Cold Weather And Hot Water

Do you love your hot shower or bath?  I do.Woman relaxing in warm bubble bath

There’s nothing like it after sport…or you’re tired…especially if you’re cold.

All that warmth surrounding you…soothing your tired body….gradually thawing you out…and relaxing you, so you’re all ready for a lovely sleep…Wonderful when it’s the end of the day and you’re getting ready for bed.

But, if you’re trying to get going in the morning, it’s not necessarily what you want.  If you shower in the morning, it’s really important to have quick, invigorating shower that wakes you up and gets your body engine revving.

And a quick shower is a good shower, from the environment’s perspective.

When we were in our last big drought and things were pretty grim in terms of Canberra’s water supply, one of our local radio stations ran a competition to see who could have the quickest morning shower.  Timing started when the water was turned on (so it included the time it took for the hot water to reach you and the weather at the time was rather cool :-o) and it finished when you had washed properly and rinsed.  It was all timed live and on-air.  And the winner?  A boy who managed to do it in 40 seconds!

That’s all fine if you like quick showers in the morning.

But some of us like our evening wash or soak.  Like many other people, for me, it’s part of my bed-time ritual.

The problem is, that so much of modern western society says you have to shower in the morning.

And if you conform to this AND have an evening shower or bath, that means two lots of water every day for bathing…just for you.

That can be a powerful lot of water.  Especially if you have a bath…you could easily drain your hot water tank…not so good if you rely on the sun for heating your hot water.

That’s one reason I switched back to showering at night. 😉

One less bathing per day = massive savings in water consumption.  For each person that does this, water consumption could be halved.

During the drought, we also stopped having baths.

Switching to showers saves masses of water.  In fact, like many other people who live where I do, I can’t recall when I had my last bath.  Making that change really changed our mindset : having a bath now seems like a massively wasteful over-indulgence.

Nevertheless, there is still the temptation to extend shower times.  Especially if you are tired…or cold…or have a lot on your mind…or are a teenager…or all of these. 😉

We have tried several tricks including:

  • a large, clear clock on the wall of the bathroom, straight opposite the shower – fine, if you remember to look! 😉
  • a kitchen timer – very effective if you remember to set it before you hop in …and if you can hear it once you are in the shower
  • tag-team showering – very effective, if your family doesn’t mind…and doesn’t mind waiting and applying pressure to slow-coaches
  • an egg-timer that sticks on the wall of the shower – that was probably the most effective overall, as it doesn’t depend on other people being there…but you still need to remember to keep an eye on it!   (There are plenty of shower timers on the market…or your water utility or council might hand them out for free.)

But now, as the pressure to save water has reduced, as my children have got older, as the year moves on and we get more tired and the weather gets colder…our showers are once again lengthening.

And this means our water consumption is going up, which means that we will have to step up our efforts to curtail our water use…again – so that we can reduce our water consumption…again.  (This has happened several times.)

What this demonstrates is that some of the behavioural changes we need to make to tread more lightly on this planet require on-going vigilance and effort.

And, in the case of my household, time in the shower is one of our biggest challenges.  I haven’t got to the stage of buying a (very ugly) device that automatically shuts off the water after a given time…but I’ve seriously considered it! 😉

I’d love to hear about your water-saving efforts, particularly in the shower…please share by leaving your comments in the Reply box below…or clicking on the tab on the right to send me a voice message.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!