When we talk about sustainability of a product, what comes to your mind? Do you think of the packaging? Perhaps how long you can reuse the product without needing to buy a new one? Or for some people sustainability of a product is closely related to its impact to the environment throughout its lifetime. People might have different meanings of what sustainability is, but one thing for sure, the demand for sustainability in our lifestyles is rising, and it's here to stay. A great way to start approaching sustainability is through an audit of various simple products that we use on a daily basis. One aspect that is often overlooked is part of a necessity in our daily life, that is drinking water. How you can upgrade your drinking water proses to become more sustainable with water filters
Water filters are one of the primary products to facilitate us in meeting the needs of clean and safe water consumption. We see various types of water filters on the market, ranging from simple filtering methods with cloth bags in the Greek era, the boiling process, which is still carried out by some rural communities, and the emergence of different sophisticated filter technologies. However, several questions began to emerge regarding the sustainability aspect of the water filter.
Is Water Filter Sustainable?
The question arises from people who are concerned about the sustainability of the water filter product on the market. Environmentally, the water filter is more sustainable than bottled water. Water filters are reusable for repeated consumption compared to single-use water bottles/gallons. Apart from the price, which tends to be more expensive, water bottles/gallons are also made of plastic which is very harmful to the environment. In general, plastic cannot be decomposed by the soil, so the buildup of plastic can pollute the soil and water reserves' quality. In many cases, the plastic processing process can produce micro-plastic (plastic particles < 5 mm in size) that end up in the sea and pollute the marine ecosystem.
Apart from using a single-use water bottle/gallon, some still use the boiling method to kill various bacteria and viruses. In terms of efficiency, water filters also tend to be more efficient than boiling water processes. On the other hand, the carbon emissions produced in boiling water are 3x greater carbon emissions compared to water filters, while bottled water has 100x more significant carbon emissions. The process of boiling water is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in household activities. So that in the long term, boiling water and bottled water harm climate changes and global warming with high levels of greenhouse gasses in the process.
Water Filters: Are they all the same?
The data shows that the water filter is one of the most sustainable ways to get drinking water. However, not all of them are the same. Ask the same questions you would think when comparing sustainability for any other product.
How big is the energy consumption? Several water filter technologies use electricity for their usage, while others get components imported abroad, increasing the carbon footprint of their production.
Does it generate waste throughout its lifetime? Various water filters come with a cartridge made of polypropylene (a type of plastic) which can degrade the environment through increasing the landfill waste which pollutes the environment. Majority of water filter products in the market also come with single use plastic packaging and bubble wrapping for its distribution.
Sustainability in the Business Processes of Water Filter Producers
If we talk about sustainable products, it also includes the sustainable business process. The approach is focused on how the company maintains its performance not only financially (economically) but also socially and environmentally. A product is not sustainable if it does not go through a sustainable production and sales process. Terra Water Indonesia is an example of a company that offers sustainable water filter products. It is reflected in the commitment to provide sustainable solutions that impact the social, economic, and environmental aspects of the communities they work and live in. Then what are the sustainable aspects of Terra Ceramic Water Filter?
Eco-friendly Raw Material Selection | Environmental Aspect
Terra chooses eco-friendly materials in producing all of its products. Various questions arise regarding how environmentally friendly a water filter. Is the water filter biodegradable? The answer is yes; the ceramic filter uses clay, carbon, and colloidal silver as the main ingredients, which are biodegradable, so they do not pollute the ecosystem and environment.
As for the container used, the Terra Ceramic Filter product is made from natural materials in premium decomposable ceramics. Furthermore, the Terra Premium Filter product is made of A5 plastic material, which is stylish and recyclable. The other innovative idea is a container with the primary material of a recycle bucket on the Terra Basic Filter product as the company's contribution in utilising plastic waste. Another product offered by Terra is a filter stand made from Teak wood made from natural and local material resistant to termites and mould but still eco-friendly.
If you buy a water filter product from Terra Water, you also don't have to worry about the packaging used. Terra uses eco-friendly packaging made from cut boards that contain 0% plastic. For those of you who want to decorate your packaging, Terra also offers colourful wrapping from recycled paper, which is eco-friendly yet still looks presentable as a gift.
Empowering Local | Social Aspect
Terra carefully vets each supplier in its supply chain, empowering the company to source consciously and with sensitivity to local communities and ecosystems. Meanwhile, Terra sources the material locally from Bali in the filter production process, thereby reducing transportation emissions generated in the logistics process and raw material distribution. Apart from materials, Terra is also empowering local pottery artisans in making the product, allowing them to make a low impact on the environment and a high impact on the community.
Educate Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) | Social Aspect
In addition to selling products, Terra also contributes to spreading awareness of good water, sanitation and hygiene to the community. Knowledge of sanitation can save many families in Indonesia from the possibility of skin diseases, diarrheas, cholera or even stunting in children. Social responsibility is not only a value for Terra but also the action. The right education can help families in supporting the health of their family members. Studies indicate children from healthy families are more likely to have better economic opportunities as adults.
Donating the Profit | Economical Aspect
As a social enterprise company, Terra Water supports the empowerment of local communities in providing economic opportunities. Terra also allocates the profit earned for providing access to safe drinking water for vulnerable families through various programs and events held. Terra has a role as an intermediary to help you expand access to clean and healthy water. You can check our donation page for the details.
By donating one single filter to the vulnerable family, you will:
Save a family up to Rp 7,3 million in 2 years. That is Rp 2,9 billion for the whole village of Balik Bukit.
Provide families with an additional 5 extra hours a day, time spent on economic or educational activities.
Reduce 30.4 kg of CO2 emissions due to boiling water from the environment, significantly reducing climate change and deforestation over time.