Challenge #3: How to take a shower?

Turn off the water while applying soap or shampoo.

You’ll be doing the world and yourself a favor.

Smart showering

“Water is the driving force in nature.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

As you all know, life on our planet wouldn’t be possible without the water. Plants, animals and of course humans we all need this natural source of life. Moreover, water represents most of the weight of every organism, for some even up to 90 %. For adult humans, that number is typically around 65 %.

Unfortunately, it often seems like we forget about the fact that we simply won’t be around if we’ll use it excessively. There’s a lot of us who tend to spend it on stuff that is very distant from survival needs.

Water for life

Don’t get us wrong, we know there’s a lot of worse water abuse cases out there than taking a bit longer shower, but the latter is something we can all contribute to. Trust us, together we can make a noticeable improvement.

Save water, save life!

We won’t actually tell you how to take a shower as the title implies. 🙂 We all have our own way of performing our “showering ritual” and you should stick to it if it suits you. All we ask of you is to turn off the shower while applying soup. That shouldn’t have a great impact on the whole showering process, right? But it’s an easy and effective way to save water.

We all need water

Showering facts

Here are some numbers to help you understand that such a small addition can make a big difference.

  • Average shower time: 10 minutes.
  • 5500 liter/year wasted by a dripping shower head.
  • Average shower temperature: 42°C (108°F).
  • Average volume of water used: 15 L/min (4 gal/min).
  • Household water used for showers and baths: 38 %.
  • Average soap and/or shampoo application time: 1 min.

We can see that by letting the water runApplying soap while we apply soap and shampoo, we waste 15 liters (4 gal) of water per person per day for nothing. That’s a little less than 5500 liters (1450 gal) per year! Moreover, that adds up to over 5 trillion liters (1.3 trillion gallons) for US, Canada, and Europe together in only one year. Wow! That’s huge! That’s 5,000,000,000,000 liters of water wasted for nothing.

We sure hope, there is a lot of you who already turn off the water every time you’re applying soap or shampoo. If you’re one of those, let us just say that we’re really proud of you. And please, keep up the good work.

Water usage: bath vs. shower

People often wonder which is less water-consuming: bath or shower. So we’ve decided we’ll break it down for you.

A full bathtub requires about 265 liters (70 gallons) of water (according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency – EPA). So, unless you’re taking 18-minute showers, baths use more water – on average 115 liters (30 gallons) more.

Taking a bath

It’s true that many people don’t fill up their bathtub to the top, but there is also additional water people always spend when taking a bath – rinsing the bathtub before use, rinsing themselves at the end and rinsing the bathtub afterward.

Either way, statistics and simple calculations show, that baths use more water than showers. Those of you who have a bathtub of your own can always check that by yourselves. Just stop the drain while taking a shower and you’ll be able to see how much water you’ll use.

We sure hope knowing the latter won’t spoil your pleasure next time you’ll decide to take a nice bath. 🙂

To kinda make it up to you, here’s a nice quote that many of us find true, especially female population:

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

-Sylvia Plath

Additional ways to save water while showering

Herein, we’ll discuss a few additional ways how to save water while showering.

1.) Use cold water – the benefits of cold showers

We know that this suggestion might sound a bit cruel to many of you. But by using an unpleasantly cold water your showering time will surely decrease which can drastically reduce your water consumption. In addition, we’ve listed some of the main benefits of taking a cold shower:

  • Refines hair and skin – cold water is one of the most natural ways to maintain your appearance. While hot water has the tendency to dry out your skin, the cold water tightens our cuticles and pores. The latter prevents dirt from getting in, which will prevent them from getting clogged.
  • Relieves depression – studies have shown that due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin cold shower relieves depression symptoms. Those skin receptors send a vast amount of electrical impulses to our brain, which produces an antidepressive effect.
  • Increases alertness – shocking your body with cold water induces deep breathing, thus increasing our overall oxygen intake. In response, our heart rate also increases, which causes a rush of blood through our entire body. The latter serves as a natural dose of energy, which can come in handy especially in the morning.
  • Improves immunity and circulation – since it causes increased blood flow, which encourages blood to surround our organs supplying them with fresh blood. According to a natural health expert, a cold shower can improve our overall heart health, clear blocked arteries, lower blood pressure and improve our immune system.
  • Eases stress – there are some studies confirming that cold water can increase tolerance to stress.
  • Speeds up muscle recovery – many athletes are taking advantage of that fact. A cold shower can be extremely effective, particularly in relieving delayed – onset muscle soreness. There are many studies confirming that kind of power of cold shower.
  • Stimulates weight loss – apparently cold shower is able to activate so-called brown fat (read more about fat types). Based on a study from 2009 certain individuals could lose up to 4 kg (9 lbs) in a year just by showering with cold water.

