Monday, June 23, 2008
Eco-friendly Al Gore to Pee on the Bee at One Bryant Park
The TalkingScience office is fairly eco-friendly; we drink tap water and are planning to get a worm bin. New York is a competitive place though, and it’s tough to “keep up with the Jones’” when your neighbors are the hailed as the most environmentally responsible sky scraper in the world. Yes, our neighbors have completely outdone us, and we’re very proud of them. Pretty soon, they’re going to have Al Gore peeing on a bee.
Since Ann Marie (the Executive Director here at TalkingScience) and I have been planning a water conference and are utterly obsessed with all issues water-related, Alex Durst and Chief Engineer Ron German gave us a bee-hind the scenes tour of One Bryant Park to explain how they will cut down on water waste. The best part of the tour was the mens’ bathroom, where waterless urinals feature a friendly bee to guide men in their aim (the slogan, of course, is pee on the bee). “The Honey bees may be disappearing in some places, but they’re reappearing on all the urinals here!” Ron exclaimed. Giggles aside, though, the waterless urinals will save about 40,000 gallons of water per urinal per month. “The bee seems to be very popular with men who have used it,” says German, “though aiming abilities still vary.” I couldn’t help but wonder about Al Gore’s aim. He will soon be moving his investment firm, Generation Investment Management, to One Bryant Park. Who knows, maybe this will start a movement-- maybe Bush will be the next to pee on the bee. It will be the best thing he’s done for the environment for a while.
But I digress, there are lots of other systems in place to save water at One Bryant Park. For example, they have multiple 35,000 gallon tanks capture rainwater, which will be treated and re-used in the restrooms (regular, treated domestic water will be used for drinking). These efforts are projected to save 8-10 million gallons of water every year. Though the bee might get the most buzz on blogs, you can check out the long list of additional projects, plans, and systems to conserve energy and water at One Bryant Park by visiting their Web site.