Going Green

Going Green with Vanguard Plumbing

In a world where environmental responsibility and the sustainability of human activity are becoming increasingly important, Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. is proud to be on the forefront of the green plumbing revolution. In fact, we’ve been offering our customers the latest in environmentally-friendly systems since before it was the popular thing to do – and expense was a serious factor. Now, those costs have come down dramatically and the selections available to customers meet every sense of style and functionality. At Vanguard, we’re always looking to be the solution and not the problem – problems are what we solve.

There was a time, not that long ago, when being “green” was only possible through greater expenditure. Basically, every choice that offered an environmental benefit came with a greatly-inflated price tag. Some of this was just corporate greed, but a good deal of it was actually due to the difficulties in developing and manufacturing products that performed better with less energy, water, etc. The technology finally caught up to demand and, in many cases, has even surpassed what the market called for – offering even greater savings for the environment and the consumer.

You no longer have to spend a fortune to get optimal performance from a green product – nor must you sacrifice style. Modern green solutions come in every product category and offer just as many options as traditional – with far less cost to operate or drag on the environment. Green doesn’t mean a low-pressure shower or a toilet you’re afraid to flush. No, at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. you’ll have the satisfaction of dependable facilities with far less environmental or financial impact. That’s a win-win in any book, so what are you waiting for? Call the experts at (773) 633-6139 to get started on your own green plumbing project.

A Good Start to Green Plumbing

If you’re interested in saving water, helping the environment in the process, and really getting long-term savings in return, there are a few places you can start – five actually. These five tips will get you thinking along the right lines and prepare you for what you’ll need to make the green switch.

Low-Flow Shower and Faucets: Switching to low-flow showers and faucets is a great way to begin your green journey and save yourself some serious money. These systems can lower your water consumption by as much as 60% and you’ll never even notice the difference. They really are comparable to traditional in every way but expense.

Low-Flush Toilets: Yes, everyone has heard someone’s horror story about clogging toilets and inadequate water flow. But, and this is truth, when was the last time you heard one of those stories that started, “My brand new…”? The answer is probably long ago. Today’s models can handle the stresses expected of your toilet and still save a tremendous amount of the 28 gallons per person your current model’s using – up to five times less!

Home-Leak Monitoring Devices: These devices are simple, straightforward, and completely nonintrusive. You won’t even know they’re there until a leak occurs. And, when that happens, you’ll be happy you have them installed. They’ll quickly notify you when a leak is present potentially saving you thousands of gallons in wasted water a month – not to mention any water damage the leak may cause.

Faucet Flow Reducers: Of all of our tips for green plumbing, this is by far the simplest to put into action. A faucet flow reducer is an easy-to-install adapter that fits onto the end of your faucet where the aerator is normally found. These inexpensive add-ons can reduce your sink’s water usage by as much as 40%!

Energy Efficient Appliances: Your dishwasher and clothes washer are two of the most water-dependent appliances in your home. Each uses a great deal of water to operate and most are never operated at peak efficiency. So, take some time to research the newer models that utilize far less water and energy than your older models. In fact, you could use up to 50% less water by replacing both of these in your own home.

Water Conservation Tips

One of the best ways to get started living a greener, more environmentally conscious life is through a commitment to water conservation. This choice can have far-reaching consequences for the world and your pocketbook. There’s no denying that water is essential, so treating it like the valuable resource it is just makes sense in every way – environmentally, socially, and financially. There are a great many things you can do to conserve water and below are just a few of the more obvious ways you can reduce the amount you use every day.

