The scorching heat of summer is nearly here, which means more water required to hydrate our lawns and fill our pools. Up until a few years ago, I was one of those people who would tap into a seemingly endless water supply without care. I was that person in your life who would take forever in the shower. That all changed when I discovered the rising costs of water and was made more aware of the drought happening in California. It was a much needed wake-up call. Now I know better and have figured out ways to conserve resources.
These tips may just change the way you approach water usage. For those of you who love taking long showers, however, they may just ruin your day.
1. Time yourself.
First things first! I had to see exactly how much time it took me to shower. I timed myself and found that 17 minutes was about my average. That was 7 minutes over the 10 minutes I thought I was showering! I grabbed the kitchen timer and set it for 10 minutes to get myself back on track and to start saving precious dollars on my water bill.
2. Collect water while you wait for the tap to get warm.
I hate a cold shower, even after a sweaty workout. However, the hot water heater is on the opposite end of my house and it takes at least five minutes for it to warm up. That’s 7 – 10 gallons of water per minute! Now, I grab two buckets and fill them while my water runs and use them to water my plants and wash my dogs. If you want to get really creative, use the bucket of water to flush your toilet.
3. Turn off the water while you lather up.
Some people like baths, I love showers! It’s relaxing and gets my day started. Standing in a shower without the water running is a foreign concept to me, but circumstances dictate that I save money by conserving. Now, I turn off the water while I lather up and then turn it back on when I’m ready to rinse.
4. Reduce the amount of shampoo and conditioner you use.
My girls have very long hair and they go through a lot of shampoo and conditioner. Even though I get it almost free with coupons and sales, I still like to make each bottle last. Instead of just unconsciously pouring the liquid in their hands, I’ve asked them to reduce the amount.
5. Do your facial treatment before getting in the shower.
I’m guilty of counting the minutes for my hair treatment or facial mask while the shower is running. Now, I put my mask on my face prior to even turning on the shower. No more waiting in the tub to rinse.
6. Reuse your towel.
This has been one of the hardest habits I’ve had to change. I grew up showering with a fresh towel every day. When I got married, Hubby thought I was crazy to change out my towel like that. He voiced his reasoning for reusing his towel and now I, too, have conformed to this way of thinking.
7. Brush your teeth in the shower.
Brush your teeth while you’re rinsing off in the shower, and you’ll kill two birds with one stone! No more letting the water run while you sing “Happy Birthday” in your head.
8. Keep the shower curtain closed.
Making your shower curtain last longer should be a priority to save you money. After I take a shower, I always pull the curtain/liner closed. This allows the curtain to dry quicker, decreasing the amount of soap scum and mildew buildup. In addition, your shower curtain will need to be washed or replaced less frequently.
Bonus: Shower with a friend.
Ah, yes…showering with a friend. It’ll save you money and you don’t have to worry about scrubbing your own back!