Related Forum Threads
- save water begining your shower. Last post on 10/28/11 at 6:55am in Other Green Stuff & Green Services
- Clorox joins in the green clean fight Last post on 9/15/09 at 10:23am in Home & Garden
- New EPA program for water conservation Last post on 11/26/07 at 1:21pm in Environmental News and Politics
- See Disneynature’s OCEANS on Earth Day 2010! Last post on 4/14/10 at 2:29pm in Other Green Stuff & Green Services
- Shaklee Last post on 10/22/12 at 10:23pm in Home & Garden
Frugal Intermediates Guide To Green
Edited on 9/26/11
- Introduction To AeratorsEdited on 2/25/08
- How To Save Water Around The HouseEdited on 3/30/11
- Homemade Non Toxic Home Air Fresheners
Related Blog Posts
Find Out What Your Water Footprint Is And How To Reduce It.
Published on 6/5/08 by The Good Human
Going Back To The Corded Phone To Save Energy.
Published on 5/15/08 by The Good Human
Could Research Show That People Are Not Interested In Green Homes?
Published on 4/8/08 by The Good Human
DIY: Make Your Swiffer Guilt Free
Published on 3/25/09 by greenUPGRADER
New Free Font “Ecofont” Reduces Ink in Printing by 20%
Published on 12/12/08 by sustainablog
Alphabetical Article List
ShoweringPosted 06/03/08 • Last updated 07/10/11 • 1120 views • 1 comment
A daily bath uses 16,425 liters (4,339 gallons) more water over a year than a daily shower. All that extra water also adds up to extra energy usage to heat your shower or bath.
In the United States, people use an average of 2.5 gallons of fresh water for every minute they shower.
Some showers flow at the rate of 80 gallons per minute (gpm), due to manipulation of low-flow showerheads and the rise in popularity of multi-head shower systems. Federal standards require showerheads to provide 2.5 gallons per minute or less water, but this only applies to single-head units. The 2.5-gpm rate is achieved through small water-restrictor discs. Many homeowners remove them, which can result in a flow of nearly 5 gpm.
But, if you install a low flow shower head, or an aerator, you can save 50% of the water you’ve been using!
To learn more about aerators, check out the wiki here.
A couple low flow shower heads to consider- Delta's new H20Kinetics showerhead uses a mere 1.6 gpm but is designed to use larger water droplets, which hold onto heat and feel like a 2.5-gpm shower ($55; www.deltafaucet.com, 800-345-3358 for retailers). Another option is the super affordable, very efficient Niagara Chrome Earth massage showerhead, which is a 1.75-gpm model ($5.25; www.energyfederation.org).
Other ways to save your shower water-
Shower alternating days. Unless you've been working up a sweat, you shouldn't need to shower daily. Fewer showers also mean that you will strip less of your body's natural protective oils, which reduces your need for lotions and conditioners.
Time yourself. Kitchen timers work well for this, and are very cheap! Once you find out how long your average shower is, try to cut it down a little further. Ideally your shower should be five minutes or less.
Take cold showers. Taking cold showers keeps the shower shorter, saving water, saves energy needed for heating, and is healthier for most people.
The Shower Manager is a tool that uses a security key to let you set a timer for how long the shower should give the full flow of water. When the time limit expires, the Shower Manager cuts the flow in half. One minute before the shower flow reduces there is a warning beep, and the reduced flow is just enough to finish rinsing off. The Shower Manager is a little pricey, around $115, but it could be worth it.
Consider turning the water off while you shampoo and soap up. Use the water only to initially get wet and to rinse off the soap. This can reduce a ten minute shower using 20 gallons of water to a 2 minute shower using about 4 gallons of water.
Worried that you’ll get cold when the water is off? Make your shower stall fully enclosed, to trap in the heat. Think something along the lines of the Showerdome. Instructions on how to do it yourself here.
By enclosing your shower, you’ll get bonus points through a drier bathroom (less mold, quicker drying towels, less need for the fan) AND a reduced A/C bill!
