Like all large organizations, schools and colleges need to examine their environmental impact. In addition to energy usage and waste management, water use is another critical area of environmental health for schools and colleges.
With regards to the climate crisis, children and young adults are amongst the loudest voices. Many grassroots campaigns have resulted in the successful lobbying of institutions to change damaging practices. These include divesting from fossil fuel companies and halting research that supports the oil and gas industry. Here are some of our best water saving tips in an educational setting:
For an essay writer, the climate crisis is a subject rich in content. Opening up the debate around school or college policy to students is an excellent way to generate ideas. They’ll outnumber those suggested in this article by 10-to-1. Make sure to tap the young minds at your disposal.
When it comes to your institution’s infrastructure, there are many different kinds of alterations and fixes. Retrofitting aspects of the building’s plumbing is a far easier task than a complete overhaul. These fixes use both high- and low-tech solutions.
Some of the most effective technological fixes are incredibly simple. One of many ingenious toilet water saving tips is the flush bag, a plastic bag that absorbs water. The bag goes into the toilet cistern, which’s the sizable boxy bit at the back of a toilet. When the toilet is flushed, the bag expands and takes up space that would have previously been occupied by water. This space displacement will save roughly one-liter of water per flush, other size bags can reduce more space, but it is a matter of balancing function and environmental favor.
Flush bags illustrate a pertinent point; when dealing with large numbers of individuals, incremental changes add up to a large percentage. If you can save 1,000 liters of water per day, the reduction becomes significant over an academic year. Little and often should be the water-saving motto of your school.
Other excellent marginal gains devices include sensor-activated taps; to prevent accidental (or intentional) tap-running. The tap flow rate in the US is generally very high. Adaptors exist, which will reduce the flow rate and thus save gallons of water. Another thing to note is that our existing infrastructure has always put human needs first; there is a lot of slack in the system.
‘The system’ leads us to the next tip. Think for the future when planning your school’s re-development. Ideas to make a school carbon neutral, or even carbon positive, must include water usage, not just energy usage. Water does not miraculously flow. Some sort of connection to the energy grid is essential.
Schools and colleges can look for renewable energy providers who service their area. Swapping energy providers may be simple, or there could be legal obstacles; it depends on the type of school or college.
For those with a hefty endowment, taking energy generation in-house is one option. Generating a self-reliant water source is hard and not on the list of priorities for most institutions. Who has a natural spring sitting on the grounds these days? However, in the years to come, water desalination plants could become much more affordable and offer locally available water to the area, not just the institution.
One place that needs water saving tips is California. The state has suffered dramatic and devastating wildfires evermore frequently in recent years, making news the world over. In areas that are prone to wildfires like this, water is of deep concern. They’re running out. Schools, colleges, and the entire state have to reduce their demand. Reducing this demand will only become more critical, familiar, and necessary in the coming years.
Schools and universities can lead the way on this front. They’re able to set their own rules and develop sound practices in their students while they’re at it. Education is just as important as technological fixes; ensuring water doesn’t get wasted is as much about bringing together the team as it is stuffing bags in toilets.
Embodied carbon is the amount of carbon it took for an object to be made or to function. Embodied water is not just the fact that you’re 90% h2o; it’s the amount of freshwater affected or used to create a material or maintenance of services.
It is easy to think about embodied water in food; wheat grown in the USA contains approximately 849 cubic meters of water per tonne. Understanding metrics such as these can help with long term planning. If your institution provides food, a thorough audit of your water use could suggest ways to alter the kitchen and the menu to reduce water consumption.
Saving water in schools and colleges is literally and metaphorically plugging a leaky pipe. The task is never really over as it is so complex and prone to faults and issues. That said, every institution can save water tomorrow if they implement some of the fixes covered in this article.