Sustainability Solutions: Water Conservation

Present-day America is undergoing a massive push to restore environmental stability; this is nothing new. In fact, if you’ve found your way here, you’re likely a member of the ongoing effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability. The EPA defines sustainability as actions that  “create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” In other words, sustainability means we are working to sustain ourselves by efficiently managing certain resources to ensure their longevity. Currently, companies across the globe are pushing to achieve and surpass sustainability targets, and it is becoming a fairly mutual goal across almost every company in America.

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So what are some solutions to become sustainable in your workplace?

Water is a key asset to society. We need it, and therefore, one of the biggest motivators behind this huge sustainability drive is the consumption of water.

Many of us tend to forget how much water we really are using, and cutting back on our consumption is not only easy, but it can make a huge difference. Water use accounts for around 13 percent of the United State’s total energy consumption, and it also accounts for massive amounts of CO2 emissions. For this reason, companies are turning to sustainable water use methods to save energy, and the environment.

One easy (and efficient) way to cut back on water use in your company is to install low flow water fixtures in your company’s faucets. These special faucet heads are designed to provide a maximized spread of water for use, while limiting the volume of water that comes from the tap. This, in turn, saves water, and the user likely wouldn’t notice a difference in their hand-washing experience. These low flow devices can be installed in bathroom faucets, showers, and even toilets! A manufacturer of water fixtures called WaterSense claims that just one of their fixtures can save up to 700 gallons of water per year!

Some other ways to save water at the office include reducing the water pressure in the building, and installing faucets with motion sensors. It’s fairly obvious how water pressure reduction can save you water, as less water pressure would lead to less water coming from the pipes, and therefore less water down the drain, and the motion sensor faucets can cut back on water, by shutting themselves off while the user is washing his/her hands.

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It is also advised to educate employees. Company meetings can be held in order to convey your water consumption standards to employees, and direct them to think of sustainability when they use water. If your facility doesn’t have these, employees can help conserve water by turning the faucet off while they scrub their hands. Simple guidelines around the office or facility can go a long way to stop any over-use of water.

Finally, Finish Line Floors can reduce a facility’s water consumption for floor finishing by 95%. Conventional floor finishing methods require around 20 gallons of water (per 1000 square feet) to strip wax from the floor. With the application of Finish Line Floors’ product: Performance Finish, (a long lasting, polyurethane coating), floors will never need to be stripped again. Performance Finish provides years of high quality shine with only routine cleaning to maintain.  When the finish does need restoration, it simply requires a damp surface treatment and then reapplication.  Water use for reapplication is about 2 gallons per 1000 square feet.  Based on a two year service life that’s 1 gallon of water per 1000 square feet annually. For a 100,000 square foot facility, that’s a savings of 1,900 gallons of water per year!

In addition to reducing water consumption, using Performance Finish lowers annual maintenance costs by about 20% compared to conventional wax finish.

With the nation’s big push for sustainability, we need to keep our eyes open for reasonable solutions. Saving water means not only saving money, but also saving energy, and water is a resource that we can’t afford to run out of. Hopefully a few of these tips are able to help you and your facility reaches your sustainability goals.