Dave's Eco-nomics: Flushing with pride

GREEN ALERT

In the average working day, your firm's washrooms may receive hundreds of people, but not all of them are hiding in a cubicle to play virtual golf on their mobile. No, it's a contentious world in there, with big repercussions for the environment, what with water wastage, hazardous cleaning products, the energy consumed by hand-dryers and the paper used in loo rolls. A nappy initiative is clearly out of the quetion, so CEOs should put some thought into how their washrooms function.

ACTION PLAN

Get water-conscious. Envirowise says firms can save more than £3,800 a year in water and sewerage costs by installing passive infra-red sensors on urinals. Other savings come from replacing conventional taps with spray models, fitting tap aerators and flow-restrictors, and installing water-displacement devices in cisterns. As for paper, the Ecologist reckons each European uses 13kg of toilet tissue a year - that's 22 billion rolls. So use recycled: well-know brands include Naturelle or the Co-op's recycled range. Ecover claims its products have the optimum level of biodegradability and minimum impact on aquatic life. Make sure your cleaning products destroy the germs but go easy on the planet. As for paper towels vs hand-dryers, the hot air from that debate is inconclusive. If you choose towels, cut down.

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