Often, it seems the news is full of companies doing bad things. Other times, it seems that their CSR efforts are largely just greenwashing (the act of advertising themselves as doing something good, when in reality, the big picture is still really pretty bad). But there are companies we love out there, and this series is an effort to identify some of the companies that just plain rock. They save the planet, they help people, AND they turn a profit. They’re the “personification” of the triple bottom line. And we love them for it.
Niagara Conservation is one of those companies. The company is over three decades old, and has made conservation sexy since before, well, it was sexy. Niagara first came to my attention when their PR agent contacted us to see if we’d be interested in reviewing their high efficiency Sava Spa showerhead.
I readily accepted, and installed the showerhead at my apartment. My previous showerhead, as it turned out, was 2.5 gallon per minute, and it had never occurred to me to look on the back and see if it was an efficient shower head or not. Sad, as I live and breathe sustainability (see my bio below if you don’t believe me), but this particular thing had just never crossed my mind until Larry Adkins mentioned it in a post I read.
We installed the showerhead (see here for a tutorial on installing efficient shower heads), and the results were terrific. You’d never know you were using less water, and the water spray on the Sava Spa really does make your shower feel luxurious.
Looking into Niagara a bit more, I discovered that they do efficiency in many forms: energy, water, and even weatherization products.
How about this for cutting edge innovation: they’ve got a toilet that has no flapper. If you don’t know what a toilet flapper is, consider yourself lucky that you’ve never had one give out on you. They’re the little device in the back of the toilet that cover the open valve and allow the toilet tank to refill. When your flapper starts to go, it can cause a leak, and when that happens, it can result in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year that you’re, pardon the pun, literally flushing down the toilet. From experience managing a 3 unit apartment complex, I can tell you that cheap toilets ended up costing us $7500, as residents didn’t notice the flappers breaking down, and the water ran endlessly in 4 toilets for several months before we did an audit and found the source.
Check out this video for how the flapperless toilet works:
Not to rest on the laurels of this accomplishment, Niagara has also developed a toilet that successfully works with just 0.8 gallons per flush. Consider that that’s about 1/4 of a “normal” toilet, and you’ll quickly realize how huge the potential for water savings really is.
Convenience and conservation: delivered
We just did another review, this time of a water conservation eco-kit that Niagara produces. That one has convenience all bundled up for you. If you don’t know where to start with water conservation in your home, just grab one of these guys and you’re off an running.
As a company, Niagara was started in the last real era of conservation ethos in the U.S., the 1970s. Now, it seems conservation is back in vogue, and the company is positioned well for growth based on its history and technological advances in conservation. From their site:
Recognizing the environmental and financial benefits of water conservation, William Cutler, driven by a vision to manufacture products that save natural resources, founded Niagara in 1977. The company began its product line by manufacturing low-flow showerheads called the “Niagara showerhead,” as well as other residential weatherization products for the newly-developing utility conservation program market.
Since then, Niagara’s commitment to the development and production of innovative, reliable and affordable efficiency products has enabled the company to grow to a multi-million dollar organization. The corporate office is located in Fort Worth, Texas with satellite offices around the world including: Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
See other companies we love!
We were not compensated for this post, we just love Niagara Conservation and hope you’ll check them out and maybe get some of their products to help make your home more efficient (and, well, they did send us a shower head for free, and are saving us money every time we shower, so I suppose that counts as some kind of compensation.)