There are areas in our lives where we can be extremely thoughtful in what we do and where we choose to spend our time and effort. Attending only the meetings we want to, answering the phone on our terms or occasionally saying no to the requests of others. This is essentially managing our scarce resources – our time, finances and energy.
However there are still many areas where we are far more careless or even carefree. Where our effort energy or resources are just allowed to slip out under the door, through the letter box or down the plug hole.
Consider how we use the utilities within the office or at home. Do you have lights on sensors in the bathrooms at your place of work? If not the danger is that they could be left on unnecessarily for 10-12 hours plus per day when realistically 1-2 hours usage is a more accurate figure. This is just one example of electrical wastage in our lives.
Another simple yet frightening example for me was the daily act of brushing my teeth whilst living in Australia. Water is a truly scarce resource there, so when I left the tap running for the 1-2 minutes that I was brushing my teeth my friends and colleagues tore a strip off me for being wasteful and disrespecting the environment.
Two simple examples but when we add up their cumulative impact it becomes quite frightening. An 85% reduction in the electricity usage within one bathroom in one company per day every day of the year really does add up. Let’s calculate the water wastage – approximately 5 litres plus of water could be wasted each time I brushed my teeth – twice a day – 365 days a year = 3650 litres of water down the plug hole – there are 5 of us in my family – 50 houses in my street this would equate to just short of 1 million litres of water wasted per year by people in my street alone. Frightening!
Translate this into other areas of your business and your approach to saving costs, some more hidden than others. When was the last time you did an energy audit of the office, understood what items could be switched off over night etc? Have you reviewed your supplier contracts in the last 6 months, from utilities and stationery to fuel and associate partners? Where can you avoid ongoing wastage?
If you haven’t got the time to do this then bring someone in who shares in the savings rather than charging you an upfront fee. Invest in electrical sensors where you can, turn off the computers, printers, TVs and phone chargers when not in use. We are all guilty of being part of a disposable society nowadays which is not good; we should respect all of the resources we use.
And of course, as a result of reading this blog you’ll turn the tap off tonight when you’re brushing your teeth…..