The Ideal Shower for the New EcoAge:

The Alliance for Water Efficiency reports that the average flow rate from a US standard shower head is about 2.1 gallons per minute [1]. And a report Be Water Wise by the European Water label, reported  the average showerhead at around 9 liters per minute. [Doing the math, a 5 minute shower consumes 10.5 gallons of water (or around 45 L in a European Shower). But the average US and EU citizen does not take a 5 minute shower, the average is at or above 8.2 minutes, or 17.2 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water! Imagine filling a tub with 17 milk jugs… To make matters worse, a survey by Energy Australia revealed 29% of the population in their study took showers TWICE DAILY! This means, our average shower consumption is significantly greater than the United Nations projection of of 5-13 gallons of water for all consumption (drinking, cooking, sanitation, and hygiene).

  • Replace your shower head with a low flow shower head.

Showerheads are a good way to save water and money. Reducing water volume and heater work means lower utilities each month. In addition, a leaky shower at a rate of ten drops per minute can contribute more than 500 gallons in water waste annually [2]. The following is a $21.00 option with good reviews and Water Sense Approval [Low Flow Showerhead, 3]. Cheaper ones can be found at local hardware stores, but if you can afford it is worth paying a little more for the more efficient sub-2g/min shower heads.

  • We all need coffee in the morning, even the water heater.

Save your cold water in a bucket, while the water heater gets caffeinated. Use the water around the house (e.g. dishes, mopping, toilet, succulents and all them plants, maybe wash that sweet baby mountain bike, you get it)

  • Pee in your shower! Why are we peeing into freshwater?

In the average home, the largest utilities of water consumption are the toilet, the washing machine and the shower. So combine two of them: the shower is basically a unisex urnal. Ladies there is no shame, we can stand and pee too! Or squat if that’s what you’re into.

  • Turn off the shower, while you shamp that doo, and shave them long legs.

An exorbitant amount of shower water reaches the drain without ever touching our bodies. If we can simply reduce the amount of time the faucet is on, there’s easy water savings!

  • Are you Hitched?!

Conserving water is better in twos. While your honey scrubs up, you can wash down. Generosity goes a long way, especially when you’ve got helping hands to scrub that elusive region right between your shoulder blades!!

  • Reduce the length of your daily shower to sub-5minutes. And take less than daily showers. Long-Hot Daily Showers are bad for your health.

We can all appreciate the therapy of a long shower as a luxury, but maybe this is a cultural norm, that we need to change. Beyond simple water conservation, daily and hot showers remove important oils and fauna from our skin leaving behind dry  and vulnerable pores. Our skins are naturally acidic and the soaps we use create a basic environment our natural heathy bacteria cannot survive. One such bacteria victim was found to protect against acne breakouts. Read this post in The Sydney Morning Herald to give you extra convincing to take luke-warm, short showers only two to three times weekly. Daily showers, are a modern phenomenon of developed nations.

  • BONUS: Do you have a garden?!

Use biodegradable soaps, plug the drain, and water the garden! Plus you get a real appreciation for total water consumption when you are standing in it, and the great biceps to show the work hauling your water waste every morning!!

Finally, write March 26th-31st into your calendar as the “Fix a Leak Week”! Water Sense an EPA Partnership Program reports that more than 1 trillion gallons of freshwater is wasted due to leaky faucets each year [2]. Becoming water conscious is good for the environment, good for your budget and good for your health.

As a final note, check out my post about the Worldwide Water Crisis for more know how. See the link below for all the details for the “Fix a Leak Week” and easy steps to locate and fix leaky faucets and toilets:

References:

  1. Alliance for Water Efficiency
  2. Locate Leaky Faucets
  3. Low Flow Showerhead
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