Proper hygiene is an important part of everyone’s daily routine. Enjoying a long, warm shower or bath is an easy luxury to take for granted. When you learn that 771 million people don’t have access to a safe water supply, it can inspire you to find ways to live more sustainably.
We created this guide to help you discover how to take more eco-friendly showers and avoid environmentally harmful products—a perfect way to celebrate your choice to live a greener lifestyle.
Why Worry About Conserving Water?
It may seem like water is an infinite resource, but droughts can severely limit local access, and flooding can contaminate what is available in an instant. When you factor in pollution, accessibility, and other factors, it becomes clear what a precious resource water truly is.
In fact, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh, and the other 97% is simply too costly to desalinate or clean. Conserving water is about recognizing the priceless value of every drop and finding ways to become thoughtful stewards of this precious resource.
How Does Taking Shorter Showers Help the Environment?
Americans use an average of 82 gallons of water at home every day, and showering accounts for 17% of our residential water use.
Showering adds up to nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of water annually in the US. So you can imagine—every attempt to cut down the amount of water you use in the shower can make a real difference.
Conserving Water in the Shower
Consider the following ways to reduce how much water you use when showering.
1. Use an Eco-Friendly Showerhead
A standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). One way to reduce the amount of water you use is with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense-labeled showerheads. These ensure you won’t use more than 2.0 GPM. If every family in the US used a WaterSense showerhead, it could reduce water usage by 260 billion gallons annually.
2. Use a Low-Flow Showerhead
Low-flow showerheads reduce water usage even further. They can minimize GPM to as low as 1.0. Great strides have been made to improve spray force, coverage, and pressure compensation, so going green doesn’t have to mean poor water pressure.
There are numerous features, benefits, and options available for eco-friendly showerheads, so it’s helpful to learn about the highest-rated brands when you’re ready to make the move.
3. Take Shorter Showers
The average American spends eight minutes in the shower. It stands to reason that shaving off anytime can reduce your water intake. If you are serious about becoming more disciplined about your shower time, you can use a waterproof clock to time yourself and make it a personal challenge to shorten your showers.
4. Don’t Wait for the Perfect Temperature
Only some things about taking a shower are about practicality. Showers can be a time to enjoy the warm stream pouring over your head as a gentle way to wake up. Or, at the end of a long day, it’s easy to enjoy them to destress and soothe aching muscles.
When it comes to going green, the best changes usually require becoming more regimented. You can learn to adjust to cold water, so it doesn’t go to waste while waiting for warm water to flow. Treat your comfort as a reward for doing your part for the environment.
5. Use the Shower Intermittently
Another way to use less water in the shower is to turn it off when it isn’t needed. Some refer to this as a Navy shower since the Navy uses it to conserve water resources. It’s a great way to save water by turning it off while lathering your body and washing your hair. Turn it back on to rinse off the soap and shampoo.
6. Add a Water Recirculation Pump
If you want to take a greener shower but you’re just not ready for the shock of cold water, you can install a water recirculation pump. These pumps can be retrofitted to existing pipework or to install a full system. Typically, they use very little energy but provide continuous hot water flow in your pipes so that you won’t waste any water waiting for the right temperature.
Showers vs. Baths: Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?
Taking a bath would waste less water than a shower. After all, the water isn’t just going down the drain; you’re fully utilizing every drop. It also doesn’t matter if you linger in the tub longer than a shower.
But, the truth comes down to simple math. Most people use around 30 gallons of water in a bath, and less eco-friendly showerheads use around 2.5 GPM, so a 10-minute shower will win over a bath every time.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Shower Products
Learning to become more ecologically aware during shower time isn’t only about water conservation. It’s also important to consider the products you use and how they might impact the environment.
Get Rid of Plastic Containers
One of the most substantial eco-friendly moves for you to make is to reduce—or eliminate—your use of plastics. From shampoo and conditioner to your favorite body wash, plastic containers cause lasting harm to oceans, waterways, and sea life.
Along with the long list of toxic chemicals plastics emit, they are also very slow to biodegrade. Since most shower products are packaged for one cycle of use, they are a literal mounting ecological problem.
The best solution is to replace plastic containers with reusable containers and products using biodegradable packaging.
Switching to non-plastic reusable razors is one more way to eliminate plastic from your shower routine.
Choose More Eco-Friendly Shower Products
In addition to the packaging, most name-brand shampoos and soaps contain toxic ingredients that are harmful to the environment and can also cause skin irritations, triggering allergic reactions.
Since 1993, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has provided important consumer data about products that are not adequately covered through government protections, disclosures, or research.
EWG created Skin Deep, an excellent resource for discovering the safest and most eco-friendly shower products. It’s an extensive database that details dozens of toxins and chemicals, evaluating green options without bias or commercial gain.
Look for products that offer in-store fill-ups, eco-friendly ingredients, and specifically mention being free of contaminants.
Expand Your Eco-Friendly Horizons with Spring Power and Gas
Armed with these ideas for more sustainable showering, you may enjoy examining other areas of your life where you can become more environmentally aware.
Take a look at the different energy plans we offer at Spring Power and Gas to join in our mission of using renewable energy sources. As a sustainability-focused leader in energy, we distribute eco-friendly natural gas and electricity energy solutions that don’t compromise in providing you with the best quality service.
To learn more, get in touch with us today!