We hope you enjoyed our last article on sustainability. It went over its definition, why is sustainability important and beneficial, as well as how to take a first yet simple step toward adopting sustainable habits. As sustainability consultants we thought we would write an article that could be beneficial to the reader.
In this article, we will consider two other sustainable solutions that we can integrate into our lives.
But first, I would like to share a little secret with you. Here are three of the core foundations of sustainability and energy efficiency:
- produce efficiently
- consume efficiently
- reuse as much as you can
These principles can be applied in the fields of energy and carbon. These fields are interconnected.
Let’s talk about water, for example. Imagine you want to water your garden.
You need to make sure that:
- you “produce” water efficiently by reducing water leaks in your pipe as much as possible.
- you consume efficiently by using a hose that directs water where the crops are rather than everywhere in the garden.
What about in a building, whether it’s your home, an office or an industrial plant?
Let’s crunch numbers
Sustainability consultants can take a look at your building and offer you insights. Have you ever thought of using water aerators? Water aerators reduce the amount of water that comes out of a faucet (bathroom, kitchen sink, etc.), by diminishing the water flow rate from 2.2 to 1.5 gallons per minute, which can lower water consumption by 20% or more.
This maintains the level of comfort and the pressure drop is barely noticeable.
Therefore, you reduce your water heating bills because you decrease your hot water consumption.
An additional benefit is that the city requires less energy to pump fresh water from the water source to your house as a result.
Why not look for WaterSense fixtures next time you are at a hardware store? These fixtures come with a label from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) department certifying that they have a reduced water consumption. These fixtures are also available for showerheads. You might be surprised how much you can save. By replacing an existing showerhead with a WaterSense one you might be eligible for a local rebate.
What about water leaks?
The EPA said that by implementing water-efficient best management practices, commercial and institutional facilities have an opportunity to:
- Achieve cost savings
- Increase competitive advantage
- Reduce risks associated with water scarcity (and improve resiliency)
- Demonstrate leadership
- Access opportunities in the green building marketplace
Here below is a table showing potential losses from water leaks. This underlines the importance of identifying and fixing leaks promptly.
Potential Losses From Water Leaks
|Malfunction||Leaking Flow Rate (gallons per minute)||Water Loss||Estimated Cost of Water Loss**|
|Leaking Toilet||0.5 gpm||21,600 gallons per month||$2,100 per year|
|Drip Irrigation Malfunction||1.0 gpm||43,200 gallons per month||$4,300 per year|
|Unattended Water Hose at Night||10.0 gpm||5,400 gallons per day||$16,000 per year|
|Broken Distribution Line For:|
Up to $64,000 per year
|Tempering Water Line on a Steam Sterilizer Stuck in the On Position||2.0 gpm||86,400 gallons per month||$8,600 per year|
|Stuck Float Valve in a Cooling Tower||5.0 gpm||216,000 gallon per month||$21,000 per year|
Your maintenance and a sustainable can work together to help you with these tasks and much more. Another way we can adopt sustainable practices is by tapping into rainwater harvesting, which might be another solution suggested by your sustainability consultants. The benefits are:
- water consumption reduction
- reducing load on municipal infrastructure
- run-off water disturbance reduction
Water is an essential resource as it sustains life. Water has been considered as the blue gold and there are many ways we can value it. Why not consider some of the suggestions above (WaterSense fixtures or rainwater harvesting)?
We will conclude with this quote:
WE NEVER KNOW THE WORTH OF WATER TILL THE WELL IS DRY— Thomas Fuller
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
If you enjoyed this article, give us a thumbs up, share it, or both.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, our sustainability consultants will be happy to help you. Stay tune for another article on sustainability.