Showering

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine told me how she saves water while showering.  She turns on the water, steps into the shower, gets wet, and then turns the shower off.  Then she shampoos her hair and lathers up.  When she’s ready to rinse, she turns the shower back on.  She learned to do this when she was a young girl and lived in a South American country where water was more expensive.  She does it now to consume less of the world’s water and to reduce her water bill.  Right now, I’m trying to do that with every other shower I take.  I try to give God thanks for hot water, to help my heart be thankful and not begrudging.  Perhaps in a little while, I’ll be ready to save water in the shower six out of seven times a week, joyfully.

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6 thoughts on “Showering

  1. I really like blog entries like this one that give practical advice. It’s encouraging to know that little things that you have dedicated to changing to living more justly. It helps gives me new ideas on feasible changes I can make. The short length of this entry also makes it easy to read.

  2. Here’s my gut reaction:

    “I live in Massachusetts, where there’s an unlimited amount of fresh water from rain which replenishes the ground water. What’s the point of saving water? By having no grass and living in the city, I automatically already have a lower water bill than most people in America. In terms of wealth and justice, it’s hard to see much argument for using less water in Massachusetts.

    I do see some benefit though to using less water in order to be more conscious of the water I have. For example, when vacationing in the southern mountains in Korea years back, I paid money to stay in a temple with no running water. I bathed by dipping a wooden bowl into a barrel that was filled by a bamboo pipe that diverted a trickle of water from a mountain stream. The water was crystal clear and ice cold. But every bowl of water I poured down my back felt like a gift from God as I washed myself every evening after a long day’s hike through the mountains. There’s something pure about cherishing small amounts of God’s creation at a time. Kinda analogous to the way the French eat their food.”

  3. It often seems that there’s a tension (or is it just a disconnect?) between the external economic and internal attitudinal effects of any single attempt at simplicity. Like Mike, I am sceptical that spartan showering saves much on the water bill. (Mako, would you like to do the calculation for us for the fun of it?) But if it helps your heart “be thankful and not begrudging,” then who can begrudge the practice? Forgoing morning coffee from Starbucks and the like would certainly save more money, but should I do it if it makes me into a grump? Perhaps in evaluating which practices give us the most “bang for our buck” we really need to look at both sides: which help the world or the poor the most, and which help our hearts the most? Grace and peace, –R

  4. Interesting. I don’t understand NOT turning off the shower while you apply shampoo or soap. Doesn’t the running water just wash your soap away?

    I think the only way to actually get clean is to turn off the water. 🙂

  5. I remember hearing a sermon about consciously choosing to being with fellow Christians in times of hardship, places of suffering, and even uncomfortable and difficult circumstances. This sounds like a great way of practicing such a discipline. Once again, it’s about what each individual is seeking …whether it’s reducing costs, being a conscientious consumer, or being a more thankful prayer partner.

    On the practical, flip side, when I was younger, our shower head had a nifty nob that allowed us to reduce the water flow to a trickle so that when we were ready to rinse off, we would not get blasted by a couple seconds of cold water as the water heated up again.

  6. I think of how much energy (electricity, natural gas, gasoline for work trucks, etc.) is consumed by the water reclamation company my boyfriend works for and wonder if they had less water to process for reclamation (if everyone in the D.C. area were to shower like this) how quickly we would see a difference in the natural resources consumed in this metro area?! I imagine it would be significant.

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