Water conservation is now the status quo in Cape Town – and a recommended practice elsewhere across the country, with water restrictions in place throughout much of South Africa. Here are the first 10 of 20 tips to help you manage water consumption in a responsible manner at your events:
1. Choose a venue that already has water-wise measures in place, such as a rainwater harvesting system, grey-water reuse system, dual-flush toilets and motion-sensor taps in the bathrooms, and indigenous plants in the gardens.
2. If you are booking accommodation for your guests, or recommending it to them, look for hotels and guest houses that have water-saving attributes, including low-flow shower heads and linen and towel reuse systems.
3. For outdoor events, consider using waterless urinals and chemical portable toilets that use recycled water.
4. Provide hand sanitiser for keeping hands clean, and in lieu of washing hands with soap and water.
5. Select a menu that does not require much water for its preparation. For example, grill and bake instead of steam, boil and blanch, and serve salads and relishes instead of soups and sauces.
6. Do not serve foods with a bain-marie; focus on serving cold foods or using hot plates to keep food warm.
7. Ensure all drinks are well chilled and served without ice. Instead, only make ice available on request (if at all), which should reduce its use.
8. Don’t throw away leftover ice and glasses of water that have been served. Instead, reuse this water to wash floors, for example.
9. Jugs of water for thirsty guests are a nice touch. But, instead of setting them out everywhere, have a few central refreshment stations where guests can help themselves. Fewer jugs result in less waste.
10. Reduce your laundry needs, and choose not to use linen table cloths and serviettes. Instead, use paper ones that can be composted afterwards. For example, Shesha Film & Event Caterers presents its food using biodegradable brown paper on the tables. They then use markers to write fun messages or labels for the food, which also creates a funky, playful effect. If the tables are attractive, you can also simply use them without tablecloths.