Also consider switching to a tankless, on-demand water heater. Check out that wiki here. Households typically waste 6.35 gallons of water per day while waiting for water to heat up; about 3.48 gallons of that is just for the shower. Tankless systems heat water when you need it, cutting wait times down to about 30 seconds. However, if you do let the water run to warm up, collect the water in a bucket that can then be used for watering plants.
Consider turning the water heat down a little- cooler water is better for your skin and hair (less drying), and requires less energy to heat.
Remember to look at what ingredients are in you shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, etc.
If you use shampoo and conditioner, consider buying a 2-in-1 product, or a moisturizing shampoo. You'll use fewer resources, and half the packaging.
Sure, you’ve considered organic towels- but what about that shower curtain??!
Buy a PVC-free shower curtain. The cheapest alternative is a polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) liner, which is as durable as PVC but without the hormone-disrupting, asthma-inducing phthalates. If you want to splurge, get a hemp shower curtain, which is PVC free and resists mildew. Replacement curtains can be cheap- Ikea sells a Näckten PEVA shower curtain for $1.79 (www.ikea.com); hemp shower curtains are available for $84.95 (www.greenfeet.com).
Back to the towels - how important are those organic towels?
Towels and washcloths are typically made of 100% cotton or a blend containing up to 15% polyester.
Cotton accounts for about 10% of all pesticides and up to 25% of all insecticides used worldwide. In the US, around 12 pounds of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers are applied to every acre of cotton. This averages out to 1/3 of a pound of chemicals per pound of cotton harvested.
Most towels are bleached with chlorine then dyed another color. Chemical dyes contain known or suspected carcinogens. During the dyeing process, more than half of the chemicals used end up as waste in rivers and soil. Chemicals are used again to make cotton fabric softer and more absorbent.
While cotton towels may not be commonplace yet, the amount of certified and transitional organic cotton planted in the US grew from 900 acres in 1990 to an estimated 11,500 acres of by 2001.
Look for organic cotton or hemp and hemp-blend towels dyed with plant-based dyes. Hemp cultivation requires little pesticide. If you buy hemp, ask whether it is actually chemical-free before purchasing. New towels should be washed in hot water at least once to remove any chemicals or residues from processing. Avoid using chemical fabric softeners, which can build up and decrease absorbency. Chlorine bleach can weaken fibers.
They might be a little pricey, but you can build your collection over time. They are available at several national retail stores, so you shouldn’t need to pay for shipping. West Elm ($6-$19; www.westelm.com), Pottery Barn ($8-$26; www.potterybarn.com), Bed, Bath & Beyond ($7.99-$14.99; www.bedbathandbeyond.com).
Easy Eco Tip: Hang your towel to dry, then reuse it for your next shower or two. You're clean when you dry off, so your towel shouldn't be getting very dirty!
Rub A Dub Dub, Cleaning Out The Tub
With products like Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner hitting the market, it might be tempting to choose conventional cleaning products to prevent shower build up.
Bathroom cleaners can be especially dangerous because lingering residues from common bathroom cleaner ingredients, like ammonia and glycol ethers, can dissolve in shower steam and create harmful vapors that can cause respiratory irritation and central nervous system depression.
And after cleaning products go down our drains, they end up at wastewater treatment plants. Treatment plants don't completely remove some of these chemicals, which means they end up in our waterways.
When you buy- check the labels for warning labels like "Danger" and "Poison," which indicate that a product is corrosive, flammable, combustible, irritating or a strong sensitizer, and that they have the potential to cause serious personal injury or illness during, or as a result of, normal use.
The following chart, taken from The Green Guide, shows your best choices for bathroom cleaners.
Good: These products are preferable to their conventional counterparts, but still contain one or more potentially harmful ingredients and might contain petroleum-based ingredients purely for aesthetic purposes, such as synthetic dyes or fragrances.
Better: These products also may contain one or more potentially harmful ingredients but no unnecessary petroleum-based additives.
Best: These products contain no potentially harmful ingredients or unnecessary additives.
