Taking showers is an essential part of our daily routine. However, showering uses a significant amount of water and energy. With some simple changes to your showering habits and equipment, you can reduce your water and energy consumption while still enjoying refreshing showers.
Take Shorter Showers
The most impactful way to reduce water usage is to take shorter showers. Most experts recommend limiting shower time to 5-10 minutes. Here are some tips to take shorter showers:
- Set a timer or alarm to keep track of how long your shower lasts. Trying timing your normal shower to get a baseline, then work to reduce duration.
- Have a plan for your shower routine to keep focused and avoid wasting time. Prioritize washing tasks that require more water first.
- Install a waterproof Bluetooth speaker or shower radio to stay entertained and motivated to finish quicker. Singing or dancing can make short showers more fun!
- Consider switching to navy showers – turning off water while lathering up soap and shampoo. This pause doesn’t reduce comfort but saves water.
Taking just one minute less in the shower can save up to 2 gallons of water per shower!
Install Water-Saving Showerheads
Replacing your existing showerhead with a low-flow showerhead can significantly reduce water usage while showering. Low-flow showerheads use less than 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), versus average showerheads which use 2.5 GPM or more.
Benefits of low-flow showerheads:
- Use 30% to 60% less water than standard showerheads
- Newer models maintain great water pressure and feel
- Easy 15-30 minute DIY installation with standard tools
- Inexpensive – models start around $10 USD
Look for the WaterSense label when choosing a new showerhead. WaterSense labeled models are independently certified to use 20% less water and perform well.
Take “Navy Showers”
“Navy showers” refer to the water-saving shower method used on naval ships. The technique involves:
- Turning on water to get wet
- Turning off water while lathering up with soap
- Turning water back on to rinse off
This stops water waste while letting soap sit on your body. You may even find your showers more productive by using this time to reflect or plan your day.
Navy showers can reduce your shower water usage by 50% or more while still providing comfort and hygiene.
Reduce Shower Frequency
Most dermatologists recommend limiting showering to once per day, or every other day for some people. Showering too frequently:
- Strips healthy oils from skin and hair
- Can dry out and irritate skin
- Damages hair follicles over time
Try gradually extending time between showers to allow natural oils to replenish. Brushing teeth, washing hands and face, and using deodorant can help you feel fresh between showers.
Unless you are visibly dirty or sweat extensively, most people do not need to shower more than 3-4 times per week.
Install a Low-Flow Faucet Aerator
A simple low-flow faucet aerator can further reduce water waste while you use the shower. Aerators mix air into the water flow to maintain pressure while lowering volume.
Benefits of low-flow aerators:
- Reduce water flow to 1.5 GPM or less
- Maintain good water pressure
- Easy 5 minute DIY installation
- Cost under $10 USD
Install low-flow aerators on sink faucets in bathrooms with showers. Reducing sink usage while showering saves more water.
Making small changes to your showering routine, equipment, and frequency can lead to major water savings over time. Using a combination of these conservation tips can allow you to save thousands of gallons per year without sacrificing hygiene. Focus first on reducing shower duration before making other changes. Investing in water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators provides ongoing savings. Try to shower only when necessary, and enjoy navy showers in between. With a little planning, you can do your part to conserve while still enjoying refreshing showers.