Everybody’s talking about it, and everybody acknowledges its importance. But how much are we really contributing towards sustainable living? Several local bodies have spearheaded numerous community-based initiatives to educate the residents about moving towards sustainable lifestyles. We’re jumping on that bandwagon too, and breaking it down for you. This month, we speak to Firas Ibrahim, GROHE vice-president, Gulf region, about how we can incorporate little sustainable changes in our daily lives and jointly create a big impact.
Your kids will thank you.
Time Out Doha: What does it mean to have a sustainable home?
A sustainable home is designed in such a way that the overall environmental impact is kept to a minimum. This is done by utilising available resources effectively and by choosing materials which aid in minimising human footprint. Implementing technology that effectively uses resources is becoming increasingly popular.
How do you incorporate sustainability into new and existing homes?
It is important to highlight that the smallest change in your household can contribute towards a more sustainable home. These can range from ensuring the faucet is closed tight and does not drip and turning off the air-conditioning when you are not at home to larger implementations such as solar panels. Small changes, over an extended period of time, can make a massive difference.
How feasible is it to have a sustainable home in Qatar?
It is becoming increasingly feasible to adopt sustainable products into Qatari homes. With a rising interest in sustainability and conservation, more and more products are becoming directly available to the end-user. Qatar is a hub for innovators, and in conjunction with a sunny and warm climate all year long, very little needs to be done in these homes in order to make them more sustainable. All you need to do is start.
What are some of the basics people need to understand before trying to make their homes sustainable?
The most important thing that people need to understand is why they want to make their home more sustainable. Educating oneself on the benefits of sustainability is crucial. The benefits of creating a sustainable home are that you can see the results straight away. Implementing small changes will affect your monthly water and electricity bills, as well as the day to day costs, which add up over time. People need to understand that these small additions require very little effort in comparison to the pay-off of creating a more sustainable home.
What are the costs? Is this affordable for a middle-income family?
Introducing products that drive sustainability into one’s home is very affordable, especially when you consider how much you will save in the long run on water, energy and waste. GROHE, for example, has a range of products to suit every budget.
How many households in Qatar would need to make small changes to have a sizable impact on our environment?
If only 20 households change their wash basin fittings to sustainable ones, a saving of one million litres of water per year can be achieved.
Can you statistically illustrate the impact of making sustainable changes?
Using the above example, on average, a Qatari household consumes 430 litres of water per day. Wash basin usage amounts to roughly 18 percent of a household’s daily water usage (GROHE Sustainability Report, 2014). By switching only wash basin fittings to environmentally friendly fittings, water flow can be reduced from 10 litres per minute to 5.7 litres per minute. For a family of four, this equates to a saving of 133 litres per day, which amounts to a total saving of 48,545 litres per year.
To further illustrate, the GROHE Blue kitchen system results in a distinctly smaller carbon footprint than bottled water. For every one litre of water, the GROHE Blue results in only 17.96 grams of carbon dioxide, compared to bottled mineral water which results in up to 600 grams of carbon dioxide per litre.
What products or solutions does GROHE offer for conservation?
GROHE has developed a line of smart water-saving products that use less water but do not compromise on the experience. Water saving technologies such as the GROHE EcoJoy utilise a flow restrictor in order to reduce water consumption by 50 percent, without compromising on the voluminous experience offered by a regular faucet. Touchless faucets use infrared technology which can reduce water consumption by up to 70 percent. The SilkMove ES, TurboStat and PowerBox are all technologies designed to save energy, by ensuring that no energy is wasted in reaching the desired water temperature from your faucet. Smart innovations such as the GROHE Blue enable you to transform your ordinary tap water into filtered, chilled, still or sparkling water. This kitchen system eliminates the need to buy plastic bottled water and also reduces the carbon footprint by over 60 percent. GROHE also offers a Smart home leak detection system, called the GROHE Sense and Sense Guard. This innovative smart product can detect a leakage or pipe burst in your home and will automatically shut off the water supply.