Shower Yourself with Savings

by Tom Damm

banner_showerbetter-2015A “Navy shower” is quite efficient.  Get wet, turn off the water, lather up, rinse off and get out.  All done in a few minutes.

My first experience with such a shower was in a trailer near New Orleans during EPA’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  I learned how to get clean in a hurry when the scarce hot water available in our compound ran out by the time I showered each morning.

I’ve since taken more comfortable, but similarly speedy showers at home.  It makes sense since EPA estimates that shortening your shower by even one minute can save 550 gallons of water per year.

Showering is one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use.

The City of Charlottesville, Virginia – a two-time EPA WaterSense national award winner for its water saving promotions – challenges its residents to take a five-minute shower, offering a free timer and suggesting they create a five-minute playlist and use a 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner combination.

But one of the main suggestions from EPA and Charlottesville to save water, energy and money is to replace your old showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model.  Charlottesville offers them at no cost to its residents.

In just one year, a WaterSense showerhead can save the average family nearly 3,000 gallons of water and save enough electricity to power their home for 13 days.  That’s a savings of more than $70 in energy and water costs.

October has been designated Shower Better Month by EPA’s WaterSense program.  Here’s a link for more ways to save water throughout your home – and to avoid that knock on the door to speed it up in the shower.


About the Author: Tom Damm has been with EPA since 2002 and now serves as communications coordinator for the region’s Water Protection Division.

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