With the major drought still wreaking havoc in California, people are starting to come up with more and more ways to save water, from the (possibly unhygienic) method of skipping showers to boycotting Nestlé and refusing to buy water bottles. One chef has come up with a pretty creative solution to restaurants’ dishwashing dilemma. Restaurants use a ton of water every night washing customers’ dishes, but chef John Cox of the restaurant Sierra Mar in the Big Sur area of California uses air compression to thoroughly clear dishes before placing them into the dishwasher: much less water needed, according to San Francisco’s local CBS syndicate.
“It all started as an idea to clean the kitchen at night by bringing in a small air compressor and using it to spray out ovens, corners, and other places we were typically using a hose for,” Cox, whose restaurant typically uses 3,500 gallons of water daily, told CBS. “I was looking for a place to put this compressor and it ended up in a little area below the dish station. And that’s kind of when the idea clicked.”
Chef Cox’s air compression method has resulted in an 80 percent water usage reduction. If just one restaurant uses this method, he writes in an Instagram post, they could save 250 gallons per day. If every restaurant in California switched to his method, the entire industry could save up to 10 billion gallons per year, he estimates.