A guest blog from Environmental Manager Carlene van der Heiden. See her page on Eco Atlas.
In a world where there are so many ‘green’ products, ‘sustainable’ practices and ‘environmentally friendly’ options, it is often difficult to tell which ones are taking you for a ride. I think that’s the most important job that Eco Atlas plays in this constantly changing and ever emerging field of environmental management. I’m an environmental manager by profession, and although the basics of ecosystem functioning, biological diversity and pure science stay the same, the things I’ve learnt since leaving university have boggled my mind. This makes making the right choice a complicated thing to say the least!
Not only does the ethical directory provide you with peer reviewed places, products or services for you to choose, but the blog provides you with tips, which you can implement to get up there on the list too!
To me March will always be Water month, because World Water Day falls within it, and all of South Africa is bound to get some rain falling from the sky in March! It is also the most important resource we have, and we should protect it at all costs. Water is life, and acid mine drainage and pollution of rivers is destroying our life source. Excessive water use is wasteful and unnecessary and should be curbed by promoting better planning (such as watering your gardens before 10:00 and after 16:00, so as to reduce loss during the heat of the day). Water is scarce in South Africa, with a low average annual rainfall of 464mm, so we should use what we get from the skies at any opportunity, as pumping municipal water to your taps costs electricity too (which is a whole other kettle of fish).
For those wanting to reduce their water use, I would suggest a water audit as the first point. You can’t manage what you can’t measure and so you will need to see what you are currently using, compare it to industry standards, and then see how much you can reduce it. Once you have this data you can then set yourself a target, and put objectives in place to achieve these targets. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is true water saving a quick fix, so give yourself a realistic time frame. A huge requirement for this type of change is that everyone is on board, and, most importantly understands what their responsibility is. Education is key and should be an integral part of your strategy.
If you would like more information about a water management system within your organisation or assistance with a water audit, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.