Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Rant on Bathing and Water Consumption

Okay, I'm not a radical environmentalist or even someone who is aggressively trying to find ways to conserve. I do think, however, that we consume way too much of our resources in daily ablutions. When did we start believing that we have to bathe every day? The average American uses 17-24 gallons per shower or bath as per the Water Education Foundation website for kids (and this is based in California so, you know, it's like the movie Chinatown and everything). That's a freakin' lot of water! Look, if you don't work in a coal mine or on a farm or in a sewer (for added irony) don't bathe every day! I know that's hard in some climates like the tropical ones where you feel like a big ball of spit after 5 minutes outside and in desparate need of cleanliness, but I think we can all stand your stinkiness for the sake of saving little over 20 gallons per day. Twenty gallons! That would give drinking water to an entire village in Africa for, like, a month, for Jiminy Christmas!

Okay, can't give up the shower/day? I do 2 different things depending on the level of stinkiness I am up against (and I have a fairly high tolerance for not bathing):
1. I just wash my hair over the tub or in the kitchen sink with the sprayer (if said sink is clean of dishes, which is almost never), turning off the water in between latherings and rinsings, or
2. I get in the shower, wet down, wash my hair really quick and then apply conditioner, turn off the water, soap up and shave, and then rinse all off to squeaky clean-ness as fast as I can. I've heard this referred to as a Navy shower (well, without the shampoo and conditioner mess).

If you want more tips and info on ways to conserve water, there's a handy tip sheet here from The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating together and everything.
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