Wasting water is something that is discouraged from childhood, but it can easily become an instruction that is ignored. After finally realizing the impact my waste was having on our planet, I devised a plan to do my part in conserving water. The shower is the third-most wasteful appliance in terms of water usage in an average household, following the toilet and the washing machine. Taking shorter showers is a solution everyone has heard of, but giving up your forty-five minute, steaming hot shower is not an easy task. Here are tips I tested to help you cut down on your wasteful water usage.
As the population grows, the demand for clean water skyrockets along with it. However, according to an article from Forbes, only one percent of the Earth’s water supply is fresh and readily available for human use. Because of this, the population has had to find other — often harmful and unnatural — ways to garner clean water, such as pulling water from groundwater supplies or aquifers. This process of extracting, transferring, and purifying the water just adds to the harmful greenhouse gas emissions already plaguing the environment. According to a study conducted by California State University, the United States water-related energy use is at least 521 Megawatts per year, which makes up a total of 13 percent of the United States’ annual energy usage. Long story short: water waste is one of the biggest problems plaguing our planet today.
Showers, both in their lengths and temperatures, play a huge role in the gradual deterioration of the Earth’s health. According to The Sacramento Bee, the average showerhead sprays 2.5 gallons a minute, making the average American’s 8.2 minute shower waste 20.5 gallons of water (Note: my showers at home have low-flow showerheads, which can save the planet 350 pounds worth of carbon dioxide emissions every year, per person, according to a study from the Center for Sustainability at the University of Michigan). Shortening one’s shower time to about five minutes can make a very real impact on the state of the climate disaster.
The first and most fun way to shorten showers is to make a playlist of 2-4 songs that add up to about five minutes of playing time. I suggest making two or three playlists so you don’t get tired of the couple songs too quickly. One of my playlists features “We’re Going to Be Friends” by The White Stripes and “I Love You So” by The Walters, adding up to a total of four minutes and fifty-nine seconds.
Colder water, especially as we approach winter, can also encourage shorter showers. As winter comes into full swing, cold showers start to sounds tortuous—although that’s kind of the point. You don’t have to make your showers ice-cold, but making them a little cooler than normal can still have the same effect.
The last tip in today’s blog is an easy switch that can reduce one’s water usage tremendously but also doesn’t force you to rush through the steps of your routine. If you like to take your time scrubbing or shampooing, simply turn the water off while you do so and turn it back on when you need to rinse. This will not only ensure that you are saving water, but that you aren’t sacrificing cleanliness in the process.
Shorter Shower Ratings: