BRAZIL • In 2010, Mr Ezequiel Vedana, a Brazilian who owned a graphic design business, had a technological and environmentally-friendly epiphany that would help save millions of litres of water.
He and his co-workers came up with a solution called Piipee. When it comes into contact with urine, it neutralises smell and colour, eliminating the need to flush urine away.
The entrepreneurs ran tests until they found an essentially natural formula involving plant extracts and baking soda. They also created a dispenser so that the solution is activated every time someone goes to the toilet.
For a medium-sized or large company, they recommend the dispenser be installed in every toilet bowl and urinal at a cost of between 79.9 (S$28) and 84.8 Brazilian reals.
The price might seem high, but the system's strong suit is that refills are cheap - 24.9 reals for a 500 ml charge and 49.9 reals for one litre.
Mr Vedana has demonstrated that a company with 1,000 employees can save up to 132,000 litres of water per month using his system. A restaurant that has been using Piipee reduced its water bill from 4,172 to 2,720 reals in four months.
Such potential impact has earned Mr Vedana's company 12 international awards, including recognition by the World Intellectual Property Organisation as a global climate innovation.