Outdoor solar shower
Limiting Showers Can Save Water, Energy and Our Health
I didn’t shower this morning. And I don’t (think I) smell. You see, while I wrote a post about Navy Showers as a water saving technique a while back, the truth is I am not very good at them. I like showering, and when I am in the shower I find it hard not to linger. Even though I’m fairly water-savvy around the rest of the house (practicing the selective flush and such), and even though our energy use is mitigated by a solar water heater, I still feel a little guilty about all that water going down the drain. And with my hippy friends telling me that showering too often can actually be bad for my health, I thought it was time I found a compromise that allows me my hot showers, but at least cuts back on consumption a little.
Friends of mine who are much less into showering than I am, or much more conscientious about water conservation, tell me that long hot showers strip our bodies of the natural oils we need to protect the skin and the beneficial bacteria that we need for our immune systems. Baths are apparently even worse in that regard. I know people who probably spend a matter of seconds in the shower, and probably not every day at that. But as I said – I like showering.
So I’m experimenting with skipping showers – not for days on end, which just seems a little too austere for me – but rather showering in the morning one day, and then waiting till the evening of the next day before showering again. So far so good – I’m getting my hot shower fix, and my wife still seems to be talking to me. I’m not strict about it – I sometimes shower every morning, and if I’ve been working in the garden or some other dirty or unpleasant job, I may treat myself to an additional splash – but at those times I try to limit my time a little more.
Combining this with the occasional navy shower, and a general principal of water consciousness around the house, and I’m pretty happy about the amount of water I’m consuming. But I’d be interested to know what readers think – is skipping the occasional shower a sensible way towards greener, and perhaps healthier, personal hygiene, or is it the beginning of a slippery slope towards the ranks of the great granola-eating unwashed? I do like granola.
This article caught my attention because for as long as I can remember we took weekly baths. Of course if we were really dirty that warranted a trip to the tub but come to think of it we were never a family to take a shower/bath every day.
And to this day we still only take weekly baths/showers. In the summertime, if dirty and sweaty from working in the yard/garden we’ll make take an extra rinse of two in the outdoor solar shower. When we do shower/bath we are pretty conservative in our water use. Of course we girls use a tab bit more than the boys thanks to our long locks but I would say we use about 5 gallons of water each (well, the guys less — probably more like 2 gallons).
Actually for the whole year entire water bill is about $600. I would take a gander that about 80% of that water use goes into the garden. I don’t really know how that figure compares with the average person – Justin would know more about that because he handles the bills. If I have time I would like to compare the years and gallons used here on the urban homestead because each year we try do our part by conserving water. I started doing that a few years back but just got to busy.
Besides the conservation front, showering less is not only good for the environment but also your health. We Americans are too obsessed with soap. Honestly. Even showering with just water is more beneficial for your skin than stripping off your oils with soap. When people compliment me and my sister on our skin I really think it’s because we don’t use soap. We just wash with water. As for baths salt or apple cider vinegar does the trick.
Justin has been doing the no poo method now for about two years. He’s happy to report that his hair and scalp are in good condition. Me I rarely shampoo instead I use apple cider vinegar unless my hair gets really greasy and I’ll use just a wee dab of natural shampoo. Of course this method doesn’t work for everyone.
I also think that body odor has a lot to do with health — plenty of water, good food, exercise.
Ok now about granola….
As you know from our weekly meal wrap ups that we like granola so what’s with this thing biased against granola eaters anyhow?