When you present water saving ideas, you would normally think that replacing old toilets or placing water conservation equipment in the building would be the best ways to do it.
There’s actually an additional, actually simpler way to conserve water: use foam instead of liquid soap in the restrooms. Believe it or not, it is a proven fact that using foam soap required less water and a much reduced rate. Here are the facts:
Using foam soap rather than a liquid soap results in considerable reduced water usage, according to independent research conducted in the UK in 2009.
Researchers asked 150 people to dirty their hands to a moderate level and then wash their hands — once with traditional liquid/lotion soap and once with foaming soap. Participants used their handwashing method of choice without specific instruction. Researchers measured the water flow rate for each faucet. They also rotated which product was tested first to avoid order effects, and all the participants used liquid/lotion or foam soaps on a day-to-day basis.
Within the controlled study, participants used an average of 1,758ml (0.464 gallons) of water with the faucet on for 21.8 seconds when testing the lotion soap. For foam soap, the amount of water used was reduced to 1,475ml (0.390 gallons) of water with the faucet on for 19.7 seconds — representing a 16 percent water savings.
Presuming people wash their hands three times a day at work, an office of 100 people currently using lotion soap would save approximately 20,000 liters, or about 5,283 gallons, of water per year simply by changing to foam soap.
So, a much simpler solution that can be put in place tomorrow is in your power. Think of the water you can save this week. What else does your office do to save water?
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