Is Taking a Bath Environmentally Friendly? Let’s Break It Down

It’s been a long weekend, you can’t wait to fill up your bath tub with hot water, throw in some bath salts, essential oils, maybe a bath bomb, turn on your favorite relaxing music, maybe something to drink, and even a book you’ve been enjoying. Sounds so innocent and so necessary right? However, it’s not as simple and environmentally friendly as you may think.

Baths in general are not considered environmentally friendly. An average bathtub uses about 30 gallons of water to fill up which requires a lot of energy to heat. Additionally, the result afterward is grey water (wastewater) down the drain.

So what’s the alternative, a shower? There are many factors to determine this, this article will cover which option is best and things you can do to be more eco-friendly next time you want to hop into the shower or take a bath.

Taking a Bath vs. Taking a Shower

It might sounds like an obvious answer which one is more environmentally friendly, a shower right? It’s not so simple, how long does the shower take, what is the showerhead pressure like, how hot is the water, do you wait for it to get hot when you turn it on or get in immediately, how often do you shower. All valid factors to consider before answering.

An average bathtub uses about 30 gallons of water to take a bath, but if you end up using 30 gallons of water to take a shower, then one is not better than the other. An average showerhead has a 2.5 (GSM) Gallon per minute) of water flowing, so to use less than 30 gallons of water the shower should be less than 12 minutes.

Which gets you cleaner?

With a shower, you have one purpose, and that is to clean yourself. With a bath, same goal of getting clean, but with a relaxing experience.

When you take a bath, depending on how dirty you are, you are essentially sitting in that filth. Some people would argue that you need to take a shower afterward, I hope this explains itself why its wasting more water. Taking both would definitely not be environmentally friendly.

How often should you be showering?

Showers also occur more than baths do. The majority of people shower every day, but is it necessary? It really does depend from person to person, and where you are in the world, there are different social norms.

What is your lifestyle like, someone that works outside or exercises daily may need to shower everyday, but someone that works from home and lives a sedentary lifestyle may not need to.

People have different skin types as well. Showering too often can dry out your skin, while not showering enough can lead to build-up. Not showering enough will also be unpleasant for people around you too.

There is not a universal answer for this, but its good to be aware if you’re just showering for the sake of showering.

What you can do to reduce waste for next time

  • Time your shower to see how long it takes, set an alarm so you’ll know to wrap it up. Focus on the important areas like the armpit, groin, and face.
  • Identify what kind of showerhead you have and trade it with a slower GSM (Gallons per minute) showerhead. To reach 30 gallons of water showering with a 1.5 GSM showerhead is 20 minutes.
  • Look for a WaterSense label.
  • Have some type of large basin or bucket to collect the cold water when you’re waiting, reuse in your house, water your plants or garden
  • If you didn’t use toxic bath soaps when you took a bath, after you’re done, use the water for your plants and garden

Why is Conserving Water so Important?

Water is a natural resource essential to life, every livelihood on the planet needs it to survive. Even though 70 percent of Earth is water, according to National Geographic, only 3 percent is freshwater and of that 3 percent, only 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water. So it’s not as unlimited as we think, especially if the water becomes polluted.

As the population increases we needs to make sure we have enough for the demand, and with climate change, we need enough for a drought. Drought effects our food, it harms the crops that need to be grown and for all the animals too. Water keeps our ecosystem whole.

Conserving water means less energy, and energy is used to provide a water source for our homes, companies, and communities. It means being responsible and using it wisely and making sure it can last a long time for generations to come.

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