Live Green and Earn Points


Use a shower timer

By Recyclebank |
Take shorter showers with these inexpensive, handy devices that cut your wash-up time by helping you discern your average shower length.
Do you find yourself showering yourself wrinkly? If so, your shower habits may be driving up your monthly water heating bill, two-thirds of which goes toward that hot water used to rinse awake every day. Slow the flow by using a shower timer — you'll save cash ($99 per year!), 15 to 20 gallons of water per shower, and 350 pounds of annual CO emissions, too.[1]

How to have shorter showers

Using a timer to cut your shower time will get you on your way to saving water and energy, but these tips will move you even closer to your goal.

  • Bypass the warm-up: Don't start the water running and then walk away while it heats up — you'll waste loads of water and energy. Instead, time how long it takes to get to warm and don't let it go longer than that. Save even more water by having a bucket handy to catch the cold water until you're ready to get in. You can then use that water to nourish houseplants or your garden.
  • Skip the extras: brushing — these rituals don't really require your whole body to be soaked with water, so get them done before or after your shower time.
  • Upend a bucket: Shower navy style! How, you ask? Get in and get wet, then shut off the water while you lather and condition. Next, fill a bucket with water and use it to rinse. Repeat if necessary. If you can't hack this frugal washing method, try a showerhead with a shut-off valve so you can at least slow the flow while you soap-up.
  • Cool it down: Shower polar bear style by keeping the temp low — guaranteed you'll move faster!
  • Crank some tunes: Having a hard time shaking off that morning sleepiness? Try putting on some tunes to get you moving. Even better, pick a song that's five minutes or less — when it's over, so is your shower.
  • Buddy up: Shorten your overall wash time by sharing the shower with a partner or friend. As long as you don't goof off too much, you should be able to cut your water and energy use nearly in half.

Find it! Shower timers

A simple egg timer with a buzzer set on the bathroom counter would certainly do the trick, but if you want a shower timing specialist, these options are fun and functional (i.e. waterproof). Once you've bought one, get to cutting that shower time. Start by figuring out how long you actually take on average, and when you've got a baseline, decrease the time you're in there by 30 seconds every week. Your goal? Get your time down to five minutes or less.

Taking shorter showers helps you go green because…

  • It cuts down on overall water used to get clean.
  • You'll save loads of heat-related energy.
Daily water usage in the typical single family home is 69.3 gallons, with showers accounting for 16.8 percent of total indoor water use. After washing machines and dishwashers, showers are the third-largest water guzzler in the home.[2] Water and energy conservation can be achieved in part by shortening the length of time spent in the shower. Some 85 billion gallons of water per year could be saved if everyone in the United States used just one less gallon of water per shower each day.[3] Navy showers can save the average person up to 15,000 gallons of water every year.[4]

Most regular showerheads installed before 1992 have flow rates of up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute, which means that a shower greater than five minutes in length typically uses more water than a bath.[5] In a typical shower, approximately 73 percent of the water used is hot water, which inflates water heating costs in the home. Two-thirds of all water heating energy goes toward that which is used for showers.[6]

External links


  1. Stop Global Warming - Take Action!: Take Shorter Showers
  2. - American Waterworks Association: Water Use Statistics
  3. County of Maui Dept of Water Supply - 55 Facts, Figures, & Follies of Water Conservation
  4. TreeHugger - Navy Showers: Water Saving Goes Hardcore
  5. California Energy Commission - The Consumer Energy Center: Shower vs. Bath
  6. Energy Information Administration - The Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook 2003: Legislation and Other Federal Programs
Share with Your Friends & Family
  • tommy b. 5 years ago
  • donna s. 6 years ago
    we can no longer have the luxury of wasting water. soap up quickly and rinse. also saves energy on heating the water.
  • Robert M. 6 years ago
    Take shorter showers!
  • Donna C. 6 years ago
    Unless you sweat a lot, most people don't need to bath every day. Just wash the important parts. Uses about a gallon of water. This helps prevent the dry skin in the winter. Ask your doctor.
  • lindy C. 6 years ago
    take your showers at work , if their is a shower available.
    that will save you a lot of time and money on your power and water too
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