‘Is there really anything we can do about water?’ Yes – and then some!

Through our work with the city’s LiveGreenLexington Program – a program that recognizes and assists with the sustainability efforts of local businesses, places of worship and apartment complexes – I spend a lot of time talking to my fellow Lexingtonians about going green in the workplace. The one thing that always trips people up is water; from large offices to mom-and-pop shops, the most common response is, “Is there really anything we can do about that?”

The answer is yes – even small changes that might not seem like much can make a big impact on a business’ water consumption and the quality of the water supply we rely on! To share some ideas and insight, offer some inspiration, and get our business community involved in water quality and conservation, Bluegrass Greensource is hosting a series of events during the first week of June.

 (Photo provided)

Storm drain stenciling is one of Bluegrass Greensource’s Water Week activities.

Our Water Week schedule:

Tuesday, June 3: Lunch-and-Learn on Water
Quality and Conservation in the Workplace

12 – 1 p.m. in the Plantory (560 E. Third Street) Conference Room
Eliminate waste, reduce your water bill and help make Kentucky’s streams a little cleaner with these simple tips on water quality and conservation. We’ll focus on easy, practical fixes – indoors and out – to help your business use water more efficiently, even if your space is leased and you don’t have as much control over the big picture as you would like. Lunch from Stella’s Kentucky Deli and Magic Beans coffee are on us (bring your own mug if you have one). Please RSVP by 2 p.m. on Friday, May 30 so that we can ensure there’s a lunch waiting for you.

Wednesday, June 4: Tour of the Town
Branch Waste Water Treatment Plant

10 – 11 a.m. at the Town Branch Administrative Building (301 Lisle Industrial Avenue)
Where does the water you use wind up once it goes down the drain? Sixty percent of Lexington’s wastewater (up to 64 million gallons a day) runs through the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the water you use at home and at work is cleaned and treated before being discharged back into the water system.

Thursday, June 5: Stream Cleanupp
2-4 p.m. at the Park Hills Shopping Center (3120 Pimlico Parkway)
We don’t always think of litter as a water quality issue, but it is; nothing makes that more apparent than seeing just how much litter washes directly into streams through our storm sewer system. Help us clean up the stream behind the Bluegrass Greensource office in the Park Hills Shopping Center; we’ll provide gloves, bags and litter pickers. Be sure to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes that you don’t mind getting wet (just in case…we won’t ask you to dive in). Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Bluegrass Greensource office – stay as long as you like!

Friday, June 6: Storm Drain Stenciling
2-4 p.m. on National Avenue (Corner of National and Walton)
Storm drains carry pollutants and litter straight into our streams every time it rains, without filtration or cleaning. Remind your fellow Lexingtonians to respect our water by marking storm drains along National Avenue with the city’s “No Dumping – Drains to Stream” stencils. If you’ve always wanted to do a little graffiti for a good cause, this is your chance. Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the corner of National and Walton – stay as long as you like.

A free lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour, a 100 percent legal excuse to spray paint on the street…there’s a lot to love about Water Week. If you’re interested in representing your workplace at any of our Water Week events, all you need to do is email and let us know you’re coming. Water Week is designed for our LiveGreenLexington Partners, but these events are free and open to any Lexington business interested in becoming more sustainable (and saving a little money on water bills).

Beth Oleson is an Outreach Specialist with Bluegrass Greensource.

This article appeared in KY Forward on May 29, 2014.

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