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DIY Water Conservation: The Case for Showering Less

Is there such a thing as being too clean? Some argue that when our water supply is at stake, there is.

DIY Water Conservation: The Case for Showering Less

With 14-percent of the contiguous United States now experiencing drought, there’s good reason to adapt ways to reduce water waste in your household. If that means showering less, so be it.

Data from 2011, according to Statistica, shows the U.S. using 1,630 cubic meters per capita of water, followed by Estonia at 1,400, New Zealand at 1,190 and Canada at 1,130. Germany, by contrast, used just 400 cubic meters and Great Britain an eye-watering 140. Americans are leading the pack — which for once isn’t a good thing.

Beyond saving you a bundle on your monthly water bill — in some parts of California, you can be fined for using more than your fair share of H20 — medical evidence shows that we probably shower way more than we have to.

Dr. Marie Jhin, a dermatologist in San Francisco, points to American Academy of Dermatology guidelines and says that most kids under the age of 11 need to bathe just once or twice a week or when they get muddy or swim in public pools or lakes. Babies “probably only need to bathe a similar amount, even less,” she says, adding that parents shouldn’t mess with infants’ natural skin oils by exfoliating them too much.

Teens get a bit oilier and tend to play more sports, so “once a day is a good” guideline, she says. But folks in their 20s to 50s can cut back to every other day and even less as they get older because elderly skin tends to dry out. I know, I know, good luck trying to get a teenager to shower more than his or her parents…

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Jhin notes that our greatest enemy is often habit.

We have to fight our ingrained desire in hop in the shower each morning (or if you’re like me, before bed.) To start the un-learning process, Jhin suggests taking shorter showers and using less shampoo and soap so that there’s less to wash off.

Brief your family on your water conservation goals and enjoy the satisfied feeling of knowing that you’re doing your part to protect and preserve our planet’s precious natural resources — and some extra money in your pockets.


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