How much do you know about the concept of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle? If you want to do your bit for the environment, start with these simple ways to maximise water use. Added bonus, you can expect a reduction in the utility bills too.
First, Let’s Start with Why You Should Be Bothering?
Water scarcity is a recognised problem and availability of clean water is a major concern in many parts of the world posing a serious threat to hospitality industry.
Hoteliers have a strong commercial and moral reason for addressing water use. Commercial because cost is a big factor! Water accounts for more than 15% of utility bills in many hotels. And morally because, hotels are major consumers of this scarce resource and thus have a responsibility not to use more than necessary.
How Can You Do It in Simple Ways?
- Restrict shower flow to 10 litres a minute and taps to 6 litres a minute. This can easily be measured with a bucket and stopwatch.
- Fix leaks! A leaking toilet can lose about 800 litres of water a day.
- Shift to duel flush toilets as guests can opt for a shorter flush. A quicker and economical alternative is to place a brick or full water bottle in the cistern (as it displaces some of the water).
- Wash only when machines are fully loaded. Minimise the rinse cycle.
- Consider installing a continuous batch washer (CBW), which uses all the rinse water for pre-washing. This is especially beneficial for larger hotels.
- Switch to ozone laundry systems as it helps provide a more efficient wash.
- Check for leaks! Easily done by comparing water meter readings of last thing at night and first thing in the morning.
- Backwash the swimming pool every two to three days rather than daily.
- Install push-button showers by the pool and always cover swimming pools when not in use.
- Avoid watering grounds in the heat of the day. If you use automated water systems, install timers on sprinklers to control water use.
- Design and landscape your grounds in line with your environment, as native species of plant often need less water.
- Use rainwater harvesting techniques to divert and capture rainwater from roofs and gutters into underground storage tanks.
- Restrict water flow in kitchen taps to 10 litres per minute.
- Use dishwashers only on full load. Pre-soaking utensils and dishes saves use of running water.
- Avoid thawing food under running water and avoid using running water to melt ice in sink strainers
- Implement a linen reuse programme. Apart from saving water, these programmes mean less wear on fabrics, and saving of housekeeping staff time.
- Set clear instructions and train housekeeping on reducing water use. Include instructions like “how many times to flush the toilet when cleaning, how not to leave taps running, how to use a mop rather than hose when cleaning floors, etc”.
Educate Your Guests
Another main reason for high water consumption in the hotel sector is the guest behaviour. Educating customers about water issues is of prime importance and this can be done by:
- Encouraging guests to shower instead of bath.
- Reminding not to leave the tap running when brushing teeth.
- Inviting them to reuse their towels and linens by opting not to have them changed every day.
- Incentivising guests to change their behaviour by giving them gift vouchers is a great way to engage and encourage them in your favour. Not only would it prompt them to come back, they might even spread a good word among their network. And if you are worried about the cumbersome administration work traditionally associated with gift vouchers, automation through the likes of Gift Voucher Engine makes it all easy.
Did we miss out something? Is there a water saving tip you’d like us to share with everyone else. Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org