May 3rd, 2020
I've started taking three minute showers, in effort to save time and reduce water usage. Three minutes sounds an unusually short amount of time, but with the right practise and preperation, a short shower can be just as cleansing as a long one.
On average, a 10-minute shower uses 50 gallons (227 litres) whereas a 3 minute shower uses about 15 gallons (68 litres). Over a a month, that is a saving of 4,770 litres of water.
Honestly, my showers are way too long anyway. I probably spend about 15 minutes just standing there idly before I actually 'take a shower', lost in thought or dreaming up dream Netflix screenplay.
This for me is more about the time, with the added benefits of reducing our electricity bills and doing a little bit more to help our planet. To have a start and stop time is a disclipline, and keeps the morning routine going. An extra 5 minutes in the shower is about the same as pressing snooze for an extra 10 minutes sleep. It might feel better to do that at the time, but the benefits are marginal at best.
A combat shower (also known as navy, military or sea shower) is a way for me to make this sound cooler than it is, but also a method for showering that allows for significant saving of water by turning off the flow of water in the middle portion of the shower while lathering. Thank you Wikipedia and Google for that quick search...
The typical time for a combat shower is less than two minutes - using an initial thirty seconds to get wet, followed by shutting off the water and then lathering up with soap/shampoo. The last minute is used for rinsing off.
At the time of writing, a total of zero people have asked for advice on taking a 3 minute shower, but I'm going to share it anyway. Realistically, have probably skimmed over all this text.
Step 1 Get organised before you turn the water on. Place your soap, shampoo, conditioner, cloth and other shower necessities within easy reach. Lay your towel in a handy spot so you can reach it easily when you step out of the shower. It could be a cold one out there.
Step 2 Obviously remove your clothing and then turn on the water. While the water is heating (if it takes long) set a timer for 3 minutes. A waterproof smart watch or little hourglass is great for this.
Step 4 Wet your hair (unless you are bald like me, yay) and body and then shampoo your hair. Scrub your body while the conditioner is doing its thing. If you use a conditioner that stays in your hair more than a minute or two, turn off the water during that time. Sorry, I can't relate.
Step 5 Rinse your hair, letting the clear water run down to rinse your body. Rinse your body quickly to remove remaining soap.
Done. You have also saved a bunch of time and water.
If you find 3 minutes a bit steep, commit to a slighter larger window of time. The whole point is to time yourself, avoiding an eternity shower. Set a time, and aim to have the water turned off when that times ends.
Maybe one day I'll be one of those hard nuts that takes a cold shower, but until then I'll commit to my measly 'timed' shower.
Thanks for reading.