Anisha, Mario, and a whole lot of poop.
Ever had diarrhea? Ugh, right? The stomach cramps, the sweating, the fever, the discomfort. Hopefully, you were able to cure the diarrhea and avoid repeat episodes. Not everyone is so fortunate, however. Nearly 400,000 children in India under the age of 5, most from poor families, die each year from diarrhea-related illness.
Everyone agrees that fecal-oral transmission is the main culprit. That is, feces makes its way into food and water, and from there, into the body. Now there are many ways for this to happen. But we at Tansa Clean are interested in a specific one – the way in which huge amounts of human feces are dumped into freshwater sources close to urban areas.
About 40% of urban homes in India aren’t connected to the sewer system. These homes call in vacuum trucks to empty their septic tanks. But Indian municipalities simply aren’t big enough to process the material from these unsewered homes. So once they’ve serviced the tank, truck operators frequently drive to the most convenient drop-off point, which is often the closest river.
Now the river starts to die as it sickens people around it. Lost work days and the cost of medical treatment means that the Indian economy loses an estimated $120 million annually. And nearly 70 of India’s rivers have such low levels of dissolved oxygen thanks to fecal pollution that they are unable to support aquatic life.
But Tansa Clean has a solution. Because if handled right, poop can be transformed into clean, highly renewable energy, and nutrient-rich, pathogen-free compost.
To do this, you need an anaerobic biodigester - a very cool technology - that uses bacterial action to break down organic wastes into methane and compost in the absence of oxygen. Fortunately for us, India has a large and growing number of them. So we’re connecting vacuum trucks with biodigesters. Once a truck has completed servicing a septic tank, we send it to the closest municipal or private biodigester to offload. The biodigester takes this organic waste and does its microbial magic. Meanwhile we pay the truck driver for each delivery. Our system will keep thousands of cubic meters of septic tank waste out of rivers leaving them a little cleaner.
Simple, elegant, impactful.
We’re starting small (but dreaming big)…and we’ve got such cool perks!
A great idea! But it isn’t any good until we can test it, break it, fix it, refine it, and grow it. And we can do this…with your support. We’re partnering with a biodigester operator in the state of Maharashtra in India to test the system. We’ll create a small network of vacuum truck operators in the closest big city and they will make deliveries to the digester. We’ll trial this delivery system; measure what’s going in and what’s coming out; test for harmful pathogens; analyze the makeup and volume of methane; and see what farmers think of the compost.
With the money we raise through this campaign, we’ll run this system for atleast one quarter. Then, we’ll grow our customer base, the network of trucks, and our impact.
As thanks for your support and generosity, we’ve developed and sourced some great perks.
We’re lucky that Mario isn’t just a designer with a clean, spare, and modern design aesthetic, but he’s also a great quirky sense of humor. He’s put these skills to full use in creating our cool perks. Choose from postcards, bumper stickers, canvas grocery bags, and t-shirts. Or choose one of the beautiful photographs that our friends Ashish Kothari and Brian Gough have taken. Each one tells a story of India.
The bumper sticker:
The tote bag:
The T-shirt (front):
The T-shirt (front):
The T-shirt (back):
1. A dog snoozes at the door to an inner sanctuary in Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir (by Ashish Kothari)
2. Kite fighting string being prepared for Uttarayan, the annual kite festival, Ahmedabad, Gujarat (by Brian Gough)
3. Laughter in Ramapir No Tekro (Ahmedabad's largest slum), Ahmedabad, Gujarat (by Anisha Shankar)
4. A patient ox waits to be put to work in Kasurdi village, Maharashtra (by Anisha Shankar)
Choose one perk or mix and match to get the perks you want.
It doesn’t have to be money.
Yes, we’d love it if you can show your support with money. But if you can’t, we still need you! Here are four easy and critical ways for you to support us.
1. Send our campaign link (it appears under the video) via email to two friends who will be excited to support us with money.
2. Share our campaign link (it appears under the video) on your Facebook page and your twitter feed. The more people who know about us, the better are our chances of success.
3. Follow the campaign by hitting the star under the right hand corner of the video. You’ll get our updates and you’ll learn how we’re doing.
4. “Like” Tansa Clean on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@Tansaclean).
Frequently Asked Questions.
Is there a shipping cost?
Yes, there is a shipping cost for the shopping bags, t-shirts, photographs, or any combination of these. When you pay for shipping, we have more money left over to test our “sanitation transformed” model in India.
For shipping within the U.S., add $5.00-$8.00 (depends on your perk) to your pledge amount.
For shipping outside of the U.S., add $15.00-$20.00 (depends on your perk) to your pledge amount.
Do the t-shirts come in different sizes?
Yes! We offer them in S, M, and L.
How do I select the size of my t-shirt?
At the end of the campaign, we will email you to get your size request.