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Saving Water, Saving Grace

This little blue cube is bringing in some serious green.

This story appears in the March 2009 issue of Start Up.

What: Water-preserving cubes for public restrooms

Who: Damian Cox of Ecoblue

Where: Tucson, Ariz.

When: Started in 2005

Startup costs: $200,000

Born and raised in Australia, Damian Cox spent most of his adult life working in hospitality and in his financial planning practice. It wasn't until a local distributor showed him an innovative new product that he started thinking about switching gears. The product, a small cube that helps conserve water in public restrooms, was the key to Cox's new business goal: to do something sustainable for the environment. "As part of a capitalist system for years," says Cox, 46, "I didn't feel good about what I was doing." So Cox sold his practice in 2005 and signed on to become the Americas distributor for the product he renamed the Ecoblue Cube, a nontoxic and biodegradable cube that reduces water usage in public urinals by 99 percent.

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