I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Roberts, the Senior Marketing Director at American Standard about their new water conservation products and educational campaign, the Responsible Bathroom. The resulting podcast and video-cast I entitled “Everything you want to know about Water Conservation but were afraid to ask.”
Believe me, Michelle left no rock unturned in this amusing interview where we discussed everything from dirty water bowls to how much money businesses can be saving by simply upgrading their toilets and facets to water conservation products. It is an hour podcast since we covered a lot of ground, but I promise you, this video and podcast is anything but boring. (Note, the podcast is a full interview. The video highlights an important segment of the interview.)
What Do I Need to know about Water Conservation Products?
Want to know how to choose the right high efficient toilet?
Which toilet should you choose if you have boy children? (Seriously)
When is it time to replace your faucets and toilets?
How much water are we using each year? (Staggering…)
Did you know that water had an energy footprint?
And why is a diamond a water facet’s best friend?
Could a small hotel save over $50,000 simply by swapping out its old fixtures? How about apartments buildings?
Um. I am not revealing the answers. I know. You are on pin and needles waiting for my response. You’ll have to listen to the video or podcast.
Saving Water Should be a Priority
The self proclaimed toilet lady (as Michelle referred to herself) walked me through American Standard’s Responsible Bathroom site, which is geared towards educating both home and business owners about water conservation. With only one percent of the total water on Earth available for human consumption, its time that water becomes as an important discussion as reducing our energy consumption.
“In the United States alone, 36 states anticipate local to statewide water shortages by 2013. And across our world, nearly a billion people lack access to safe drinking water.” [Source]
According to American Standard’s Conservation by the Numbers, if we simply upgraded our faucets, toilets, and showerheads to water conservation products, we would reduce and save the following gallons of water:
- “490,000 – Gallons of water used in a lifetime with a 3.5 gpf toilet, flushed five times per day.
- 8 – Gallons of water used daily with a 1.6 gpf toilet, flushed five times a day.
- 224,000 – Gallons of water used in a lifetime with a 1.6 gpf toilet, flushed five times per day.
- 6.4– Gallons of water used daily with a WaterSense labeled toilet, flushed five times.
- 179,200 – Gallons of water used in a lifetime with a WaterSense labeled toilet, flushed five times per day.
- 5 – Average total minutes bathroom faucets are used daily by each American.
- 5 – Average time Americans use a faucet each day.
- 12.5 – Gallons of water used daily by Americans using standard faucets.
- 4,500 – Gallons of water used per year by Americans using standard faucets.
- 27,000 – Gallons of water used per year by an average American using a WaterSense
- 7.5 – Gallons of water used daily by Americans using WaterSense labeled faucets.
- 33,000 – Gallons a family of four can saved per year by installing water efficient toilet, faucet and showerhead.
- 18,000,000,000 – Gallons of water American Standard product will save in 2010.
The most sobering fact is 27,000 Olympic sized swimming pools could be filled from the amount of water American Standard water conservation products could save us in 2010. Just in one year!
Not One Size Fits All
American Standard offers a variety of toilet products including the Champion toilet, which Michele explained had “for boys” written all over it. In addition to having a large trap way for those wads of toilet paper stuck into the toilet (you all know what I am talking about,) it also has an EverClean surface so that you-know-what does not stick to it. Everyone loves a clean bowl. You know I am speaking the truth here.
As Michele explains, American Standard provides different models and variations to appease every taste and budget ranging from 1.1 gallons per flush to dual flushing (.8/1.6) See here where you can pick and choose which features are important to you.
In addition, to toilets, the Company sells .5 to 1.5 gallon per minute facets and efficient shower heads. And for those of you who want man caves, there is always waterless urinals.
Why Should you Upgrade?
Well, American Standard thought you would ask this question and provides a handy calculator where you can input the number of toilets, facets, urinals, and shower heads for your property. The calculator provides flexibility so that you can adjust it to the what you own such as 3.5 toilets or 1.6 gallon per flush toilets.
You can click on the residence, the multi-family, commercial office, hospitality, school or retail building logo and input your numbers. Be prepared to be shocked. Just look at the picture above of a typical commercial building. Check out hospitality. Next time you check in and just let the shower run, think of your impact.
My only problem with this calculator is the “how much is it going to cost me to retrofit” was missing. Michelle explained that each business or homeowner will choose different fixtures plus all the fixtures can be swapped out by a homeowner or maintenance department to reduce the cost of labor. So, bear this in mind that the cost of the fixtures are not included in what you will be saving for the first year. However, thereafter, the figure listed in the calculator is what you will be saving. As the price of water increases, your savings increase.
And don’t forget to check out the rebates offered by your state (except if you live in New Jersey, since we are surrounded by water or something like that…)
Before I buy, I want to touch and feel everything
Bathroom fixtures can be really personal and I share your pain. I too want to stick my hand under a low flow shower head to make sure my long (*gasp*) showers will still feel wonderful. (Sorry, everyone. I do my best thinking in the shower and it is one of my vices.)
Well, don’t despair. American Standard has a Responsible Bathroom Tour with different water conservation products for you to touch and feel. Check to see when it will be coming to your town. Also, check on how you can win prizes until November, 2010.
Still Unsure if you need to upgrade?
American standard provides guidelines when it is time to say goodbye to your fixtures. See “Is Your Toilet Tampering with your conservation efforts?” Or for your facets: “Is your facet foiling your conservation plans?” (Someone at American Standard loves writing the clever titles!)
I merely scratched the surface in discussing what is offered on the website. I urge all of you to go to American Standard’s Responsible Bathroom site and tell me if my video’s name, “Everything you Want to know about Water Conservation, but Were Afraid to Ask” is appropriate.
Oh, by the way, don’t get stuck on the calculator. It is way too much fun and can be kind of addicting.
Oh, one last question. Did you know why your toilet has those funny looking intestines on the side? Not telling. You have to listen to the podcast or video! Michelle reveals the answer. Do you know the answer? Everyone is just dying to know. So, spill.
So, are you ready to upgrade your water fixtures?