Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Residential’

SpiroFlo reports on southeast England’s decision to send out 30,000 waterproof timers in an attempt to encourage shorter showers (to save water during their drought).

Although we’ve reported primarily on droughts in the U.S., it’s interesting to see how other parts of the world respond to water shortages.

After two dry winters, southeast England—the most populated area of Britain—was declared in drought (while the northwest and Scotland experienced more rainfall than normal). This drought, so far, has led to increased wildfires, low reservoirs, and increased fish deaths (correlating to higher food prices). With the 2012 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in London, water companies are scrambling to find new ways to save water.

According to The Telegraph, a U.K. newspaper (with yes, U.K. spelling), the “average person in the UK uses a huge amount of water, using up 150 litres of water a day compared to just 127 litres per person in Germany.”

With this in mind, the two major water companies in the affected areas—Anglican Water and Southeast Water—sent out 30,000 free waterproof timers in the last year to make people aware of spending less time in the shower. Based on manufacturing and shipping costs, this move can’t have been cheap, but in this case, water is the rarer commodity.

This type of waste awareness tactic is not unique. Most people learned, at some point, to save water by taking showers instead of baths, completely loading the dishwasher, fixing leaky faucets, and turning off the tap while their brushing teeth. Expecting people to stick to a four-minute shower, however, might be a tougher sell. Much like regulations on watering lawns, these types of changes have a harder acceptance rate and some wind up enforced as water laws.

Another part of the problem is that many of the “standard” water-saving technologies have run their course. There are only so many low-flow shower heads and toilets to install; it’s time for new water- and energy-saving technologies.

Given that SpiroFlo is one of those water- and energy-saving technologies, I’ll close with a quick plug:

The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office awarded SpiroFlo a grant through the Innovative Funding for Energy Efficiency (IFEE) program. This grant enabled SpiroFlo to test its water-saving device in homes around the Denver Metro area. During the trial, participants recorded their wait time for hot water at the designated outlet for 5-7 days both before and after the installation of the SpiroFlo device.

The SpiroFlo device in a bypass layout

This IFEE study concluded that the patented SpiroFlo device allows for a faster shower for most homeowners (4 out of 5), all while conserving water, electricity and providing green benefits on day one. The average wait time for hot water in positive installs went down from 62.41 seconds to 40.77 seconds—a 34.82% reduction. In addition to the wait time benefits, there is also an average water volume savings of 3.5% at every hot water outlet in the house. With the combined benefits in wait time and volume savings, a four-person household can conserve an average of 3,869 gallons a year (as well as the energy savings from not having to heat/reheat water). Using these average numbers as the standard, if only 20% of Colorado housing units had a SpiroFlo device installed, this could translate into saving nearly 1.68 billion gallons annually. If every housing unit in the U.S. had a SpiroFlo device, the total amount of water conserved in a year would be over 500 billion gallons.

There are also anecdotal benefits from the SpiroFlo device. These include getting hotter water (confirmed in 40% of trial households), less energy being used to re-heat the water, higher water pressure and softer skin (this benefit was confirmed by a hydrologist). One SpiroFlo installed at the outlet of a hot water tank is a complete system for the whole house. There is no need for the costly modifications and ventilation requirements associated with tankless and recirculating devices. Savvy DIY homeowners are able to install the SpiroFlo device themselves and several plumbers expressed interest in absorbing the cost of the SpiroFlo device within their standard installation costs. The SpiroFlo device has no moving parts, meaning there’s nothing to wear out, nothing to maintain.

*            *            *

For more on the southeast drought (including a drought and rain map), see The Telegraph’s article “Take an ‘egg timer’ into the shower say water companies as South East declared in drought”

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

SpiroFlo looks at a video on bottled water from the Story of Stuff Project (providing information “about the way we make, use and throw away Stuff”).

