Good & Green at the NAHB International Builders Show
Part 1: A Kitchen Faucet that Really Saves Water
By Trish Holder
When it comes to green building products, I have become increasingly hard to impress. For one thing, I'm exposed to a lot of stuff - far more than the average homeowner. But more importantly, when I look at a new product, I look at it not through "rose-colored" glasses, but "real world" glasses. Because, let's face it, a lot of products can look cool and glitzy on a showroom floor or in a magazine and still end up disappointing us in the long run.
I recently returned from two days at the 2011 NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando, Florida. For those of you who aren't aware, this is a HUGE show featuring just about anything that goes into building and outfitting a home. Even at 1/3 of its usual size (thanks to the lousy economy), the show was still impossible to cover in the two days I had. So, I spent my time carefully. I did my research beforehand and only went to the booths that really interested me. I saw a lot of cool stuff, but I was super-impressed with just a few things that I will share with you over the next few blogs, starting with this one.
You Can Save Water in The Kitchen!
If you read my recent blog on water saving fixtures, then you know that I don't think low flow fixtures really minimize water waste in the kitchen because it is typically a volume-based point-of-use. You're going to use the amount of water you need - end of story. But, Delta Faucet introduced me to one type of kitchen fixture that I believe really will save water. It's not a low flow fixture - rather it is a hands-free device that turns the water off and on with just a touch anywhere on the faucet body or handle. It is "hands-free" because you can turn it off and on with the back of your wrist, your elbow, or even a gentle kiss if you are so inclined.
Why does this save water? Think about it. If you are preparing food, washing food, etc. it is often very inconvenient (and sometimes unsanitary) to continuously reach for the faucet handle between each short interval of use. So what do most of us do? We leave the water running while we run through our task. Touch2O® Technology makes turning the water off and on much more convenient - and clean. A quick tap is all it takes to keep water from running when you don't need it or turn it back on when you do. To me, this makes a lot more sense than a faucet with a built-in aerator.
I do believe the key to saving water in the kitchen is not the amount of flow that comes out of the fixture, but minimizing those times when we leave the water on out of sheer convenience. I've probably wasted thousands of gallons of water washing romaine lettuce - and my family doesn't even eat that much salad!