Bon Ami Cleaning Powder
feldspar, tallow soap
cardboard and aluminum
$9.95/6 12 oz. cans
Bon Ami Earth Friendly Polishing Cleanser
feldspar, calcite, sodium alkyl-benzene, soda ash
cardboard and aluminum
$6.95/ 6 14 oz. cans
Bi-O-Kleen Soy Cream Cleanser
water, xanthan gum, zeolite, linear alcohol surfactant from coconut, coconut surfactant (no DEA or SLS), low pH silicate, food grade lime extract, grapefruit seed extract, soybean oil extract, less than 0.2% environmentally friendly polymer, natural volcanic perlite
water, xanthan gum, crystalline silica, lemon oil
water, citric acid, plant-based nonionic tensio-active surfactants, plant-based fragrance
#1 PET (bottle), #1 PET & #5 PP (trigger)
water, plant-derived nonionic surfactant, essential oils, fragrance, preservative
Naturally Yours Basin, Tub, and Tile Cleaner
water, citric acid, ionic surfactant, distilled fruit oil, organic preservative
Seaside Naturals Bathroom Cleaner
filtered water, vinegar, borax, a blend of pure essential oils (if scented), grain alcohol, polysorbate 20, naturally derived cleaning agent (vegetable-based surfactant)
Seventh Generation Natural Citrus Bathroom Cleaner
hydrogen peroxide, biodegradable surfactants, citrus oil, food-grade, non-toxic oxygen stabilizers, water
#2 HDPE (minimum 25% PCR)
hydrogen peroxide, plant-derived surfactants, whole and natural plant essences (a blend of mandarin, spearmint and petitgrain essential oils), water
#2 HDPE (minimum 25% PCR)
Sound Earth's The Velvet Hammer
baking soda, vinegar, borax, castille soap, hydrogen peroxide
- Introduction To Aerators
- › SAFE GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS FOR BABIES/KIDS 16 hours, 34 minutes ago
- › Least expensive green products? 17 hours, 17 minutes ago
- › Conservation before Generation 1 day, 14 hours ago
- › Ban Plastic Water Bottles 3 days, 1 hour ago
- › The Tyler Group News Blog Reviews: China factory PMI | Imdb 3 days, 2 hours ago
- › Anger Management: How To Deal With Anger 3 days, 9 hours ago
- › Boiler-House Renovation at Unilever Saves 25% Energy with VLT Aqua... 3 days, 9 hours ago
- › Reducing Energy Cost Through Boiler Efficiency 3 days, 9 hours ago
- › Industrial Steam Boilers 3 days, 10 hours ago
- › My list of Fakers and Not Fakers 3 days, 17 hours ago
- › Ed Phillips & Sons Co. Prairie Organic Vodka by CWeller
- › Coeconut 100% Organic Vegan Lip Balm by coeconut
- › Method bloq body lotion by cybergrannie
- › Frazer 3- Tier Clothes Drying Rack by Rubee53
- › Lochinvar Knight Mod/Con boiler by tito
- › Gilden Tree Foot Scrubber by smoore
- › Pegasus Cottage Collection 1.28 GPF Flapperless Toilet by Fredeliot
- › Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastries by smoore
- › PowerGard by tboysworth
- › GE Daylight Energy Smart Spiral T3 by ginnercat
- › Earl—A Solar Tablet for the Wanderlust... by SolarReviews
- › Fracking and Solar: Friends, Foes or the... by SolarReviews
- › Tesla Motors, Profitable, Goes on a Hiring Spree by GreenJobsGuru
- › Waste Recycling Facts by Erich Lawson
- › Contaminated Lands Become More Attractive for... by SolarReviews
- › Colored Solar Panels Address Concerns of... by SolarReviews
- › Maker of Revolutionary Ocean Wave Glider... by GreenJobsGuru
- › Report Anticipates 220 New Gigawatts of... by SolarReviews
- › Mosaic’s Latest Solar Project Sends... by SolarReviews
- › Google, Cisco are Coolest IT Companies, Says... by SolarReviews