We might be a little biased, but we believe our hometown of Chicago is the spot for eco-minded, water-loving tourists to soak up the fun.
Chicago welcomed a record-setting total of 57.6 million tourists in 2018, but it’s during the summer when the city really comes alive—starting with a watery splash at the annual opening of the Buckingham Fountain, a hydrological marvel that recirculates 14,100 gallons of water every minute.
Tourists, of course, use lots of extra water, and Lake Michigan doesn’t offer an unlimited supply—a U.S. Supreme Court decree limits the amount of water the state of Illinois can divert from the lake. With hotel occupancy peaking and 10,000 area restaurants and tourist attractions all slurping away at the water supply, water-efficient commercial restrooms are a must.
Redefining Eco-Tourism: The Regional Impact of Water Consumption
To keep fresh water accessible and flowing efficiently, Great Lakes cities like Chicago work to reduce their water usage despite summer heat waves and droughts. That’s why green tourism has become a priority.
We’re not talking about a 10-day excursion through the Galápagos Islands. “Green tourism” is simply the process of making a tourist’s stay in your city more sustainable. According to the EPA, 15% of commercial and institutional water use happens in hotels, and another 15% in restaurants. In the Great Lakes region, that means water conservation is a necessity to protect our unparalleled watershed.
For hospitality and tourism facilities, saving water saves money on rising water bills—but it also scores bonus points with tourists. Trip Advisor’s 2012 U.S. survey found 57% of travelers often make eco-friendly travel decisions, and Trip Advisor’s 2014 European survey found 77% of travelers looked for and stayed at eco-friendly accommodations.
That’s why Sloan works with some of Chicago’s top tourist destinations to make their restrooms as water-efficient as possible.
Managing the Surge: How Sloan Solutions Deliver Peak Performance
Where there are tourists, there’s Sloan. We take water conservation very seriously—and not just because Lake Michigan is in our own backyard. Here are a few of the places Chicagoans count on Sloan’s high-efficiency designs to save our city and the Great Lakes millions of gallons of water each year:
- Shedd Aquarium. With approximately 2 million visitors each year and 32,000 aquatic animals who call it home, water is kind of a big deal here. Our dual-flush Sloan UPPERCUT® retrofit flushometer kits reduced water usage by up to 30% at the stalls and up to 40% at the sinks with sensor-activated BASYS® faucets, helping the aquarium meet their overall water conservation goal an entire year earlier.
- Museum of Science and Industry. We brought science and technology together with Sloan Monitored Systems, a software-based water control system that, when combined with Sloan Waterfree Urinals and graywater, saves the facility 1.1 million gallons annually.
- Navy Pier. Every year, more than 9 million guests visit the Pier—home to Chicago’s summer-long fireworks displays, lake cruises and some of the best views of the city’s skyline. The BASYS EFX-800 faucet (1.5 gpm), Sloan Royal 111 SFSM Sensor Flushometer (1.28 gpf) and water-efficient washdown urinals all contribute to potential water savings of 370,000 gallons annually.
- Hotel Zachary. This boutique hotel and jewel in the heart of Wrigleyville draws on Sloan’s long baseball heritage with the Chicago Cubs organization to create a vintage-inspired environment with modern, eco-friendly technology. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by for a drink at the bar—and, of course, a peek at our Sloan Optima® EAF-700 Brushed Amber gold faucets and Royal 111 ESS flushometers.
We hope you visit Chicago this summer (if you aren’t lucky enough to live here already). We have water-efficient restrooms ready for you!
At Sloan, helping build sustainable, tourist-friendly cities is our passion. It starts with implementing year-round water conservation practices at every public attraction, hot spot, and hotel. Want to know more? Talk to Sloan!
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