Wash away my sins

I used to take hot showers.

Heck, I didn't just take them, I relished every darn second of them, feeling the heat wash through every part of me as it washed valuable resources (and my skin's moisture!) down the drain.

I consoled myself with justification. I bought a low flow/high pressure shower head. I cited studies which showed that filling up a bath tub wasted more water than a shower (however, this is totally dependant on the LENGTH of your shower, as one site explains). But both of those measures are negated if, like me, your showers tend to top 10 minutes on a regular basis.

Last week I was in the shower brainstorming a few ideas for this blog when it hit me - this is ludicrous! Hypocritical! How could I stand there, steaming up the mirrors, and think about environmentally friendly posts? Without thinking, my hand shot out and adjusted the water temperature. Perhaps I SHOULD have thought a bit, because I was instantly soaked with icy water. Once I got over the jumping and shrieking, I was able to adjust it to a more humane temperature and while it wasn't the sauna-like experience I was used to, it wasn't so bad! Additionally, without the hot water zoning me out, I was able to take a shorter shower and use less water.

I decided to stick with this model for a couple of days, shorter showers at a lower temperature. In doing so, I discovered a whole list of benefits!
  • Environmental - less energy expended to heat the water and less water used
  • Comfort - it's a lot easier to step out of the shower and into the cooler air in my apartment
  • Moisture - I'm no longer 'steaming' the natural moisture out, so my skin feels better
  • Hair - rinsing with cool water helps seal your hair, mine looks smoother
  • My apartment - we're still battling moisture issues here. The cooler water doesn't steam up my windows and create more work for my poor exhausted dehumidifier
I know a lot of us know this stuff already, but it took really putting it into practice for a little while for the benefits to truly sink in. So here's my challenge to you... switch to cool showers for a week! It doesn't have to be cold, just cooler than your normal temp. At the end of your week, check out this water and energy use calculator and figure out how much you saved! Then, come back to Greener Alice and let me know how your week went :)

Happy showering!