Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reduce water usage by taking shorter showers

While the options in my previous posts are great and efficient for conserving water and energy (see previous posts: conserving water and energy), they did not stop me from taking long showers; thus wasting water and energy. Spending less time in the shower is a sustainable practice anyone can apply by itself or in conjunction with other water conservation solutions. 

The first step is to find out how much time you spend in the shower and how quickly your showerhead can fill a gallon bucket. Simple math can help you understand how much water you are using per day, per month, per year. Start by timing yourself to see how long you are in there. Then try to cut the time in half. You can use a kitchen timer, an old wristwatch timer, or I use the second alarm on my alarm clock. Set the timer, jump in, and try to beat the alarm. Make it game for you and your family; pass out gold stars to the children. This is probably the easiest way to cut your water bill and water heating costs - and it requires no investment except your commitment.

   x = time in the shower
   y = time it takes to fill a gallon bucket
   g = number of gallons per shower
   p = number of people in the household
   gm = gallons used monthly for household (assuming 1 shower per day per person)

         x/y = g

        g *p * 30 = gm

The trick to a sustainable life is being aware of your options and choosing simple solutions that you are willing to commit to and can maintain long term.