Friday, July 23, 2010

Corporations,Organisations and Businesses to help conserve.....

One of my good friends, Jane, told me that she dislikes the extremely cold airconditioning in her office. "I often feel like it is winter because of my thick jacket." She had informed the building authority about the excessive coldness, but nothing has been done till now. "While I can keep my body warm, my hands are cold, and it would look funny to wear gloves...I wouldn't be able to type on the computer!"

Sad to say, it is not only Jane who is complaining. Three other friends working in various establishments also complain about the cold. Hotel restaurants and rooms that are used for seminars are also prone to being too cold for many customers and participants. Could the authorities of all corporate offices and hotels do something to make it less cold for their staff and patrons? This will also help to reduce electrical consumption.

I sometimes wonder why hotels use such thick blankets even they are located in the tropics. By doing this, hotels are only encouraging their patrons to turn on the aircondition to low levels because of the thick blankets.!

Perhaps there should also be auto switch off of electricity for the ceiling lights in offices. Say by midnight, all ceiling lights would be automatically switched off, and if any staff need to work longer than the cut off time, he can arrange with the security to allow special extension of time. Hence, if any forgets to switch off the lights when he works late and goes off before 12 a.m., there is always that standby to switch off the lights, thus saving energy.

Until today, I notice that the ceiling lights at the entrance of mrt stations are still on even during the day. The lighting is redundant as the day is bright. Although my letter has been published in the New Paper, nothing has been done. Perhaps I should write directly to LTA or SMRT to remind them again.

Once when I was in the hair saloon which I patronise quite regularly for hair treatment, I noticed that the staff who was washing my hair, had left the tap running even when she was not using the water. I could hear the gushing of water while she was massaging my head. I asked her why she did not want to turn off the tap, for the water wasted could easily amount to about 1 to 2 litres. She told me that it would be difficult to get the same temperature of water if she were to turn off the tap. Point taken. Perhaps hair saloons could come up with a device that could immediately regulate the water temperature so that it would be less tedious for their staff and hence reduce water wastage. How many hundred litres of water could be saved each day. I am glad that now many establishments are using auto taps as well as auto lighting for their toilets.

In places where is low usage, escalators should be made to move only when a passenger steps on it. This will also help to save on consumption.

While on the subject of water, I also notice that it is quite difficult to adjust the right temperature for the taps in the showers of some hotels and clubs. It takes a while by trial and error. Imagine how much water has been wasted before the right temperature is obtained. Hence I was very happy when I saw that there were markings of temperature on the taps in the bathrooms of Novotel London Paddington. It makes it easier for patrons to chose their comfortable level of temperature instead of wasting much water by trial and error.

From the windows of my bedroom, I have a lovely view of the city. Sometimes I like to switch off all the lights and look out from the windows especially when I have my quiet time. Very often I see lights still on in some office buildings even past midnight. I wonder if people are still working so late at night, or has the staff who is the last one to leave the office forgotten to switch off the lights. Perhaps companies can look into having individual table lamps for their staff instead of huge, powerful ceiling lights. It makes sense for someone to turn on his table lamp especially when he is working alone after office hours.

Parents should help to inculcate good habits in their children. I remember one of my tenants had this habit of leaving the taps on while he was brushing his teeth. I reminded him to turn off the tap and it was only when I told him I had to increase another $50 for his water wastage, did he make any effort to improve! I was quite shocked to hear him say that he had been leaving taps to run while brushing his teeth since he was in kindergarten! It takes only half a second to turn off the tap when we are brushing our teeth or sponging the plates with soap!

So many of us have taken electricity and water for granted. Only when there is power failure or water rationing during drought seasons, do we realise how dependant we are on them. Everyone of us should remember to help save water even in public buildings. When we see water leaking, we should inform the relevant authorities so that pipes do not leak longer than necessary. If we treat public buildings like as if we own them, there would be less renovation, maintenance and overhauls needed. Then corporations like SMRT, hotels etc, could keep costs low for their patrons!

I do not have a "scientific mind". If someone could come up with ways to reduce
wastage please contribute your ideas.

United we conserve - by reusing, recycling and recreating!

Gan Cao

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