I’ll be the first to admit it. I like my showers long. There’s something about being in an isolated space under the constant reassurance of soothing hot water that lets you relax on a level rarely possible elsewhere. Unfortunately, long hot showers aren’t the best activities when practicing sustainability. For those like me with a special fondness for lengthy showers, cutting down bathing time can be difficult. My first reaction to this
instrument of torture shower-timer I discovered online was unease; it cuts off the water automatically after a certain time. The thought of being suddenly stuck without water with shampoo in your hair is quite unpleasant. It’s even programmed so that you can’t turn the water back on immediately. Just cruel. Fortunately there are less extreme options as far as shower-timers go, but these, of course, require more self-discipline. Can we do it? I say we stick it to the shower timers out there that don’t think we can. We don’t need them to turn the water off for us. We have hands and we’re capable of twisting a shower nozzle. SPU’s upcoming Hill Hall bathroom renovation is expected to create a sizable reduction in water consumption. The same renovations were recently made in Ashton Hall and ended up cutting back water consumpton by 35% on fixture upgrades alone. Changes in personal routine could mean an even more impressive statistic. In addition to timers that tell us when we should wrap it up, I thought I’d note a few more methods to help cut down on shower length:
*Create a music playlist using a few of your favorite songs and start it up as you get in the shower. When the last song ends, try to ease yourself out. Now that your music stopped, showering will suddenly seem to lack pizazz anyway. This little device may be able to help.
*Take cold showers. I know, this might be even more extreme than the instant cut-off shower timer. But for those who can take it, cold showers are said to have a variety of health benefits, the number of which surprised me. They’re also a big cut back on your environmental footprint, the energy necessary for hot water obviously no longer being used.
*Leave yourself something to look forward to after your shower. Perhaps a cinnamon role that you can’t eat until you’re done. Or maybe restrict yourself from checking email before you’re out. That one you’ve been waiting for could have been sent while you were sleeping. Better shower fast and find out.
And while we’re at it, here are some other ways to conserve water this summer:
- Wash your clothes and run your dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Use your garbage disposal sparingly, composting eligible food waste (to see what kind of food waste is compostable, check out the chart on this page.
- If you have a lawn or garden to water, water it in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation. Or, if you don’t mind your grass being temporarily brown, give watering a break for the summer and wait for the rain to return and resume helping out.
- Wash fruits and veggies in a pan instead of running water from the tap.
- Designate one glass as your drinking glass throughout the day, keeping it in the fridge to lower the frequency of washing glasses.
- To plan something big, look into installing a rain water cistern next fall. These can help reduce damaging storm runoff (which is harmful to streams and can cause sewers to overflow) and hold water to use for your lawn or garden in the summer.
How do you conserve water? Feel free to brag about the various ways you keep it dry.