Examples of Sustainable Business Practices-Water Quality and Conservation

Water Quality and Conservation

Businesses can have a tremendous effect on water quality and availability in the Bluegrass region and beyond. Water quality is negatively affected when pollutants from mismanaged agricultural/lawn treatment, industrial production, resource extraction, waste disposal, and water sanitation are carried by rain/snow run-off into our essential waterways. Additionally, water availability is negatively affected by mismanaged irrigation systems, dams/reservoirs, regional water-sharing, and private water use. When left unaddressed, this has resulted in unusable/ dried-up water sources, public and environmental health hazards, and regional conflicts over water control. Since water is an essential resource in all of our operations, Bluegrass businesses can help to mitigate these negative impacts by committing to support and demonstrate better management practices wherever possible.

Suggestions:

Water Conservation

  • Implement Bluegrass Greensource recommended practices: http://www.bggreensource.org/home/what-you-can-d/
  • Install composting toilets or graywater recovery systems
  • Install and/or maintain a rain barrel on property: http://www.bggreensource.org/rain-barrels/
  • Utilize pervious surfaces and pavements on property
  • Plant a rain garden on property: http//www.bggreensource.org/rain-gardens/
  • Host water reduction contests for employees using water use data from their utility bills

Stormwater Stencils

  • Mark stormwater drains on property and stencil them with “dump no waste” or “drains to stream”

Pet Waste

  • Promote proper disposal of pet waste by installing signs and/or pet waste bag dispensers (paper bags or reused plastic bags) on property

Litter

  • Maintain litter-free zones on property
  • Host regular clean ups of property and community using employees as volunteers
  • Host litter education meetings/presentations for employees

Environmentally-Friendly Lawn Care & Landscaping

  • Use organic fertilizers (compost, manure, blood meal, leaf litter) and pesticides (soaps, oils, etc)
  • Try a natural lawn: don’t mow to edge of a stream and leave the grass clippings on the lawn
  • Start a compost bin on-site
  • Plant natives rather than invasive species
  • Provide community gardens for employees to grow produce

Responsible Consumption

  • Purchase organic foods, clothing, and cleaners
  • Purchase items made in regions that do not already have serious water quality/availability problems