Drops in the Bucket

January 16, 2014

"Going green” is a term that has been unavoidable over the past few years. While overuse has caused the phrase to lose its meaning in some cases, it has not reduced the importance of improving water and energy efficiency and conserving resources, whether at your own business or on a global level.

At the small business level, going green can not only help the environment, but also help save costs and gain customers. Getting creative with green alternatives can help those cost savings add up. 

Mike Schmitt, owner and general manager of Aqua Serve and one of Water Quality Products’ Dealers of the Year for 2013, offers up one such option: alternative energy vehicles. “Diesel, compressed natural gas, hybrid and liquefied petroleum gas vehicles may trim fuel costs,” he writes in WQP’s 2014 Industry Forecast. “If you are buying new [instead of used], alternative energy vehicles should be a consideration.” (For more advice on the coming year from Schmitt, see “Get Ready & Go,” page 8.)

Of course, all of the cost savings in the world are no good to a dealership unless it can keep its current customers happy and bring in new customers. Green technologies can help in this area as well — many consumers are looking for green options when it comes to water treatment. This model has worked well for West Carolina Water Treatment, featured in “From Customer to Dealer” (page 16). The North Carolina-based dealership offers chemical-free treatment systems that have been a hit with many of its customers, especially in the green-minded city of Asheville. “The city of Asheville is nearby and it’s a very liberal, progressive city in an otherwise very conservative part of the country,” said owner Dennis Warwick. “The green movement has taken hold with a lot of folks there,” drawing them toward chemical-free treatment.

On a global level, the implications of going green will be more important than ever in the coming year. Regions around the world continue to struggle with drought and water scarcity due to the effects of climate change and population growth, meaning that we need to maximize efficiency when it comes to water. As the water treatment industry becomes increasingly global, a wider variety of technologies than ever will enter the marketplace from around the world. It will be crucial to vet not only which technologies are the most effective, but also the most efficient.

The green actions we take on a personal or business level — whether that means installing a water-efficient showerhead or offering chemical-free treatment systems to customers — may seem like mere drops in the bucket from a global point of view. But even these small actions make a difference as we all work toward a greener future.

If your company will be implementing any green initiatives this year, we would love to hear about them — tell us about them on social media or e-mail us at wqpeditor@sgcmail.com.

Kate Cline is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Cline can be reached at kcline@sgcmail.com or 847.391.1007.

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