Research Papers & Presentations

Workshop: Sustainable Management of Organic and Sanitary Waste (Aug 2014)

earth&us collaborated with TATA MIT Center, SWaCH, and KKPKP  to host a workshop on disposal and reduction of sanitary napkin and diaper waste (TATA MIT Center, SWaCH, and KKPKP also organized a parallel session on organic waste.) An estimated 70 participants participated in a 2.5 day workshop from Aug 18-20, 2014 at Pune.

Click here for our report on our workshop on sanitary waste detailing our learnings.

Catherine Rhea Roy volunteered as a reporter at the workshop. Click here for the Press reports

Presentation at the Workshop on Sustainable Management of Organic and Sanitary Waste (Aug 2014): 

Dr. N. Manimekalai, Prof. at Bharatidasan University, Trichy, Tamil Nadu and head of the MHM Consortium of Tamil Nadu presented An overview of pads made by SHGs in Tamil Nadu detailing on the successes and challenges of SHGs in Tamil Nadu in manufacturing disposable sanitary pads.

Presentation: Why we advocate reusable feminine hygiene products over disposable ones ( Feb 2014)

At the conference (February dialogues) on Towards a Sustainable Paradigm at Fireflies in Bangalore, Bindu Mohanty made a presentation on the impact of disposable sanitary napkins. By popular demand, the above presentation is made publicly available, for we wish to create awareness about this crucial issue. You are welcome to adapt it for your purposes, but we request you to cite out website as the source.

Article: Disposable pads, disposable lives

thehindu.comWorldwide disposable sanitary napkins flushed down toilets cause huge problems as they clog up sewers. Most sewerage systems, being designed before the advent of disposable napkins, are meant to carry only water and excreta. Besides the huge costs in maintenance of sewerage systems worldwide, in India the problem is exacerbated by the fact that, in contravention to existing laws, conservancy workers, with no protection whatsoever, have to go down the manholes to manually clean the blockages. Ecofemme, a manufacturer of reusable sanitary pads in Auroville, recently met with conservancy workers in Chennai and learnt about the devastating social impact of disposable pads. Read more . . .

Presentation: Exploring possibilities for communicating the environmental and social LCA outcomes to policy makers and consumers using social marketing techniques to drive behaviour (2013).

At the Indian Life Cycle Assessment and Management Conference (ILCM) 2013 organized by FICCI, earth&us founder and director, Minhaj Ameen, delivered the above presentation. His ideas for using choice architecture to shape consumption behavior and his call for a collaborative LCA platform were well received.

Presentation: Behavior Change Presentation(2013)

earth&us founder and director, Minhaj Ameen and Akshay Roongta presented to the Auroville community their  study of current behaviour patterns in Auroville to document best practices and identify areas for improvement.

Research Paper: Questioning popular building practices in India: A case of comparative life cycle analysis (2011)

At Ecocity World Summit in Montreal, Canada, earth&us team member Varun Thatum presented a paper on the issue.

Research Paper: Embodied energy of various building materials (2009), Copyright: Auroville Earth Institute.

earth&us is motivated to do LCA of building materials as buildings have an extremely high environmental impact in terms of the overall impact of our lifestyle. On a global average buildings consume one-third of the world’s resources. It is estimated that 40% of India’s energy demand is due to the manufacturing processes and operational costs of buildings, and contributes to 30 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions. earth&us team member Varun Thatum, in collaboration with Auroville Earth Institute, did a comparative analysis of the embodied energy of various building materialss building materials. Embodied energy is the total energy required for the extraction, processing, manufacture and delivery of building materials to the building site. Unlike the life cycle assessment, which evaluates all of the impacts over the whole life of a material or element, embodied energy only considers the front-end (cradle-to-gate) aspect of the impact of a building material. It does not include the operation or disposal of materials.

Waste Pyramid Poster made by earth&us volunteers for Auroville community store

External Resources

Stockholm Environmental Institute (2011). Global Review Of Sanitation System Trends and Interactions with Menstrual Management Practices.

Bejhijhak Report: Instigating Collective Action on menstruation. (2014)–A report on a MHM event by Azadi, PATH, WaterAid and WASH United