Mexico City – Eco-friendly diapers that can be washed up to 600 times before disposal and permeable concrete that facilitates storm water recovery and reuse are just some of the products being exhibited at the Green Solutions fair in Mexico City.
"These are microfiber absorbent diapers whose fabric has a special laminate that allows the immediate absorption of the baby's (urine)," Ecopipo representative David Gonzalez told Efe.
His firm is one of more than 115 companies showcasing its wares through Friday at the three-day Green Solutions, a space for the public and private sectors and academia to come together to battle climate change.
Ecopipo's cloth diapers can be washed up to 600 times before disposal, which translates to "significant cost savings" while also "avoiding the generation of tons of waste," Gonzalez said.
The company was launched with start-up capital of just 30,000 pesos ($2,100) and has steadily grown by reinvesting its profits. Ecopipo's factory is located in the central state of Guanajuato but it now has expanded its operations to Canada, the United States, Italy, Spain and other countries.
During the fair, Ecopipo will be seeking partners willing to inject capital in the company and spur further growth.
Another company exhibiting its products at the green forum is Concreto Ecologico de Mexico, maker of a permeable concrete that facilitates rainwater recovery "for aquifer replenishment or water reuse," company marketing chief Alejandro Alvarez said.
The company has patented a material known as Hidrocreto that can handle a weight of between 40-60 tons of rainwater and has a 15 percent market share in Mexico City.
"It rains a lot in Mexico City and we could reuse that water while also preventing flooding," Alvarez said.
Despite the ample rainfall, overexploitation of underground aquifers is a major problem for Mexico City, parts of which have sunk dozens of feet in a little more than a century.
This has caused damage to buildings, highways, roads and public infrastructure - including the potable water distribution network, which has a severe leaky-pipes problem - and exacted a heavy financial toll on the capital.
Another company, Carbon Diversion America Latina, exhibited a system that uses agave biomass leftover from the tequila-making process.
The firm, based in the western state of Jalisco, "makes use of agro-industrial residue from the tequila-making process as a substitute for firewood and other fuels," company representative Francisco Javier Diaz said.
"It's cheaper than diesel and more environmentally friendly because the emissions are minimal. If left to decompose in the countryside, (agave biomass piles) emit large quantities of methane that are very harmful to the environment," Diaz said.
The second edition of Green Solutions aims to increase the number of small- and mid-sized businesses adopting a green-business model and make them the engine of sustainable development.
The main goals of the event are to promote dialogue, reflection and exchange of ideas among participants.
By Ruben Figueroa.