Blogs and newsrooms are buzzing with information about the Cape water crisis and water sustainability in South Africa. If you aren’t clued up on what’s happening, we suggest you read ‘The Cape Water Crisis – FAQs and honest answers’ by the Daily Maverick.
A positive takeaway from this pressing water scarcity situation is that we can all make a difference by changing our habits and consciously taking steps to save as much water as possible. We, the City Lodge Hotel Group, have changed the way we do things to try conserve one of Earth’s most precious resources. Here’s what we’ve implemented:
In-house laundry services:
Our in-house laundry service takes care of guest linen and in some cases, guest clothing. With the assistance and cooperation of our guests, we have managed to streamline our housekeeping processes to wash less linen. Additionally, by working closely with our chemical suppliers, we have introduced new technologies that assist in saving up to 200 litres of water per wash load.
At the City Lodge Hotel Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, we are currently installing grey water collection and filtration systems. These systems will allow us to capture water used by our laundry to reuse. Grey water may not be drinkable, but we will be using it to keep our gardens green and flowers blossoming. Should this system work, we will roll it out to our other five Cape Town hotels.
Small changes make a significant difference:
We’ve also made multiple changes to help cut back on the amount of water we use on a daily basis by installing low flow showerheads and dual flush toilet systems in our hotel bathrooms. We’ve also removed bathtub plugs as bathing uses more water than taking a shower.
Our other water saving measures include replacing our linen napkins with paper towels to reduce our laundry loads, reducing water pressure within the hotels where possible (without impacting on guest’s experience), installing sensor-activated taps in public areas and re-evaluating our hot water circulation systems to ensure they are operating efficiently to avoid people running water while they wait for it to warm up.
Closing our pools in the Western Cape is another small change we’ve made in an effort to save water. This is in line with restrictions currently imposed by the City of Cape Town.
While we are doing everything we can to try and save water, it is ultimately up to our guests to work with us and be conscious and careful of their water usage too. Here are two suggestions to help you save water during your stay:
Tip 1: Don’t be a one and done person
Don’t use a bath towel once and send it to the laundry. Think about it, bath towels are used to dry water off your clean body. There is nothing wrong with using a towel more than once, especially at a hotel.
It may not seem like much, but if everyone only uses their towel once, it results in an increase in laundry and subsequently, increases water usage.
Tip 2: Keep your showers short
People often step into a hotel shower with the mindset of ‘I don’t have to pay this water bill’ which leads to longer showers. It’s important to bear in mind that although you may not be paying the water bill, your shower will still cost you a lot.
Think about it like this, you need water to survive. If you use litres of water to shower, that automatically means there is less water available for you to drink and use. Your showers affect you and the rest of South Africa because water is a resource we all share.
As a rule, keep your showers to 2 minutes.
So, go on – you will be helping to conserve one of the world’s most precious resources.
Think like a Capetonian – think like a local!