Putting Shame Messages To Work for the Environment


Organizations may use "shame" messages to get people to act.  Sometimes to give to a charity, for instance or other times to  change behaviors.

Whatever the case, they can be useful.

A few years back, researchers wanted to see if different types of shame messages might encourage residents to scale back on energy consumption.

An experiment was carried out in neighborhoods in the San Diego area.  Four different messages were left on doors, all asking that residents scale back on energy use.  

The different notes were the following:

1.    Please reduce energy to reduce the expenditure of resources on the planet

2.    Please reduce energy to save money at the end of the month on your own bill

3.    Please do this for future generations so that your children will have access to these resources

4.    The majority of your neighbors are regularly undertaking efforts to reduce energy in their homes. Please follow.

A month later, the researchers checked the electricity meters on the houses.  They discovered that the residents that received the first three messages made no changes, there were no reductions in energy consumption. 

However, the fourth one did produce results. Less energy was used in those homes.

"This is an example of 'prosocial' behavior," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and founder of Waterless Co., manufacturers of No-Water urinals. "This is when people band together to support each other and society as a whole."

In another experiment in Florida, 627 households were divided into two groups:

1.  Residents in group one were told to follow current water restrictions in place, i.e., only water their lawns on designated days

2.  Residents in group two were reminded (using street signs in their neighborhood), if the recent rainfall was meeting the watering needs of their lawn."

The researchers reported an “astonishing” 61 percent decrease in lawn watering in the second group. Further, many continued to not water their lawns after recent rains. **

"In this case, the shame message just had to appeal to common sense," says Reichardt. "There simply is no reason to water lawns after it rains."

For more information on the features and benefits of Waterless Urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative.



Move Over Gentrification: The Word of the 21st Century is "Aridification"

airidification, water shortage, drier climate

In 1964, a German-born sociologist coined the term "gentrification."  This is the process of renovating deteriorating urban areas, turning them into affluent enclaves.  It became a popular movement in the 20th century and one reason why we still see several home remodeling shows on television today. However, what will become a much more important word in the 21st century, and one we must all become familiar with, is "aridification."

The Colorado River Research Group, an independent team of scientists, focused on the river, introduced the term in 2001.  It means "the gradual change of a region from a wetter to a drier climate."

While it can be caused by different reasons, invariably climate change is the culprit.  As aridification increases, it can have significant consequences in certain areas such as the following:

•    Reduce or eliminate agricultural production

•    Lower underground water tables

•    Cause soil degradation, ecosystem changes, and decrease water runoff

•    Cut the amount of water used by industry, potentially impacting profits and the survival of some companies 

•    Force consumers to make drastic changes in how they use water

"Words matter," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co. "We need to have words to help everyone better understand the long-term water challenges before us.'

According to Reichardt, aridification is already making itself known in many parts of the west. 

For instance, in June 2018, more than 1,000 people had to evacuate Durango, CO because of fire. This was caused by significantly reduced snowfall that appears to be a trend. 

In fact, the entire Four Corners region, where New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah meet, is now suffering from aridification. "They still may have some good years with plenty of rainfall, but long-term they will experience less and less precipitation."

Reichardt says we can no longer refer to these situations as droughts. A drought is short term. "We need words like aridification to help people realize we are in for some lasting changes that will impact all aspects of our lives due to less water."

For more information on the features and benefits of Waterless Urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative.

Western Water Summit 2019

WesternWaterSummit2019; waterless urinal

Join the Conversation!

Our need for water has collided with the realities of reduced water supply and increasingly threatened sources. In many areas, our water management policies and practices are no longer sufficient, costs are rising, and our legal and regulatory framework is out of alignment with current and future hydrologic and climatic conditions.

It’s time to take a hard look at how we address these issues. Be part of the dialogue at this special gathering as we bring together professionals involved in all facets of water management. Groundwater, surface water, wastewater, drinking water, irrigation, water law, reuse, generation, restoration, conservation & efficiency, erosion & sedimentation—it’s all one water. We will explore and collaborate on these topics and more in our primary conference tracks—Water Reuse, Green Infrastructure, Soil & Surface Water, and Water Law.

To find out more information please visit the WesterWaterSummit.com website.

