By Lisa Marie Chirico
Consumers have a new partner to help them track their daily water use thanks to appliance manufacturer Electrolux. The company recently launched a Facebook application, YourWaterMark, that promises to go a step further in water conservation by helping individuals assess their water use outside the home as well. The arrival of the YourWaterMark app is well-timed. The planet’s crucial need to conserve water is part of our new normal. By the year 2030, the demand for fresh water will eclipse the supply by 40 percent. Now, nearly one in nine people lack access to clean water. In American households, water use is high, with the average family of four using up to 400 gallons daily, according to the U.S. EPA.
Electrolux's YourWaterMark app is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainable business practices. The company is a recognized leader in the Durable Household Products category by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. “As a home appliance manufacturer, we know that it’s crucial for us do our part when it comes to sustainability,” said Henrik Sundström, Vice President Group Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux. “We’ve already surpassed our 2012 water reduction goal, set out in 2010, of reducing water usage by 20 percent in our operations,” he continued. “Our commitment extends to our appliances as well. Electrolux dishwashers use at least 40 percent less water than was used just 10 years ago, and our eco-friendly washers use 63 percent less water than washers from just 10 years ago,” he added.
Although online calculators are available to estimate a carbon footprint, the average consumer is likely not very familiar with their monthly or annual greenhouse gas emissions. The same assumption likely holds true when it comes to water use, which is something that Electrolux anticipates changing with YourWaterMark by raising general awareness about day-to-day water use. “We continuously strive to educate our consumers on how to use our appliances in a smarter way, and with YourWaterMark, we hope to start a dialogue about daily water usage, and to share ways that individuals can save water through small, everyday actions,” said Mr. Sundström.
The calculations that underlie YourWaterMark were sourced and verified by Global Green USA, an affiliate of Green Cross International. According to an Electrolux news release about YourWatermark, the Facebook app: “...assesses the amount of water individuals use on a daily basis – not just when we shower or brush our teeth, but when we make decisions about what to eat, how to commute and more.” After users receive their scores from YourWaterMark, they are provided with information about the water shortage issue along with guidance for reducing their impact from Zem Joaquin, eco expert and founder of EcoFabulous.com.
As our planet continues to warm while exhibiting continued signs of climate change, as evidenced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent report, the need for measuring the human impact on our climate is greater than ever. “YourWaterMark is not an exhaustive measure, but it is designed to expose ways that we consume water every day, sometimes beyond the obvious, and build awareness of the desperate need to conserve,” said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green USA.
The importance of water conservation cannot be overstated. According to findings from the latest report on global water security issued by the U.S. Department of State, “water is not just a human health issue, not just an economic development or environmental issue, but a peace and security issue.” Will YourWaterMark help you to be mindful of your daily water use?