Environmentally Friendly Shower Habits

Environmentally Friendly Shower Habits
Photo by kevin Baquerizo / Unsplash

There is nothing like a hot, relaxing shower. We all have stood under the shower and enjoyed the bliss moment of water pouring down. In fact, just 4% of Britons say they regularly take time out for a bath, with 76% saying that they prefer the speed and efficiency of a shower, according to a new survey by Faith in Nature, a natural beauty brand.

WaterWise states that the average shower head uses 12 litres of water per minute, with power showers using around 15 litres. Given that the average shower taken is around 10 minutes long, that’s up to 150 litres of water every time you shower! This equates to 2.6 gallons (11.82 l) of water per minute and 33 gallons (150.02 l) for a ten-minute shower. The author of '365 Ways to Save the Planet' suggests similar with 10 litres (2.2 gallons) of water per minute of having a shower. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that showering is one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use—for the average family, that adds up to nearly 40 gallons (181.84 l) per day

However, water wastage is only part of the calculation because energy is required to heat water. Traditional hot water services are one of the major users of gas and electricity in any home.

You can save substantially on water wastage by simply using a water saver shower head. They work through regulating and aerating the water, allowing a pleasant shower to be unaffected.

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The Energy Saving Trust claims that if an average family replaced their inefficient shower head with a water efficient one, they could save around £45 on their gas bills and around £25 on their water bills (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s a total saving of around £70. Further reductions could be made by shortening the time spent in the shower. This will reduce the amount of water going down the drain, as well as saving you money on the energy used to heat the water. Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £95 a year on their bills. Shortening your shower time and replacing your shower head would save £165 per year, with an extra £60 on their water bill, if metered.

Knowing how long you have spent in the shower might be hard, after all we are concentrating on washing ourselves over, counting the minutes left. One option could be using your smartwatches' timer (check if your watch is waterproof). A second option which '365 Ways to Save the Planet' suggests is listening to music, the average song is three and a half minutes long, which means you would be nearly finished after your favourite song has finished. Lastly, some water suppliers and websites such as Save Water Save Money sell inexpensive timers you can put in your shower.

Lastly, as with anything we do, there is a carbon cost, according to Mike Berners-Lee's book 'How Bad Are Bananas?' these are the emissions of using a shower.

Grams of CO2eTimeMethod used
55g3 minutesshower powered by an efficient gas boiler and aerated shower head
160g5 minutesusing a 5kW economy electric shower
250g5 minutesusing a typical 8kW electric shower
1,000g (1kg)15 minutesusing an 11kW electric power shower