard to see the motivation behind the Peepoo bag.

One of the UN Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000, is to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation, but so far progress has been minimal. With that in mind, Swedish Peepoople created the Peepoo bag to serve as a personal, portable and low-cost latrine for all the many people who don’t have one. Designed for use sitting, squatting or standing, the single-use, biodegradable plastic bag measures 14 by 38 cm and is lined with a urea-coated gauze layer that disinfects all waste. Used bags are odour-free for at least 24 hours and are safe for burial underground. Within two to four weeks after use, however, their contents get converted to high-quality fertiliser—something that’s also rare in many areas and so could become a source of income and further enrichment for an individual or village. Following field tests last year in Kenya and India, the Peepoo bag is scheduled to begin production this summer.

Along with such efforts as distributing free insect nets to children in malaria-ridden areas and abolishing fees for school uniforms in poor countries, the Peepoo bag qualifies as a quick-win project that could rapidly improve the lives of many people. One to get in on, help out with, or be inspired by!


May 22, 2009

We’ve covered the value of worm poop, and now it’s time for the merits of cow dung to come to the fore. EcoFaeBrick turns cattle waste into bricks that are greener, stronger and 20% lighter than regular clay bricks.

The Indonesian organization was set up earlier this year to tackle the problem of excessive waste in farming areas. From this, the ecological and economical solution of the Cow Dung Brick was born. There’s no visible difference between a traditional brick and the dung brick—and before you ask, there’s no smell either. Instead of using wood fire the dung bricks are fired using biogas, helping to further reduce carbon emissions. The new product also lets land be retained for farming, rather than being excavated for clay for conventional bricks, or becoming a health risk due to ‘too much dung’.

A green product that boosts the wealth of rural Indonesians, it’s not hard to see why EcoFaeBrick came first in the 2009 Global Social Venture competition. The company has identified 22 areas around Indonesia that they want to expand the project to, plus 22 more in other parts of the world. One to support, or otherwise get involved with!



Written by oracle

October 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

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