Here you go, guys! Now it’s totally up to you if you’ll actually be able to use cold water or not. The two of us can’t actually confirm all of the above effects, but the one about muscle recovery really works for us.

Who knows, maybe you’ll end up enjoying a cold shower every now and then. 🙂

2.) Take a shower with your partner
Shower with your partner

Since love is a major part of us Good Earthlings, the two of us usually shower together. That way you don’t have to turn off the water while applying soap or shampoo since the first one is using the shower while the second one’s applying soap/shampoo and vice versa.

Putting water saving aside for a second, taking a shower with your partner can be a great thing for your relationship. By doing so, you can really take your intimacy to a higher level. We suggest you try it and then decide if it works for you.

Important notice: If things get seriously steamy, try and turn off the shower, you really don’t need it for that part. 😉

3.) Go with the new water-saving showers and showerheads

You can save additional water by switching to a low-flow showerhead. According to EPA, the US alone could save additional 950 billion liters (250 billion gallons) of water in each year, if every household installed one of these gadgets.

rainshower

To give you a clearer picture: low-flow showerheads typically use about 9.5 liters (2.5 gallons) per minute which is more than 30 % less than an average ordinary shower head.

Many of you are probably wondering if lower flow will reduce the quality of your shower. We haven’t tried it yet, but EPA’s performance criteria and many positive reviews out there assure us that that’s not the case.

We’ve done a quick research on which are the best low-flow shower head on the market.

Here are our top suggestions:

They all have a flow rate of  9.5 L/min (2.5 gal/min) or even lower.

Take-home points:
  • We can’t live without water.
  • We are using our water resources excessively.
  • We can save more than 5 trillion liters (1.3 trillion gallons) each year just by turning off the water while applying soap/shampoo.
  • A cold shower is good for you and nature.
  • Take a shower with your partner – you might like it.
  • If you can afford it, you should buy a low-flow showerhead.

We really hope you’ll go through with this week’s challenge and end up making a habit out of turning off the water while applying soap/shampoo.

We invite you to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.

Sincerely yours,

Good Earthlings

8 comments

  1. TM says:

    Very interesting facts Good Earthling, wasting water is like wasting life itself! Unfortunately most people only admire something when they loose it, but in water’s case we can’t afford that!!

    It would be great if you could also create a post on wasting water while shaving, brushing teeth and doing the dishes.

    • Good Earthling says:

      Check our site every week, we promise there’ll be more on other ways of water consumption in the upcoming weeks. 😉
      Warm regards,
      Good Earthlings

  2. Anke says:

    Hi there Good Earthlings, thanks so much for your article. What a good reminder to be mindful how we use our natural resources. I try to use water as sparingly as possible and also teach my family: Keep the shower time short for instance. Once in a while (especially in Winter) I indulge in a nice hot bath but not too often. I also think one doesn’t need to have a shower every day. Another way of saving on water. Keep up your excellent work in writing your challenges and also in educating us about ways of how we can do our little bit in being kind to nature.
    All the best from Anke

    • Good Earthling says:

      Anke, thank you for your encouraging words. Your opinion means the world to us. We’re really glad to hear you like our challenges. Stay with us, there’s a lot to come in the upcoming weeks. Enjoy!

      Love, Good Earthlings

  3. Neil says:

    It’s amazing how just one single element can be the difference between life and death for us all!

    I actually got my hopes up because I thought you were going to be outlining the steps to taking a shower more effectively. LOL.

    However, it was great to learn about a few shower facts, and also some steps to saving water as well as money too!

    I’ll bare your information in mind for the next time I take a shower 🙂

    Neil

    • Good Earthling says:

      Great to hear from you Neil!
      We hope you’ll be joining us on the following challenges as well.
      Warm regards,
      Good Earthlings

  4. Sandy says:

    Hi there,

    You’re doing a wonderful job of reminding people about our precious natural resources. I love all the innovative techniques listed out to save water! Thanks for that, i’ll keep that in mind. Looking forward to more great content, cheers,
    Sandy

    • Good Earthling says:

      You’re more than welcome, Sandy. It really is our pleasure. Thank you for your support.
      With love,
      Good Earthlings

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