Technology-Based Game Changers
The critical value of water was especially apparent in 2012 as
America faced one of the most serious droughts in its history: crops withered,
barges on the Mississippi were grounded and power plant cooling towers were put
at risk. These were just some of the impacts of a compromised water supply.
With the increasing impacts of climate change, water
conservation will become even more vital in the coming years. Most of us know there’s
a lot we can do
to reduce our personal water footprint, whether it’s plugging leaks, taking
shorter showers, eating meatless meals on a regular basis, etc. But engineers are
helping us use less, too, by designing appliances that sip, rather than gulp,
When you consider that the average U.S. household uses 400
gallons of water per day and that much of it goes unused down the drain, it
might make you wonder how much is consumed by an industry that exists to feed,
shower and shelter many people: the hotel industry.
Enter British-based company
Xeros’ ultra low water cleaning system, which uses 70-90% less water than
conventional machines through the use of polymer bead technology. While a
front-loading washer uses about 40 gallons of water, a Xeros washing machine
cuts water use significantly. The recyclable cleaning beads can be used hundreds of times before they need to be replaced, and they never go down the drain. The cleaning power of the beads also means reduced temperature and less detergent, resulting in less energy and less chemicals used to clean dirty linens and clothing.
To see how this technology works, watch this
time-lapse video that shows the wash cycle from start to finish.
Xeros currently provides its system to in-house laundry
operations for the hotel and lodging industry, as well as retail dry cleaners. The
Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia recently started using Xeros machines to launder
their guest room and dining room linens and bath towels using less water, less
chemicals and less energy. According to David Eisenman, General Manager for the
Hyatt Regency Reston, the property is looking forward to reducing its utility
consumption and carbon footprint.
Saving water in other ways saves hotels money, too. The
Proximity Hotel in North Carolina, for instance, saved two million
gallons of water and $14,000 in water bills in one year just by installing
high-efficiency plumbing fixtures. The
cost of these fixtures was $7,000, producing a payback on the hotel’s
investment in only six months.
Developing technology solutions that create these kinds of environmental
advantages has earned the company kudos. Xeros won the prestigious “Best Technological
Breakthrough” category in the 2011 Climate
Week Awards, sponsored by the U.K. government, and WWF in the U.K. called Xeros a
global “Green Game-Changer” in the realm of “consumer goods and services
innovations.” If you think ultra-low water cleaning would be perfect for your resource-conscious lifestyle,
you’ll be pleased to know that Xeros plans to offer their machines to
individual consumers down the road.
For more information
on why EarthShare and Xeros are promoting conservation and
environmental stewardship together, visit our water issues resource section. If you would like to stay in touch with Xeros so you’ll be among the
first to know when they’ll be debuting their technology for home use, connect
with them on Facebook and Twitter.