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  • Nithin Vinod

Sustainable Sanitation Practices in Organizations

sustainable sanitation in organizations

In today's world, the importance of sustainable practices cannot be overstated. As global awareness of environmental issues continues to grow, organizations and businesses are making significant efforts to align their operations with sustainability guidelines and requirements. One critical aspect of this alignment is the implementation of sustainable sanitation practices in organizational buildings.

Sanitation, a cornerstone of public health and well-being, is inextricably linked with sustainability. Access to clean water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene is not only a fundamental human right but is also essential for maintaining the health and dignity of individuals. Ensuring that these services are not only accessible but also sustainable is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of organizations and communities alike.

The challenges we face in this regard are multi-faceted. As our world becomes increasingly urbanized, the demand for water and sanitation facilities escalates. This demand is further compounded by factors such as increased water usage in agriculture, industrial processes, and energy production. Implementing sustainable sanitation practices is not merely a choice but a mandate for organizations committed to responsible and ethical business practices.

In this blog, we will delve into practical methods and strategies that organizations can adopt to ensure that safe and sustainable sanitation practices become an integral part of their operations. By doing so, organizations not only contribute to the well-being of their occupants but also fulfill their ethical obligation to protect the environment and conserve resources.

Sustainable measures for green buildings

  1. Implementing low-flow or waterless plumbing fixtures

Low-flow plumbing fixtures are an integral part of sustainable sanitation practices. These fixtures are designed to reduce water consumption without compromising functionality. They are commonly used in restrooms and bathrooms and include:

  • Low Flush toilets

low flow toilets for sustainable sanitation

Low-flow toilets use significantly less water per flush than traditional toilets while maintaining flushing efficiency. The dual-flush toilet, for example, allows users to select a low-flow option for liquid waste and a higher flow for solid waste, conserving water. Traditional toilets can be heavy water consumers using as much as 5 to 10 litres per flush. In contrast, low-flush toilets typically use 2 to 3 liters of water.

  • Low flow faucets

low flow faucets for sustainable sanitation

Low-flow faucets, also known as water-saving faucets or low-flow taps, are fixtures designed to reduce water consumption in households and commercial buildings. These faucets are equipped with specialized mechanisms that limit the flow of water while maintaining sufficient pressure for everyday tasks like washing hands. They can be more than 2 times more water efficient than traditional faucets.

  • Waterless Urinals

waterless urinal for sustainable sanitation

Waterless urinals are revolutionary in that they do not rely on water for flushing. Instead, they use innovative techniques like non-return valves and liquid sealants to trap the odor. This method is not only water-efficient but also reduces the amount of wastewater generated. Waterless urinals have become a valuable addition to sustainable sanitation initiatives, saving significant volumes of water over time. Zerodor Waterless urinal is one such innovative mechanical fixture that can be retrofitted to any current urinal and converts it into a waterless one.

2. Efficient Wastewater Management

Wastewater treatment plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainable sanitation in organizational buildings and beyond. Proper wastewater treatment ensures that water is safely returned to the environment or, in some cases, reused, all while minimizing its environmental impact. Below are some of the measures that can be adopted for efficient wastewater treatment in organizations:

  • Septic Tank Microbial treatment

septic tank treatment for sustainable sanitation

Septic tank microbial treatment is a natural biological process for the treatment of sewage in septic tanks. Within the septic tank, microbial action, primarily driven by anaerobic bacteria, decomposes organic matter in sewage, such as human waste and paper, creating an environment with low oxygen levels. This process results in the digestion of sludge and a reduction in the volume of discharge. Sewage Care Anaerobic by Ekam Eco Solutions is a highly potent bacterial culture made for usage in Anaerobic conditions like that in a septic tank.

  • Greywater treatment and reuse system

A greywater treatment system is also a very efficient step towards sustainable sanitation. It helps in recycling the wastewater from sources like sinks and showers to be used for non-potable applications like irrigation and toilet flushing. This reduces the strain on freshwater resources, reduces environmental impact, and cuts wastewater treatment expenses significantly.

Greywater systems can be customized to fit the organization's specific requirements and are increasingly efficient, with the potential for automation and remote monitoring.

  • On-site packaged treatment plants

decentralized stp for sustainable sanitation

On-site packaged treatment plants, often referred to as decentralized or small-scale wastewater treatment systems, are compact and self-contained facilities designed to treat sewage and wastewater at or near the point of generation, instead of relying on centralized treatment facilities.

They can effectively remove impurities and contaminants from wastewater, ensuring that the treated water is safe to release into the environment or reuse for non-potable purposes like irrigation. On-site packaged treatment plants are versatile, customizable, and can be tailored to specific needs.

  • Wetland Construction

wetland construction for sustainable sanitation

By creating constructed wetlands, organizations can mimic the natural water purification processes that occur in natural wetlands, effectively treating wastewater on-site. These wetlands serve as a natural filtration system, where plants and microorganisms work together to remove pollutants and contaminants from the wastewater.

Wetland construction offers a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and ecologically friendly solution, contributing to the organization's commitment to sustainable sanitation and responsible water management while meeting regulatory and environmental standards.

3. Using Eco-friendly cleaning liquids

natural cleaning liquids for sustainable sanitation

Natural cleaning products like floor cleaners and toilet cleaners minimize water pollution because of their biodegradable ingredients. The effluents discharged from the buildings contain natural ingredients and sometimes bioenzymes which prevent chemical contamination of soil and water.

Moreover, using eco-friendly cleaners ensures compliance with environmental regulations, promoting responsible environmental practices and reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties. By making this simple switch, organizations can actively safeguard the environment, create cleaner air, water, and soil, and promote a more sustainable and eco-conscious approach to cleaning. Zerodor Care cleaners are made with extensive research and development, keeping in mind the importance of sustainable sanitation.

4. Effective Solid Waste Management

Effective solid waste management is a crucial component of sustainable sanitation that focuses on the proper handling, collection, disposal, and recycling of waste materials to minimize environmental impact and protect public health. Key elements of effective solid waste management include source reduction, waste separation, recycling, and safe disposal methods.

  • Waste Separation

waste seperation for sustainable sanitation

By separating waste at the source, individuals, communities, and organizations can facilitate efficient recycling and proper disposal, reducing the burden on landfills and incinerators while promoting the recovery of valuable resources. Effective waste separation is essential for maximizing recycling rates, minimizing environmental impact, and advancing toward a more sustainable and circular economy, where materials are reused, repurposed, and recycled to their full potential.

  • Composting

composting for sustainable sanitation

By implementing composting programs, organizations can divert organic waste away from landfills and incinerators, reducing the environmental impact associated with these disposal methods. Simultaneously, the compost produced serves as a valuable resource for improving soil quality in landscaping and gardening, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. This sustainable approach results in cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fosters environmental awareness and compliance with regulations. Composting in organizations signifies a commitment to eco-friendly practices, promoting a greener and more sustainable future while positively impacting the community and the environment. Ekam Eco Solutions in India is one of the companies that provides tailored composting solutions for small to large-scale organic waste management.

In conclusion, sustainable sanitation practices are of paramount importance in today's world, with organizations and businesses recognizing the need to align their operations with environmental responsibility. This link between sustainability and sanitation is fundamental, as clean water, proper sanitation, and hygiene are not only basic human rights but also crucial for individual health and dignity. Organizations and communities alike bear the responsibility to ensure that these services are accessible and sustainable. Embracing these practices fosters a greener, more responsible future, positively impacting communities, the environment, and an organization's overall sustainability efforts in the face of mounting environmental challenges.

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