Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July Challenge

shower headWe're well into July now so this is just a quick challenge that won't even apply to everybody. But if, like me, you have a shower unit over your bath (rather than in a separate shower cubicle, or even no shower at all) then I challenge you to put the plug in next time you take a shower.

You'll end up standing in a few inches of water but never mind, I only want you to do it once. The reason is to see how much less water you use in a shower than in a bath. Unless you take very long showers, you won't use nearly as much water as if you filled the tub for a hot bath.

Most people know that showers use less water than baths. But I think it's really helpful to see with your own eyes just how much difference there is. Direct personal experience is a lot more likely to make you want to change your behaviour than any efficiency campaign or general good intentions.

Once you've finished taking your shower, consider what you're going to do with the water. Will you just pull out the plug and let it go down the drain? Or can you reuse some of it, perhaps to water plants? If it's still quite warm you could mix a little soap powder into it and drop some laundry in there. I wash my duvets in the bath once or twice a year because they're too big to go in the machine. It's better to reuse bath or shower water for a job like that than to fill up the bath just for a duvet. Or if you are clever at plumbing, could you somehow divert the water into your washing machine, or an irrigation system for your garden, or even your own reed bed?

But that's not the main focus of the challenge. The challenge is just to put the plug in and see how much water you save by taking a shower rather than a bath. Don't forget to vote in the poll in the right-hand sidebar when you've done it.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I keep a plastic bucket in the bathroom and use the bathwater to flush the loo with.

Carol Hague (from ye Shedde)

Linz said...

My hair clogging up the drain cover in the bath means I already know how much water I use in the shower. When it gets dry out I keep the water for the garden or the loo, but while it's raining I let it go. I ought to use it for the loo regardless.

Wulf said...

Did you see the various posts I made on my blog last month about experimenting with the droughtplug system?

I was hampered by a ground floor bathroom and the plug adapter not fitting my plug but have finally managed to find ways to use it to siphon water outside to a waiting bin. That then gets used for watering the ornamental plants my garden, saving stored rainwater for the edibles.

femsc said...

I tend to let the water go into the drains, but I often shower with the plug in 'cos it makes it so much easier to wash my tootsies if they can have a little paddle.

Fran

Alice said...

I sometimes do put the plug in, mostly to make use of the heat to keep warm the bits of me that are not directly under the shower on cold days.

I use an embarrassingly huge amount of hot water because my shower is so good I stay in there for ages...

BlickyKitty said...

We throw our kittens into the baths a lot in the summertime because they will only occasionally accept a shower "waaahhhh it's in my eeeeyes!" Also my seven-year-old in the shower with usually turn the bathroom floor into a pond, while the two-year-old experiments with the physics of liquid soap. In our case, baths are a bit easier, but I like to throw the bathing suits and clothes in there when they're done. Would soapy water harm the garden if the soap's organic? Thank you for that idea!

Robj98168 said...

I have been on the Crunchy Domestic Goddess's I'm havung a quickie the five minute shower challenge for about a month. BUt I have been using the military shower method for awhile now. And I brush my teeth in the shower. And I collect the warm up water.Approxiamately 2 gallons- I flush it or water my plants with it! MY plants love it! And as far as spitting in the shower before any water is used it works fine.
I did plug the tub, to see how much water I use when showering, and I was amazed to find less than 15 gallons!I use a low flow shower head, and personally have not noticed any difference over a haevy flow head. Of course I don't have a flowing mane of locks to shampoo and rinse either.

Yellow said...

This has made me think. I don't have a shower, but I always run my bath til it's full, and I have no idea how much my bath holds. I think I'll go and measure it to see if I can get a rough idea.
We do share baths with all 4 of us taking turns. But I've never re-used the bath water for anything.

donna said...

i saw the poll and was intrigued to find the post that would explain what it was all about. great idea for a challenge, i'll give it a go great to show the kids, should be a really obvious visual demonstration. thank-you for being so inspiring!

amysansom said...

I pretty much already do that. I've never been one for dilly dallying in showers. Can't say I've ever timed myself, mind you.

TopVeg said...

I much prefer a bath - & have been telling myself for months that it really does not use much more water. So, I felt quite bad when I took up your challenge, put the plug in & had a shower. The water did not get above my ankles! A converted showerer..

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