Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Frugal Shower

I've shared before that I live in a drought stricken country. Because my country's water supply is getting lower and lower, my government has raised the price of water to exorbitant amounts in the efforts to get us to cut back drastically on our water usage.
Even with these insanely high prices, with a little effort at conservation, I still managed to make my last water bill be only 1/6th of my original bill. How did I manage to do that?
The two biggest changes I made were conserving water while washing dishes and having everyone in our household take a frugal shower.

Frugal Showers

This method of showering is perfect for people looking to reduce their water usage, either because of environmental reasons or because they're trying to minimize the amount of their water bill. (In our case, its a little bit of both.) Growing up, my dad used to call these submarine showers (what they'd do in submarines to ensure that their fresh water supply would last a while), but I never really put this practice into use until more recently.
Long, luxurious showers and hot baths are just that- a luxury. I do enjoy a good soak in the tub or steamy water cascading on my shoulders and therefore, its taken me a bit of time to take the plunge and reduce my usual 15 minute showers to the ultimate, water saving, frugal shower.

The Method
Get undressed and enter the shower stall. Turn on the water (if you need to let the water run while it heats up, collect this water in a bucket for usage for other purposes- water down the drain is money down the drain) and get your whole body wet.
Turn off the water. (Yes, I do mean turn it off. Why have the water running when you're not even using it?)
Shampoo your hair. Soap up your whole entire body.
Turn on the water (again, if you need to let it run for it to heat up, collect that water- I'll explain what to do with it in a future post) and rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
If needed, turn off the water while you condition your hair. Turn on the water again to rinse the conditioner out.
While rinsing out your hair, in most likelihood, you've also managed to wash the soap off your body. If still needed, rinse off the rest of your body. Turn off the water, towel off, and you're all done!
In most cases, you will have used a fraction of the original amount of water you would be using for showering. With this method, you will save more or less water (and money), with the variables being how many people in your household shower, how frequently they shower, and the length of the hair of the people showering (longer hair takes much longer to rinse out than hair cut to a buzz cut).

Other Methods
You can also save money showering by eliminating shampoo and conditioner- details to follow.
Another touted method of reducing your water usage in the shower is the lower the water pressure. I do not utilize this method as I've discovered that I end up using more water this way because it takes me much longer to wash my hair in reduced pressure, but if this method works for you, I'm glad to pass it on.

Have you ever taken a submarine shower? What do you do to ensure a more frugal shower?

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