Shower With a Friend, for Environmental Purposes, Of Course

group shower
Image by rocketjim54 via Flickr

Shower With a Friend, for Environmental Purposes, Of Course

Have you been wondering about the impact your morning shower everyday is having on your environmental and water conservation causes? Of course you have, because you’re on top of stuff like that. That is why you are here… you want to help save the planet.

How Much Water Does A Shower Use?

The average shower busts out 2 gallons of water per minute. The average 10 minute shower will dump 20 gallons of otherwise drinkable water down your drain (with a brief stop-off on your head). That’s intense. And I’m not even going to get into the energy it takes to get that water delivered to you at the precious right temperature.

If you’re having trouble visualizing what this means – go to your local grocery store and buy 20 1-gallon plastic jugs (just kidding, we know you wouldn’t, but follow along for a  sec). Then take those 20 jugs and dump them all at once on you. The water used in this simple example could keep the average male thoroughly quenched for over 20 days in the case or a water shortage. The water used up in that same simple 10 minute shower could keep the average woman hydrated significantly longer. This is, of course, comfortably hydrated. 20 gallons of water could keep an individual alive a month and a half. Think about it. Water needed for a 10 minute shower = water needed to stay alive over a month.

Given the world’s exploding population, particularly in urban areas, and the Earth’s limited resources, your simple daily cleansing routine suddenly merits further consideration.

Now, we’re not about to suggest that you stop showering, because that would be weird, but, there are a few baby steps you can take to minimize your personal impact on what could turn into a water crisis in the next decade (or not, depending on how we collectively play our cards). Here are a few suggestions:

Shower with a Friend

Ah, I wasn’t just teasing you with the title.

Taking a shower? Invite someone special to share it with you. You can double up on your metaphoric water-miles 2-for-1 style and add a little spice to your morning routine. You may add a few minutes to the one shower, but it’ll still save the water you would have used in the second.

You can also reduce the amount of soap you use by, you know. . . you know.

Get your back cleaner, too, by having a partner make sure every inch is thoroughly washed.

I know, I know. Saving the environment is tough stuff.

Use Rainwater To Shower

Yeah, go out and hook up water run-off catching barrels to your house gutters. The rain is then saved for when you need it. While most people use this method to water their lawns, it you can scoop the water out and pour it over your head for your cost savings shower.

Take a Rain Shower

You can also go outside in the rain and take a shower. Use as much water as you want.

Wash Your Face in the Sink

Another way to reduce your shower time is to wash your face in the sink. So, grab a wash cloth, a towel and your face soap and scrub-a-dub…dink, in the……….sink.
Your face is plenty easy to gracefully clean in the sink without making a mess or using the full force of a shower to get the job done. The water only needs to be turned on minimally to get you squeaky clean.

Just get the wash cloth damp once to get your face wet, lather your suds up, apply, then soak the wash cloth a second time to rinse off the soapy residue. Ta-da – your clean face just got a little more environmentally friendly. Anybody can do it… even your cat.

Skip Washing Your Hair Every Other Day

Any girl who has ever dyed her hair probably knows this trick – throw your hair up in a bun before hopping in the shower. Especially for those of us with longer hair, this will certainly shave off several minutes (and subsequent gallons of water) of showering every other day.

If you’re one of the unlucky few whose hair will tell everyone you didn’t wash it this morning, try a hat. Just one day. It won’t hurt, plus there are tons of cute hats out there that can spice up your fashion statement in a way you hadn’t considered before you became all green-friendly and environmentally conscientious.

Shower Every Other Day Altogether

Provided that you don’t sweat too much or roll around in manure, this should be reasonable to pull off without too many negative social repercussions. Try some more cologne. I’m sure it won’t be that noticeable.

Use a Low Flow, Green Shower Head

Green shower head? No, okay… not that literal.

I’m talking something with on/off flow control or a shower head that reduces the number of gallons that blast through it every minute. So that number I gave you earlier (2 gallons of water per minute in the shower) – not fixed when you use a better, environmentally-more-than-just-friends device. Some shower heads even bring the gallons per minute as low as 0.5.

Use a 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner

To save even more water, cut down on the amount of time spent applying and washing out your hair products by buying the 2-in-1 version of your favorite brand. Naturally, you’ll cut the time you spend in the shower on your hair in half, along with your water usage (unless you don’t understand the concept, in which case you should have someone helping you with these things).
Now you’re saving water and money in two ways. Go you. And the environment, because… because.

Combining all these techniques – assuming a reduction in showers by half per couple from sharing showers, only showering every other day and shaving off at least three minutes per shower from using the tips above, a family of two that once used 280 gallons of water showering a week could be looking at only 36.75 gallons of water per week (10 minute showers taken by 2 people per day, 7 days a week at 2 gallons per minute vs. 7 minute showers taken once for both people per day, 3.5 days a week at 1.5 gallons per minute).

I bet when you started reading this article, you had no idea the effects could be so extravagant, did you? I think now both of us feel a little like we did something useful with our time.

One small way you can help save the planet is opt for a green burial. A green burial is a way of caring for the deceased in a simple, environmentally friendly way.

Our last environmentally friendly tip… Never shower with a “Psycho.”

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