Thursday, February 10, 2011

lather and rinse

I read an article on the web a short while ago. Apparently there's a trend for people to not shower everyday. The argument went that getting up in the morning, driving to work, working all day without sweat, then driving home and crashing on the couch means you've effectively not dirtied yourself, so there was no need to shower.

Now before you puke in your mouth, I as a kid in Hong Kong didn't shower everyday either. During the colder winter months, I showered every other day. The days that I didn't shower, I had my feet washed.

Frankly, I somewhat have to grudgingly agree that it's the right thing to do. If you don't sweat, and you don't poo (many people are in this category, I know this!), then the idea that you're not dirty might hold.

That said, I gel my hair pretty much everyday, so the idea of not washing it out is simply very gross to me. Plus, I attempt to still work out everyday, and for sure, I sweat - even if just a little.

So not showering every evening is near impossible for me.

I often think about global resources and what it means to be resource rich. Is Canada a country with an abundance of natural resources that the world need? I read that 60% of all fresh potable water is to be found in Canada, so when we flush our toilets, or wash our hands in scented soap, someone, somewhere, possibly is that much more dehydrated.

I look at the way I shower. For me, especially during the winter months, a hot shower is a great way to rejuvenate body heat. Anyone that knows me knows I have Biblically cold feet. People can actually feel the cold air emanating from my feet, like a human air conditioner. It's quite miserable during the winter.

I not only like taking 20 minute showers, but I will also brush my teeth in the shower too. It's a wondrous joy to do so.

However, each time I look at the drainage at bottom of the tub, I keep thinking about people who don't have simple and easy access to fresh water - and it saddens me that I'm wasting and polluting our own water source, simply by taking a hot, hot shower.

So I've now completely changed my ways. I do all this to save a bit of water for you, and well me. (Use less, pay less.)

First, I brush my teeth at the sink, but without clothing. While this makes me feel pretty dang cold, the not-as-hot water I now use feels that much warmer. That's also 3 minutes of water I used to waste by standing under the shower, no more.

Second, I jump in the shower, rinse from head to toe, making sure all body parts are wet. I then turn off the water, shampoo my head.

Third, I use body wash and a plastic sponge thing to get me lathered up. I find this combination produces the best lather without the need to use a lot of soap. I'm unsure of course how much less suds a bar of traditional soap produces, and I don't have an argument as to why I don't try a bar of soap, but body wash is what I have now.

Forth, I soap my face.

Finally, after all that, I then turn the water back on, to rinse off, and emerge from the shower, fresh and clean. All this, under 5 minutes.

How do I know? I time myself. I have a ventilation fan in the bathroom that has a timer, and I set it to 5 minutes. I step out of the shower before it shuts off.

The secondary benefit? I use less electricity. Since the 5 minute shower does not produce a significant amount of steam, I don't need to keep the fan on for longer periods of time to air out the bathroom.

Win/win for everyone, and I still feel fresh (and smell) clean.

Yeah for me.

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