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waste management

Savings in water and energy with Hydrao connected shower head

in Innovation by
hydrao cover

Hydrao is a shower head connected in Bluetooth to a smartphone produced by Smart & Blue. Self-powered by a turbine, it illuminates the jet according to the volume of water consumed. An ecological objective which is accompanied by a playful dimension. Read more

Sustainable tourism in the middle of a Swedish forest

in Sustainable Building by

The Scandinavian design already has a reputation for modernity, audacity and a little oddity, which makes its beauty. In our series on the Treehotel in Sweden we stop this week at the ‘Mirrorcube’, a glass mirror box suspended around the trunk of a tree.

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A Parisian swimming pool heated by sewage system

in Sustainable development by

Winter is approaching Europe at a fast pace. The Aspirant Dunand swimming pool, located at a stone’s throw from the Catacombs of Paris, has been innovated in a totally ecological way. As such, sewer water that runs underneath the pool is now used to heat the pool as well as the showers.

Aspirant-Dunand swimming pool. Source:
Aspirant Dunand swimming pool. Source:

Heating a municipal swimming pool does not only has high cost implications but also entails great energy consumption. Until now, the Aspirant Dunand pool in the 14th arrondissement of Paris was being heated exclusively with electricity, soaring consumption to 1,310 megawatt hours (MWh) per year. The department in charge of this public infrastructure decided that it would be wise and innovative to invest in a cheaper and ecological heating system for the 25-meter-long pool and showers.

After several months of testing, the project was finalized and executed in October 2016. This new system reduced the pool’s electricity consumption by 50%. It is a first in Paris.

The idea of using sewage water is ingenious because the temperature of this water varies between 13 and 20 degrees throughout the year, regardless of seasons. A system of heat exchangers allows the waste water to heat the water of the pool and showers without any direct contact.

The heat is captured by metal plates installed in the sewers meandering under the pool. The desired temperature is then distributed in the pool and showers via heat pumps. The system – known as “Blue Degrees” – was created and installed by Suez Eau France. The company already has a dozen similar projects on its account.

Paris has set itself the objective of encouraging swimming pools to reduce their energy consumption by 20% within the next four years

City Hall of Paris. Source:
City Hall of Paris. Source:

This project is part of the sustainable development plan of Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project also aims at promoting renewable energies so that the Parisian administration can rely on up to 30% of green energy by 2020.

The sewage network extending over 2,400 kilometers should be regarded as having a good potential for other uses. It presents itself as an attractive heating alternative for the 39 other swimming pools spread across Paris. Apart from the pools, 25 diverse sites have already engaged themselves into projects based on renewable energy. For example, the city hall of Paris is itself already being heated thanks to the sewage network since 2015.

Nargis Latif: The fairy transforming garbage into homes in Pakistan

in Sustainable development by
Source: Gul Bahao

Her hands are those of a fairy. Her heart- full of compassion for her people. And what makes the stunning strength of Nargis Latif is sheer benevolence. The Karachi-born lady leads an army of rag pickers in the country who help her gather inorganic waste and convert it into houses for the poor in Pakistan.

Source: Gul Bahao
Source: Gul Bahao

Every single day, Karachi the largest city of Pakistan, throws up 12,000 tons of garbage. Nargis Latif does not aim at stopping this. Full of wisdom, the grey-haired lady knows better. Conscious that the garbage mostly produced by big industries in the country is part of an inevitable chain of a well-anchored structure, she instead aims at converting the trash into profitable business to help the needy.

Having founded the social organization Gul Bahao which means “flow the flowers” in her language, she and her team of garbage pickers hunt for garbage in every crook. She equally collects unused and rejected material from industries. Deeply motivated to lift the needy people of Pakistan from poverty, she has been striving hard relentlessly over years:

I have always wanted to innovate and create something useful for humanity itself

Nargis Latif constantly has to overcome many obstacles. There are times when she has to borrow money. And there are times the fighter-spirited woman also has to beg for money that she uses to transform garbage into recycled houses, water tanks, furniture, fodder for livestock or even compost. There were other times when she admits even having stolen in view of enhancing the lives of her people.

The most famous of her inventions is the recycled house known as Chandi Ghar that was created in the wake of a horrendous earthquake destroying the lives of thousands of people in Pakistan. The Chandi Ghars were used as shelters. Today, Nargis Latif has built over 150 of these recycled houses across Pakistan. Most are the homes of poor nomads in the Tharparkar district.

Apart from her extreme sense of generosity and benevolence, Nargis Latif also has an ecological soul. The woman has witnessed how the industrialization of Pakistan has been creating a negative impact on the environment due to pollution. Burning garbage is a common practice in the country and with her idea to recycle it, the lady furthermore wishes to diminish pollution.

Nargis Latif and her team have equally been collecting other types of waste to create compost. Out of this compost she created “Gardens in the Air” which are two scaffoldings carrying a wide array of plants. She has moreover been putting other organic waste such as vegetable and fruit peels, to profit by converting them into animal feed in a hygienic and clean manner.

The far-sighted lady similarly nurtures the desire to enhance the life of housewives in Pakistan. She sees that the latter can easily use the compost and animal feed which are economically viable products to plant their own food crops, sell the excess, and breed cattle for meat and milk in an era where prices of food products are shooting up.

Nargis Latif is similarly trying to engage citizens to become ecoresponsible. She has set up stalls at markets where individuals may sell their dry trash. She is also urging city residents to sell their wet garbage to producers of agricultural products. Nargis Latif is correspondingly closely participating with environmental projects aiming at imparting responsibility in children in regards to the ecological welfare of the country. Today, the milestones being achieved by Nargis Latif are gaining worldwide recognizance.

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