Green Sports Day, will you join us?

This Saturday, October 6, is the third annual Green Sports Day™ and we want to invite you to participate. The Green Sports Alliance is spreading the word about the efforts athletes, fans, and organizations are making to lessen their footprint on our planet. Can we count on you to join us?


Thanks for your continued support of the sports greening movement.  To read more about the Green Sports Alliance, click here.

What Makes an Icon?

Some companies in the US such as Apple, Nike, Harley-Davidson, and IBM have become icons.  Virtually everyone knows who these companies are – and even more – they respect and appreciate these companies.  Many people who have purchased one of their products often feel close to these brands, as if they and their products were a friend.

If you were to ask a marketing professional how to turn a company into an icon, they would likely have just a few suggestions, such as:

·       Recommend that the company continue making quality products

·       Introduce an unusual product

·       Spend lots and lots of money on advertising and promotion

·       Wait about ten or more years and see what happens.

That's usually how many years it takes.  Most people don't know it, but Nike has been around for more than 50 years. It was not until the mid-1980s when word got around that they were making special sneakers for Michael Jordan, and when they made similar sneakers available to the public, that the company emerged as an icon.

Another company that became an icon as a result of introducing a unique product, along with spending lots of money on advertising, was Apple.  While Apple was very popular in the early 1980s, it became an icon with the introduction of the McIntosh in 1984. No one else had a computer like the Macintosh, and while the company struggled for years, it has always held on to its iconic status.

But sometimes, icons emerge because they have stood the test of time. UPS is a perfect example.  There have been delivery companies such as UPS for decades, going back to the early part of the 20th century. In fact, UPS started in 1907.  But over the past 110 years, many delivery companies have come and gone.  UPS stayed. The company grew and eventually went international. UPS became an icon merely because they had staying power.

Waterless Co, waterless urinals

And it is this staying power that takes us to Waterless Co. Inc. 

Waterless was the first company to offer waterless urinals in North America back in 1991.  Having shown that this technology works, by the early 2000s, several companies, including leading manufacturers of restroom fixtures, also introduced urinals that require no water to operate.  Some of these companies are no longer in business.  Others have found it better that they focus on their core – water-using – products. Still others have entered the market and then walked away, realizing that just one or two players in the waterless urinal industry segment, essentially offer the best in the market.

That pretty much is where we are today.  While we are reluctant to call the company an icon - at least just yet - Waterless Co. Inc. has been around longer than any other player in this industry.  Just like Apple, it introduced a product that was very unusual for its time.  When it began, Waterless Co. Inc. was the only manufacturer producing waterless urinals. While the company did not spend lots and lots of money on advertising, as it is a facility based product, they have managed to get lots of publicity and attention about their waterless urinals in all kinds of industry trade publications.

The thousands of installations Waterless urinals throughout the country and the world has also helped people and facility managers better understand these urinals, how they work, and value their multitude of benefits.

For more information on no-water urinals, contact a Waterless representative at 800-24-6394

Climate Change and Water

On July 28, 2017, carried an article that caught many Americans off guard. While several of us have been focused on the soap opera in Washington, Italian government leaders have been dealing with a much more severe issue: water, or lack thereof. They announced on July 28 that two-thirds of the citizens in Rome are set to have their water reduced to just eight hours a day, effective immediately.

What is planned, at least right now, is a rolling blackout of water. While the water is being piped into one area of the city, it will be turned off in another. The goal is that each district involved will share the burden, but water will still be available somewhere nearby to deal with personal or city emergencies.

"Rome could be just the beginning," said Giampaolo Attanasio, a public infrastructure expert at the advisory firm Ernst & Young. "If the situation doesn’t improve, other large cities [around the world] will have to ration water as well. Small towns already have."

While a great deal of Rome's water is wasted as a result of ancient water infrastructure that, as one observer pointed out, leaks like a sieve, what most experts are pointing to as the main culprit is climate change. In 2017, Italy experienced the second-hottest Spring in more than 200 years. Further, Spring rainfall was only half the amount typically received.

Lake Bracciano

At Lake Bracciano, where Rome gets most of its water, the lake is drying up at the rate of about half an inch per day. This means that each month, the water level goes down 15 inches.

To read more… click here