Thursday, October 1, 2015

Small change, big rewards: Showers

You stand in the hot shower still trying to wake up from the alarm clock at 6 AM trying to get ready for work in your still sleep deprived state.  You turn the faucet on and wait for it to heat up, and then you step in and groggily let the water pour over you as if the water is your batch of morning coffee - opening  your eyes slowly.  Finally you shower up and before you know it you've been in there for a good 15 minutes.  You've only just started your day and you have already used 33 gallons of water. That's more water than is suggested to drink in 4 days.

Personal Background

Sadly to say, when I first began tracking my water, electricity, and fuel use last month this is what I found.  I was astonished how wasteful I was being with all of this potable water going down the drain.  I started creating this environmental calculator to create my baseline levels, but after 12 days of seeing how much water I was wasting I was determined to put it to a stop.  I decided to make a small change, which in turn created a large change.

Steps to Saving Water - The Easy Way


Instead of sitting in the shower with the water running when I don't necessarily use it, I simply flipped the switch and turned it off for those periods.  Its crazy how simple it is.  The bathroom is already heated from the water that was running to wet your hair and get the soap all lathered that when its time to actually shampoo you don't need it to keep you warm.  Also, the amount of water that you save during that time turns your 15 minute showers into more of 5 minute showers - which are just as comfortable.

Don't get me wrong, I still spend about 15 minutes IN the shower, I just don't need the water running the entire time.  I work in the hospitality industry thus I need to be as presentable as possible; but why not try to have a smaller impact on the environment?


Repeat #1 for the entire month.  I made sure to make it a point to turn off the water.  Some days I accidentally reverted to my old ways - it is fun to take a nice hot steamy shower once in a while, but I was determined to change my unsustainable ways.  


See how much you are saving, and use that as motivation to continue.  I have tracked my entire month worth of water use.  I am shocked to see the results of my small change.  On my Shower Water Usage graph you can see that within the first 12 days of the month (before I made my changes) I was using over 64% of the shower water I used for the entire month! That's only 2/5th's of the month with over 3/5th's of the water use.

Overall Findings

In the end of my month long experiment with water, I found that I don't want this to be the end.  I have even made predictions for the future.  If I changed my average shower use from an average of 13.3 minutes (29.5 gallons per shower) to 5.7 minutes (12.7 gallons of water)  I would be able to save 16.6 gallons per day.  At the end of the year that puts me at a saving of 6082 gallons.  That is enough drinking water for the entire country of Tuvalu for a day.  Granted its small - about 11,000 residents, but still enough water to drink for an entire COUNTRY would be going down my drain in just a year had I not changed my ways.

I am not saying that you should be unreasonable when trying to save the planet, you and I are both people with typical habits that are hard to change.  However, the way we take our showers is such an easy change that it leaves me asking WHY NOT?  Why not help change the world, put the water on hold and see how much you can save!

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