Green your life at home, work & play

Water: Use Less and Reuse More February 11, 2008

Companies can play a significant role in reducing water consumption. Though this may vary by the industry the company is in and products/service provided, two principles are common: Use Less and Reuse More! Let’s consider some basic areas that most companies can focus on or think about improving their performance when it comes to water:

The Bathroomfaucet.jpg

  • Mind the water: What is eco-friendly at home is eco-friendly at work: when you wash your hands, you are not obliged to use the faucet’s maximum pressure. Run it at a lower pressure and turn it off while soaping your hands.
  • Install aerators: Just like at home, aerators in the office significantly lower the amount of water consumed. It is easy to do, cheap, and cost-effective.
  • Consider low-flow toilets: You can save between 50 to 70% of water per flush with a dual flush toilet. And, of course, using less water means less pressure on the city’s sewers!

Case in point: McDonald’s
One of the French McDonald restaurants has replaced their classical urinals with waterless ones, which led to significant money saving. Within 4 months, their recouped their investment:

Basic Investment (in USD) ———————————–Annual Cost (in USD):

  Conventional Urinal Waterless Urinal
Investment in the urinal 207 300
Electricity (detection) 138 138
Plumbing 345 345
TOTAL 586 783


Conventional Urinal

Waterless Urinal
Water 200m3/year = 421 Special cartridges: 9/year = 136
Maintenance Cost 70 Bactericide: 31/year = 28
TOTAL 491 164

The Kitchensigg.jpg

  • Get rid of plastic bottles: Provide staff with glasses and mugs, and encourage them to purchase a reusable bottle to carry with them instead of buying bottled water.
  • Use a water filter: As a company, you can favor the consumption of filtered water instead of buying huge amounts of plastic bottles for your employees or purchasing from a water company that supplies reusable water containers. Those still get dumped in the landfill when they are at the end of their life span.

Air Conditioning

  • Consider investing: Some air conditioners use water to work. An investment in a more energy-efficient air conditioning unit will save water and energy.
  • Use outdoor air: Where possible, open windows instead of turning on the AC. Likewise, don’t keep the windows open too long in the winter if the heat is on.

These are just some basic ideas, to get you started. You can also look into greywater recycling if your business owns some outdoor space, and plant native or adapted species to minimize the need for watering. And of course, don’t forget to do the same at home. Check out previous blogs on water filters and other steps you can take around the house to reduce your water consumption.


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