This video starts off obnoxiously heavy-handed, but it’s amusing and informative, especially on the notion of manufactured demand for bottled water. Try not to get distracted by Annie Leonard‘s nonstop hands:

 

Thoughts:

  1. Although I’ve mentioned how 80-90% of bottles from bottled water are thrown away (since they actually shouldn’t be reused), the point about the mountains of water bottles in India is quite damning.
  2. Can’t say I’ve ever been “seduced” by a mountain stream, but I get what she’s saying about bottled water ads pretending that bottled water has flowed down like liquid manna from God. (I once met a successful advertising executive who said the key to marketing is to make people feel dissatisfied.) The bogus statements from Nestle and PepsiCo don’t help. That said, I still don’t see people spitting out bottled water like the cartoon characters do.
  3. Investing in public infrastructure is an interesting thought, but many recognize how bloated their spending is, too.
  4. And then, of course, since environmentalists often can’t make a fair point with any form of subtlety, this gem comes out towards the end:  “Carrying bottled water is on its way to being as cool as smoking while pregnant.”

Ugh. Sometimes there’s a reason why it’s only the choir you’re preaching to.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

For those of you who need one more reason to keep smoking, CBS News reported that, an “electronic cigarette blew up in a Florida man’s face, leaving him in a hospital with severe burns, missing his front teeth and a chunk of his tongue.” Although the brand was not identified, investigators suspect a faulty battery was to blame. So far this appears to be an isolated incident, so don’t expect to see warning labels on e-cigarettes just yet.

“The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off,” said Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department. “The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire.”

I think I’d rather puff off a bit of air pollution than set my face on fire.

Full article here.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

 

Read Full Post »

On April 1st, 2012, “60 Minutes” reported that sugar, as it’s currently consumed, is a toxin that drives several diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. In today’s blog, SpiroFlo breaks down the major findings of that report.

Brand new report: Everything is still bad for you.

Today’s suspect: Sugar.

On Sunday night, “60 Minutes” posed the question, “Is sugar toxic?” In knowing that they wouldn’t air the report if the results came back as, “Huh, it’s like most things: If you have too much of it, it isn’t good for you,” I assumed they’d come back with “Yes.” It was just a matter of how big that yes was. Despite airing on April Fool’s Day, this was no joke:

According to the report, the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar each year.

Yikes. That’s a supermodel-and-a-half right there. The tough part is that much of this two-fifths-of-a-pound of sugar a day is hidden in yogurt, sauces and bread.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, believes that sugar (as it is currently consumed) is a toxic driver of many diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Thankfully, when the interviewer, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, asked, “Do you ever worry that… it just sounds a little bit over the top?” Dr. Lustig had enough sense to respond with, “Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.”

After the government mandated lowering fat consumption in the 1970s, Dr. Lustig says that in knowing that food loses its flavor without fat, the food industry replaced that fat with sugar. Although sugar consumption is down 40% since then, Lustig also argues that the switch to high fructose corn syrup hasn’t helped, as it’s basically the same thing.

While his views of sugar as a toxin used to be considered on the fringe, Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, is one of the many voices backing him up. “She’s in the middle of a groundbreaking, five-year study which has already shown strong evidence linking excess high fructose corn syrup consumption to an increase in risk factors for heart disease and stroke. That suggests calories from added sugars are different than calories from other foods.”

The report continues, “when a person consumes too much sweet stuff, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts some of it into fat. Some of that fat ends up in the bloodstream and helps generate a dangerous kind of cholesterol called small dense LDL. These particles are known to lodge in blood vessels, form plaque and are associated with heart attacks.”

Another expert, Eric Stice—a neuroscientist at the Oregon Research Institute—used MRI scanners to observe how the brain responds to sugars and sweeteners. The results? Your brain responds the same way to sugar as it does to cocaine—by releasing the pleasure chemical: dopamine. The more you eat sugary foods, the less you feel the rewards. Much like a junkie, it takes more and more to feel it.

How much do you think I can get for this on the street?

Lewis Cantley, a Harvard professor and the head of the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center, believes high-sugar consumption is a catalyst that fuels certain types of cancers—including breast and colon cancer—as they, like the cells of body, need glucose to survive (and grow). Apparently the tumors learned this behavior. Sugar fiends the lot of ‘em!

