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Posts Tagged ‘Shower’

SpiroFlo looks at how environmental issues and personal health issues became linked.

Last week, I met with a company interested in partnering with SpiroFlo as part of their “energy oasis”—essentially redesigning how cities are built to make them more energy efficient. For SpiroFlo, we have two main applications in residential water:

  • Reducing water consumption and improving the quality of what is used (both for drinking water and shower quality); and
  • Reducing pressures required on water pumps, saving energy and reducing wear.

As we connected, the owner of this energy oasis company mentioned that he was midway through dropping 50+ pounds. At least part of the reason for this weight loss is because he works in clean tech and, in his words, “Environmentalists don’t like fat guys.”

Well, then…

fat squirrel

Thank you, “Animal Obesity” section of Wikimedia Commons; I couldn’t have written this article without you.

I wouldn’t say environmentalists specifically dislike overweight people, but I’ve acknowledged this connection before—that environmental and personal health issues are tied. Yet when I think about why this is the case, the logic doesn’t work. You could hypothecate that someone who doesn’t care about their own health won’t care about the health of the planet, but it’s just that—a theory. Besides, if your stance on the health of the earth can be tied to your personal health, why not make meaningful assumptions based off the health of a person’s car (how often they wash it, change their oil, etc.) or the health of their home (how often they clean, etc.). Granted, homes and cars aren’t living, but to connect personal and environmental “health,” you do have to stretch the term.

Yet the perceived connection between environmentalism and personal health is still there, regardless of whether I can logically separate the two. So I set out to see if there was a credible connection between physical health and environmental health.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t.

This then brings us back to one major explanation: Bias.

We all have bias, and the more accepted ones bubble to the surface.

There’s a theory that says fat and/or bald people can’t win the U.S. presidency in this visual era. That makes sense, as we all know a politician like Winston Churchill made great decisions because of his Adonis physique and flowing Fabio hair. But he’s a Brit, so bad example anyway.

Maybe we can turn to art to help point out these foolish fallacies. No wait, that won’t work. Last time we got “Shallow Hal.” If you’re fortunate enough to not remember “Shallow Hal,” well, your luck has run out. It was a 2001 romantic comedy where a fat guy named Hal (played by Jack Black) is only attracted to gorgeous women until real-life, big-toothed, self-help Guru Tony Robbins hypnotizes him into viewing women’s physical appearances based on the goodness of their hearts. (Yup, Tony Robbins hypnotizing people to see inner beauty… this is the actual plot line.) What you got next was Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit, so that she could play both the skinny inner beauty version of her character and the actual version of her character that was overweight, because skinny is automatically beautiful and fat is automatically ugly, see?

Also, according to this movie, everyone who is physically unattractive has a fat heart of gold. No pandering there, and it totally doesn’t sound hollow after making a slew of stereotypical fat jokes. Really, you can find far deeper criticism of “Shallow Hal,” but the biggest offense is that for all the social faux pas it offered, it was still a crap flick. You can get away with a whole lot more if you’re actually funny.

Regardless, the tie between how you take care of your own body and how you take care of the earth is there, even if it shouldn’t be. Thus you’ve got one more reason to make your New Year’s resolution to get to the gym. It’s not like having a sustainable, green technology will get you taken seriously by the clean tech crowd. Mother Nature cares about those abs.

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Have a great New Year. We’ll see you in 2016.

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing 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), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

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 coal, biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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By Tomas Castelazo (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsSpiroFlo covers the impact of the 2012-2013 Colorado drought and how water utilities are responding.

With 2012 and 2013 slated to be the two worst Colorado drought years on record, Denver Water has declared a stage two drought.

I’m going to assume the term ‘stage two drought’ doesn’t magically fill your mind with water restriction information, so let me break it down a little: Basically, as a water utility — in this case: Denver Water — declares a higher level of drought, the more restrictions (fines and flow limits) there are. Stage one is “We’re asking nicely for you to limit your own water use”; stage two is the start of “We’re done asking. Here’s what you have to do.”

From Denver Water:

  • Stage 1 Drought: A Stage 1 drought will alert customers that water supplies are below average and continued dry weather could lead to a Stage 2 drought declaration. Stage 1 calls for customers to voluntarily reduce water use.
  • Stage 2 Drought: A Stage 2 drought imposes mandatory water use restrictions and requires a significant effort on the part of customers. Stage 2 water use restrictions will appear in the Operating Rules. A surcharge program may be used to support water use restrictions and help reduce customer water use. Customers who violate Stage 2 drought restrictions will be subject to increasing penalties, including the possibility of a flow restrictor or suspension of water service.

As this is the worst Colorado drought on record (and overall, 2012 was both the hottest year on record and it made the top 10 worst U.S. droughts), Denver Water hasn’t yet reached stages three and four, but they do exist:

  • Stage 3 Drought: A Stage 3 drought imposes mandatory water restrictions on Denver Water’s customers. Stage 3 drought restrictions are severe and will probably result in significant damage to or loss of landscapes. Customers who violate Stage 3 drought restrictions will be subject to increasing penalties at levels higher than in a Stage 2 drought, including the possibility of a flow restrictor or suspension of water service.
  • Stage 4 Drought: A Stage 4 drought activates a rationing program for Denver Water’s customers. Conditions that would lead to a Stage 4 drought are highly unlikely. However, if conditions warrant, Denver Water may implement a rationing program for an indefinite period of time to ensure, to the extent possible, that there is adequate water for essential uses.

Interestingly enough, there is no limit to the drought stages, so while a stage 42 drought may require an initial 41 stages of catastrophic water shortages, it should also reveal the answer to everything:

In the meantime, many environmentalists see a silver lining in water being more valued during periods of extreme dryness.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing 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).

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Although it’ll be receiving a few more tweaks over the coming weeks, the new SpiroFlo.com is live! We’ve got sections on how the SpiroFlo device provides homes with a faster, better shower with green benefits as well as sections on how the SpiroFlo device removes biofilm in industrial applications. Be sure to come on by and see how shiny it is.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing 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).

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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.

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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).

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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…

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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.) 

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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?

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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.) 

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So you tell me, is Texas in a drought?

*Ag = agriculture

Considering one SpiroFlo device saves a household thousands of gallons of water a year and a lot more states are looking like Texas, those savings are looking pretty good right about now.

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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 »

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