  • Make sure that you always run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full. Doing so could save up to 1,000 gallons a month!
  • Turning off the water while brushing your teeth could conserve 50 gallons of water a week if you live alone, and, if you have a big family, it could save thousands of gallons every month.
  • Attend to any leaky faucets immediately! This simple act could save almost 150 gallon of water a week.
  • Low-Flow Showers are an excellent way to begin conserving water. Your shower uses more water than just about anything else in your home, so using a low-flow system will save you up to 900 gallons of water a week! That’s 3,600 gallons a month – or 15% of an average swimming pool’s volume!
  • Check for leaks regularly. Make a habit of checking your water meter once a month. Go out when all the water is off and copy the meter reading. After two hours with no water usage, go back out and copy the meter reading again. If it’s not exactly the same then you have a leak somewhere in your home – time to Vanguard!
  • Use a nozzle on your hose. When not actively using it – like when washing your car – turn the nozzle off and you’ll save more than 100 gallons each time you wash the car.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of turning on the tap every time you want a glass of water. You’ll be amazed how much water you save simply not waiting for it to get cold.
  • Use a bowl of water to wash fruits and vegetables when you get home from the store instead of holding them under the tap. Once you’re finished, use the water for house plants or the garden. In fact, never put water down the drain if there’s another possible use for it.
  • When you need to, water your trees and grass heavily once instead of frequent light watering. The roots are deep and if you get down there once, you won’t have to do it over and over again.
  • Ensure your sprinkler heads are aimed at greenery – not sidewalks, streets, houses, etc.
  • Mow your lawn using the higher blade settings on your mower. This will leave longer grass blades which shade the root systems beneath and protect the soil from losing moisture.
  • If you take baths, put the plug in the drain before you start the water. This will allow the water to fill the bath as it warms up and give you the temperature you’re after without wasting water.
  • Allow your pots and pans to soak before cleaning them. This will remove the food particles with far less water than if you simply washed the food away.
  • Find your water shutoff valve and familiarize yourself with its operation. You could potentially save yourself and your home from a world of water damage.

Vanguard’s Water Usage Facts

  • Toilets account for 27% of every US citizen’s indoor water use.
  • If every appliance in the US was a water-efficient model, the country would save a whopping 3 trillion (yes, trillion with a “T”) gallons of water every year. That’s enough water to fill 75 billion bathtubs, or fill Florida’s Lake Okeechobee three times over!
  • The typical American family uses 69.3 gallons of water in the home every single day.
  • The average person needs approximately 4 gallons of water a day to survive.
  • The typical American home wastes more than 9,000 gallons of water per year just waiting for the water to heat up.
  • The average drip from a faucet will fill an 8oz. glass of water in 15 minutes. This works out to 180 gallons each month and over 2,160 gallons a year of wasted water.
  • Low-flush toilets save more than 18,000 gallons of water on average each year.

More Interesting Water Facts

  • Planet Earth boasts a mind-boggling 326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water (that’s 326 million trillion in case you were wondering).
  • A whopping 97% of Earth’s supply is salt water contained in the oceans and seas.
  • Of the remaining 3%, only 1% is available to life as drinking water. The other 2% is frozen in ice at the poles.
  • Our bodies are made up of over 75% water.
  • The average American uses 140-170 gallons of water per day.
  • Americans drink over 110 million gallons of water every day.
  • If every faucet in America had a leak that dripped once per second, the US would waste 928 million gallons of water every day.
  • You could refill an 8oz. glass of water 15,000 times for the same cost as a 6-pack of soda.
  • A dairy cow drinks three gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.
  • An average American family’s food intake each year takes 3.3 acre feet of water to produce.
  • Using a dishwasher takes 9-12 gallons of water – less if energy efficient. Washing by hand, if you leave the water running, takes twice as much.

Bonus Plumbing Facts

The Chinese invented toilet paper in 1391AD for the Emperor’s use. They produced 720,000 2×3 foot sheets yearly for his private use. The first US toilet paper was packaged under the catchy name “The Therapeutic Paper”. It contained aloe and was sold in packs of 500 sheets for 50 cents. Scott began selling tissue on a roll as we know it in 1890.

The Plumber’s Union has one significantly famous member known far and wide for accomplishments outside the field – Albert Einstein. After claiming he would be a plumber if he could do it all over again, the Union made him an honorary member in 1942.

The oldest known plumbing system from antiquity was discovered in the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt and dated all the way back to 2500BCE.

Time to Make the Call (773) 633-6139

Water conservation and environmental awareness are important to the future sustainability of life as we enjoy it today. We have a responsibility to ensure that future generations can depend on these resources to provide the same quality of life we take for granted today. Every little thing we do matters, every step we take is a step in the right direction – including a green approach to plumbing. When you’re ready to make the move to green solutions, call the experts at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. at (773) 633-6139.

Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. Licensing Information

State of Illinois Plumbing Contractor LIC. #055-043043
City of Chicago Plumbing Contractor LIC. #SBC196464
City of Chicago Sewer LIC.#2422

Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer

3847 N.Keystone Ave. Chicago, IL 60641
Phone: (773) 633-6139
Fax: (773) 286-6436
Email: vanguardplumbing@gmail.com
Hours: Mon – Fri: 7 – 7 | Sat: 7 – 3

Licensing: Chicago Sewer: #2422
Illinois Plumbing Contractor: #055-043043
Chicago Plumbing Contractor: #SBC196464

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