Water: the essence of life.
Our bodies are more than 60% made of it and we use it for everything from brushing our teeth in the morning to cooling our offices at work. But how often do we stop to think about this seemingly abundant resource during a bustling work day?
According to Save Our Water, 2013 was the driest recorded year in history for many of the areas in California, and 2014 hasn’t been much more promising. The statewide drought emergency brought to the attention of many Californians just how precious a resource water really is. Cutting down showering time and watering the lawn less at home is a wonderful start, but awareness of water consumption can persist throughout your day.
Here’s a 4 step guide to help you save water (and money) at the office:
- 1) Calculate how much water your company is using: You can determine how much water is being consumed by your business by analyzing your water bills for the last year. Another way to track water usage in the office is by installing a water meter. Water meters can inform you of hourly water consumption data so you can accurately monitor daily usage and also check for any spikes in usage. Many utility commissions also have checklists available on their websites to help get you started.
- 2) Establish a water management plan: Once you have an idea of how much water your office is using, it’s time to establish a business water conservation plan. Set an initial goal of how much water you want your company to save during a designated amount of time. You can also assign a water usage manager to oversee the office’s consumption patterns.
- 3) Collectively brainstorm a list of ideas to cut down your current consumption. Some examples include:
- Include water-saving tips in your business newsletter.
- Post water conservation tips on posters around the office and in the bathroom to inform employees and clients about what they can do to help. You can find an example here.
- Install flow restrictors on the sinks in the restrooms and the kitchen to reduce the amount of water used to wash hands and dishes.
- Check out your local public utilities commission to see if they offer free Water-Wise Evaluations.
- Make sure to check for and fix leaks in faucets or broken sprinkler heads outside in a timely manner.
- Replace old toilets, urinals and dishwashers with water-efficient technologies. Some utility companies even offer rebates to boost sustainable practices in your office space.
- 4) Once you establish a plan – stick to it! Once you enact your business water conservation plan, continue to enforce it and monitor your usage even after you meet your initial goal. There is always room for continual sustainable (and financial) improvement.
Even when our reservoirs ares full, it’s important to remain aware of how much we use this precious resource both at home and at work – not just for future shortages, but also for future generations.