Going One Wetter!

The wetter the better?

The wetter the better?

I recently challenged myself to ‘Go One Better’  – to conduct an examination of my lifestyle and identify simple improvements which I could make, and more importantly stick to, which will make a difference.  I began with a commitment to eliminate at least one regular car journey and replace it by cycling.  Given the title of this post you could be forgiven for thinking that I’m going to attempt a cheerful defence of pedalling in the rain, not so.
With all going well with the cycling it was time to turn my attention to other things.  Once you start to think about ‘going one better ‘the problem is not so much what to tackle, but where to start.  I decided to start by examining my daily routine, working from morning onwards.
To say I’m not a morning person doesn’t even come close.  According to my family I don’t wake up – I defrost.  Putting myself in the microwave isn’t an option (though it’s a tempting proposition for family I suspect) so I tend to thaw out in the shower.  I’d always resented the hammering on the bathroom door and pleas for speed, evidence of their tendency toward exaggeration.  ‘You always take forever’ being conclusive proof of their impatience, as I was never in longer than a couple of minutes.
I’m probably not alone in the belief that showering is guilt free as it beats having a bath hands down but having recently read about the water consumption of some modern showers – up to 20 litres per minute in the case of some power showers-  I thought I’d better check it out.  Over 65% of UK domestic water usage is in the bathroom. It’s also the place where we use a lot of hot water. By reducing our shower usage to the recommended level – according to Waterwise this is about 35 litres – we can save both energy and water costs. The arrival of the ECO Showerdrop Shower Meter here at Ethicalsuperstore was going to be my opportunity to put this to the test.
During the simple set up of the the ECO Showerdrop I learnt that my shower dispenses water at a rate of 1 litre every  9 seconds – that’s  6.66 litres per minute.  This would give me a time of 5 minutes and 15 seconds to stay within the 35 litre guideline.  Simple.  When the alarm sounded prematurely I was perplexed, I wasn’t even close to reaching for the towel.  I forced myself to finish quickly, not driven by guilt but curiosity – I needed to find the instructions and work out where I’d gone wrong.   To add insult to injury I’d actually read the instructions in the first place.
Having retrieved the instructions, and engaged the stopwatch mode on my wristwatch I was ready to discover the error of my ways.  But before I had the chance to get back in the bathroom I heard the sound of the door closing.  My pleas in the name of research fell on deaf ears and I heard the sound of the shower begin.    After a few minutes (four minutes and 5 seconds to be more precise – well I did have the stopwatch handy) my teenage daughter emerged, informing me that her shower had used just 27 litres.  A quick check of the maths indicated that the Showerdrop was working fine – my perception of time however wasn’t.
It’s going to be more of a challenge this time to go one better – giving up the hassle of the car for the simplicity of the bike wasn’t a huge sacrifice – shortening my morning shower is going to require more commitment.  However with the Showerdrop and the realistic opportunity to save on energy and water to prompt me I’m more confident of success.
It’s early days but I have to say that the addition of the Showerdrop has had the surprise added benefit of promoting a far more harmonious and stress free start to the day, acting as referee (or should that be time keeper?).  Maybe even the neighbours will appreciate it too as it certainly makes the start to the day quieter!

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