Of course, like most investigative reports, you must have one lone detractor to balance things out. A member on the sugar board, Jim Simon, predictably disagreed with the findings, saying, “the science isn’t completely clear here.” (To be fair, he’s right. Give it six months and some other experts from another study will likely find something different.) He argued that vilifying the sugar industry by trying to get people to eliminate sugar isn’t enough. Simon says it’s more about reducing calories and increasing exercise (and since Simon says so, we have to do it).

In closing the segment, “60 Minutes” noted that Dr. Lustig co-authored a paper with the American Heart Association on the daily recommended amount of added sugar. The recommendation? No more than 150 calories of added sugar for men and 100 calories for women. That’s less than one can of soda a day (and I’m guessing maybe, just maybe, a notch shy of that disturbing 130 pounds of sugar consumed by the average American in a year).

Watch the report below:

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Last week, SpiroFlo had a graphic on why you should care about water conservation. This time, we’re looking at what we recycle, what we throw away, and how long it’ll take for all of it to decompose:

So this means skinny people are less wasteful? Something like that, right?

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

 

Read Full Post »

Here’s why we work hard to promote residential hot water savings with the patented, cost-effective SpiroFlo device:

That beer and chocolate better be really good…

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

Read Full Post »

SpiroFlo discusses the struggle of marketing a green technology to the hardcore green crowd and how it’s important to find the Baby Bear of environmentalists: Those who are green enough to value everyday resource savings, but not so green that they aren’t widely accessible (by their beliefs about business or their frugal lifestyles).

SpiroFlo was recently invited to buy ad space on a general green living forum, but declined.

The main reason: The hardcore green crowd often doesn’t personally financially support businesses.

Some of them hate capitalism; others think if you’ve got a product that benefits the environment you should give it away (or stick a government entity with the bill). Regardless of the reasoning, it often seems like that crowd is more likely to jury-rig their own energy-saving devices than buy from a business. (Please don’t electrocute yourself installing your own tin foil solar panels.)

Granted, I don’t expect the everyday citizens to buy an oil and gas well improvement tool or an industrial biofilm removal tool from us, but for residential hot water savings, Average Joes can bring green benefits into their home with one SpiroFlo device installed at the outset of the hot water tank. Getting a better, eco-friendly shower faster, all while improving your morning routine (by not waiting so long for hot water at the shower) seems like a no-brainer, but Average Joe water saving benefits don’t necessarily apply to fringe green groups.

Note: Saying “fringe group” conjures up images of terrorism. I’m not suggesting fringe green groups are attacking people with organic fruit and solar-powered weaponry, rather just acknowledging that they are, in fact, way in the minority.

http://www.wayfaring.info/2009/03/20/ivrea-carnival/

They even have fruit fighter outfits!

Additionally, often times, unconventional people have unconventional homes. From the tiny house trend to the build-your-own-humanure-toilet crowd, sometimes the upheave-your-life green fringe crowd doesn’t even have the type of living space that could benefit from minor green savings. If they’ve already made a major shift to green living, a cost-effective, easy green device like SpiroFlo is in a different league. I mean, why own a shower when you bathe in the previously wasted fountain water at the park?

I kid, but I can tell you this much: a good chunk of the people who are actively involved in general green living forums—as in, the kinds of people who would see our advertisement there—are likelier to fall into the above categories, making the marketing dollars wasted dollars. Perhaps if the green forums were more specific to residential water savings, the ad would pay back its cost, but at this stage, there’s still a difference between marketing to a niche than an inaccessible fringe.

The key is to find people who are just green enough—with enough green awareness to care about environmental impact/resource savings (along with a better shower), but not so much that they’re beyond the benefits of the everyman water-saving SpiroFlo device—but guess what? Average people don’t hang out all in one universal area.

Whether it’s a small fringe group or the white noise of a large, carry-all home supply chain store, sometimes it’s hard to know where to speak your marketing voice let alone what to say with it. Regardless, good, simple green products need to get out there somehow.

Time for Occupy Home Depot?

***

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »