Drought times: how restaurants, wineries and you can save water.
It's no secret that California's four-year drought is impacting the viability of many crops and the livelihoods of those who cultivate them. At Angle 33, we see it most acutely in the wine and restaurant business. In fact, we are starting to see it very clearly in the cheaper wine market. If the drought continues this way, it will inevitably change the entire U.S. wine market.
We can't make the rain, but we sure can conserve water--and just because we don't live in California, doesn't meant we can't or shouldn't help. Drought is a global problem. Luckily, just like growing a business, we can make progress with the little things we do, day in and day out. The details are what make an experience--they are also where we can begin to save water. Think about the glass of ice water you typically get when you sit down at a table in a restaurant. That ice takes a lot of water to make. How much? A standard 800-pound per day ice machine uses 500 gallons of cooling water per day–plus the water for the ice.
Let's look at five ways that restaurants,wineries, and individuals can save water:
Fix leaky faucets. We all like to ignore them, but those drips really add up. Look at The Food Service Technology Center’s Water Leak Cost Calculator and you'll quickly determine the annual expenses of a dripping faucets.
Switch to Energy-Star dishwashers--at home and commercially. They often use half as much water as older models and energy efficiency financing can make their cost more than affordable.
Schedule water use assessments. If you know where, when and how you get your water at all times, you get a gold star. If you know where your water goes, you get two gold stars. Really, it's very difficult to know where you might be losing or wasting water, so getting help to regularly track it will make a big difference in how much you can save. For farmers, this can include environmental data collecting and assessment to maximize crop viability.
Adopt sustainability initiatives. If your staff (or your family) knows how important it is to conserve water, and are properly taught appropriate practices, then you have a whole team of people acting on it. You also have more brains thinking creatively about how to do it. That can only result in good things.
Offer, don't assume. Of course, we need water to survive. Of course, we should all drink a lot of water to stay healthy. But, don't assume that someone wants water. Whether you are hosting them in your home, your tasting room or your restaurant, offer them water, before you go pouring it. If they decline, you've just saved some.
We'd love to hear your ideas for conserving water!
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