World Water Day is celebrated on 22nd March every year and as it comes around it’s a good time to take stock of the amount of water we use on a daily basis and consider where we can make improvements. We give you five tips to start reducing the water you use at work right now.
At home, many of us are already making efforts to reduce time in the shower, make sure to fill the dishwasher to capacity before turning it on and turning off the tap when we are brushing our teeth. At work, our good intentions might continue if our employer or building manager has implemented a specific sustainability policy and has installed flow reducers in taps and low-consumption toilet flushes, for example. Otherwise, specific actions may seem trickier to implement, but there are simple everyday ways that can have an impact.
"If companies take that attitude towards saving water then workers can naturally follow through with some actions, such as turning off taps,” says Daniela Afonso Consultant at Sair da Casca, a sustainability consultancy based at LACS.
However, Daniela notes that even if companies don’t have a specific action plan to reduce water consumption, there are many small steps that can make a significant impact. “Sustainability always involves water and that, naturally focuses on bathrooms and kitchens in workspaces,” she said.
Top tips for saving water at work
1. Use jugs of tap water in meetings and other events instead of bottled mineral water.
2. Put plastic bottles inside toilet cisterns to reduce the amount of water used every time you flush (ask permission first!)
3. Organise a presentation to raise awareness of wasteful habits and to share tips on saving water.
4. Wash several people’s dishes at once in the communal kitchen.
5. Use leftover water in glasses after meals to water office plants.
Greater opportunities for reducing water consumption in shared workspaces
Making use of a shared workspace automatically provides better opportunities to reduce the use of resources in general. With several companies occupying the same space, resource use is reduced and financial overheads are consequently lower, which is a win-win situation in terms of cost and ecological footprint.
“Sharing resources in a single workspace is very important. You use just one printer for several companies and in the kitchens, you use just one fridge instead of nine if separate offices were used and that’s a more rational use of resources,” Daniela Afonso points out. “In a shared workspace an increasing amount of information is exchanged and that includes in the area of sustainability. People end up imitating each other's habits and those habits spread in an organic way that is not imposed.”
Beyond the natural ecological benefits of being a shared workspace, LACS will roll-out this year a campaign which will focus on improving habits of members and visitors with regards to sustainability and saving resources, including rational water usage across all of its sites.