How to Make Your Office More Water Friendly
The four largest uses of water in office buildings are:
- Heating and cooling.
The business benefits of implementing water efficiency measures in and around the office building include reduced operating costs and the ability to meet sustainability goals.
Your business can reduce water related costs in two ways:
- Implementing water saving practices.
- Installing water saving technologies.
In the restroom
We waste water in the washroom by flushing more than we need, not turning off the faucets while washing our hands, taking showers (in those large offices), and not completely turning off fixtures when we’re done.
Take it out of the hands of employees by installing fixtures operating off sensors. These can work with:
- Flushing urinals.
Sensor products are at least 20% more water efficient than the models you have in the washrooms right now.
Low-flow toilets get even greater efficiency than toilets outfitted with sensor flushes. So if possible, opt for something like this instead.
Landscaping is important for the image of your business. But you can use water more intelligently on the landscape.
- Use recycled rain water for every landscaping application. Your grass, flowers and shrubs aren’t nearly as picky about the cleanliness of the water as you are.
- Invest in a professional landscaper to design a drought-resistant landscape.
- Get your landscaper to install a water conscious irrigation system which loses less water to wind, runoff and evaporation by watering plants directly, and at the right time of day.
An office in Plano, Texas reduced its outdoor water use by about 40%, saving almost 12.5 million gallons of water in 2009. This saved the complex about $47,000, and the project essentially paid for itself within 18 months.
The kitchen only accounts for about 13% of water use, compared to 37% in the washroom, but it pays to find efficiencies wherever possible.
- Don’t make a full pot of coffee if there aren’t enough coffee drinkers to consume it all. On top of the water wasted in the pot, coffee beans are very water-intensive to produce. Wasted coffee grounds are wasted water.
- Ask employees to bring reusable water bottles to the office. No need to wash cups or mugs over and over.
- Have employees hand-wash any dishes they use for lunch (or just ask them to eat lunch out of the glassware they bring it in). Eliminate the need for an office dishwasher completely!