I’m having a quickie – The Five-Minute Shower Challenge

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Inspired by challenges put forth by Crunchy Chicken, and in hopes of motivating myself and others to treat our planet better, I’ve decided to do my very own green challenge. Aren’t you excited?! I am. :) I hope that this will be the first of many challenges held here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

Now let’s talk water conservation. I saw a button on CafePress a few months ago that said, “If you think we have bad fights over oil, just wait until we start fighting over water!” And that, my friends, freaked my sh*t right out. I thought about my kids and their future and I knew I had to do something, anything right now.

Did you know that the average shower length is 8 minutes*? By reducing that to 5 minutes, you can reduce the amount of water you use by nearly one-third, or roughly 10 gallons per day. And that’s where this challenge comes in. I’m challenging all of my readers to reduce their shower time to 5 minutes. If you already take a 5 minute shower, perhaps you’ll consider cutting back a little bit more? Reducing the length of your shower by just one minute could save you up to 1,825 gallons** of water each year.

I honestly didn’t know how long my showers were lately. Some days I’m lucky to get one at all so it’s pretty darn short and sweet, other days I skip them on purpose (generally when I’m not leaving the house), and still other days (like when I have a migraine and the water beating on my neck feels good) I tend to linger in the shower a little longer than I should. I figured I spend on average about 5 minutes in the shower, but I got myself a handy Shower Coach timer (with a suction cup that sticks to the shower wall) to find out for sure.

My first timed shower, I rushed like a crazy woman to make sure I could do it in under 5 minutes. I got done in about 3 1/2. The next day I took a somewhat more leisurely approach and took the full 5 minutes. You definitely can’t dilly-dally, but 5 minutes is longer than I thought it would be and totally attainable.

So, what do you think? Can you commit to taking 5-minute showers (or shorter) for three months? Leave me a comment below to let me know you are participating in the challenge and I will add your name/link to a list of challenge participants in my sidebar. Feel free to join in the challenge any time over the summer. It’s never too late to sign up to make a difference.

I’m not going to be a total hard ass on this challenge. If you have a rough day and really need a longer shower (I’m talking like 8 minutes, not 15) every now and then to help you relax or whatever, you can still take part in the challenge. You just have to skip your shower the following day to make up for it. ;) I kid, I kid. Seriously though, it’s up to you to police yourself on this challenge. I will have a check in post at the end of the first week of June (on June 8) so everyone can chime in on how they are doing with the challenge, post helpful tips, share stories, ask for advice, etc. Then I will try to have another check in post every two weeks (on Sundays) so we can encourage each other and maybe even inspire more people to sign up. :)

Oh, and if you are looking for some bloggy bling, I’ve got this fun goofy totally suggestive catchy button (above) for you to proudly post on your blog if you feel so inclined. :) It will let others know about the challenge too. The more people join us, the better!

More Tips To Help You Conserve Water

In the shower:

  • Turn off the water while you are lathering up your body, washing your hair or shaving, then turn it back on when you need to rinse.
  • Replace your showerhead with a low-flow showerhead
  • While you are waiting for the water to warm up, catch it in a bucket and use it for watering your plants or garden or for flushing your toilet
  • Shower with a buddy ;)

Elsewhere in the bathroom:

While the challenge is officially only for the summer – June through August – it is my hope that you will keep up with the shorter showers and continue to conserve water year-round.

And now for the GIVEAWAY…

showercoach.jpegI’m giving away FIVE “Shower Coach” 5-minute sand timers, courtesy of USA Landlord. All you have to do to be eligible to win one is leave a comment committing to the challenge and your name will be entered into the drawing. Be sure to include a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

While you can sign up to take part in the challenge all summer long, the deadline for entering the contest is Saturday, May 31, 2008. The winners selected by Random.org and will be notified via email on Sunday, June 1.

If you don’t win a Shower Coach, you can buy one for less than $3 (plus use the coupon code CDG for 15% off any purchase from USA Landlord through the end of June) or buy a dinging kitchen timer the next time you are at Target, set your watch timer for five minutes, etc. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The earth, our children and I thank you for participating in the 5-minute shower challenge. :)

* GreenPrint Denver
** Utah.gov

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166 thoughts on “I’m having a quickie – The Five-Minute Shower Challenge

  1. Sure! I think it’s a great idea to save water whenever possible. I wishe the entire world could commit to this challenge. We would have a lot less problems if we all did this.

  2. I would be happy to comply to your request if you can get Al Gore to do the same. Have you see what his estate uses in utilities?

  3. I think this is a great idea, and I will take the ‘five minute shower challenge’!

    I have just started timing my showers, and I would say my average is about seven minutes.

    So I have a ways to go…

  4. How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too:

    1. Don’t have babies. (Too late? D’oh!)

    2. Have a vasectomy or tubal ligation.

    3. Take a thirty-minute shower every day as your reward for saving the world from at least one water user, and possibly hundreds of them. While you’re at it, feel free to eat meat, never recycle, wear leather, and drive a Hummer. Unless your hobby is dumping oil in the ocean, your sterilization has already done more good for the environment than *any* irresponsible behavior is likely to undo.

  5. The most environmentally conscientious person uses more resources than a nonexistent one. Any effort on the part of parents to teach environmental responsibility to their children can therefore be considered strictly remedial; the best thing they could have done for Mother Earth would have been not to add another human to her burden in the first place. Environmentalists who have children have already missed the boat.

    Of course, if one insists on reproducing, it does no harm to teach one’s children to take five-minute showers. But it’s delusional to think such enlightened children will do more good for the planet than sterilization would have. (Of course, I’m discounting the infinitesimal chance that a given child will grow up to solve an environmental problem.) It’s also delusional to believe that a person with children (who will likely go on to have children of their own, and so on) has more than a snowball’s chance in hell of competing environmentally with the childfree. That includes the childfree who are flagrantly wasteful, as I sometimes am.

    To illustrate: Let’s say you have two children who each have two children of their own. All four of the youngest generation opt to be childfree. (A highly optimistic scenario, from an environmental point of view.) You are therefore responsible for your own water use, and for that of the six humans who are your descendants. (The argument that you can’t be held responsible for the actions of your adult children, and certainly not for those of your grandchildren, doesn’t apply. It takes water to live. You knew that when you had babies.) Let’s say that for every day of their lives, all six of your descendants are perfect aquatic citizens, taking five-minute showers without fail. (For simplicity, I’m treating the periods of infancy and extreme old age as if they were the same as the rest of life.) Six five-minute showers a day, plus your own five-minute shower, equals thirty-five minutes of shower time a day. Even if I, a childfree man, let the water pound me for half an hour every day, without fail, until I die, I’ll be a better water conservationist than you by five minutes a day.

    Now let’s be realistic. How many parents only leave six descendants before their line ends? How likely is it that all of their descendants, or even half of them, or even a third of them, will give a rat’s ass about the environment? And how many childfree people actually take a 30-minute shower every day?

    If you have children—especially if you have more than two—please don’t make an ass of yourself by shooting me a dirty look when I emerge from my thirty-minute locker room shower. (Of course, if I’ve used up all the hot water, or if I’ve clogged the drain with an unidentified white substance, I’ll humbly accept your opprobrium.)

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  8. I will be honest, absolutely not. I can commit to shorter showers, but I have long, thick, super curly hair, I (literally) could not get all of my hair wet in less than 3 minutes, much less lathered, rinsed, and conditioned, and then there’s actually bathing, another 3-5 minutes (I happen to have a small shower, I could not possibly extend my arms even halfway standing in the middle, which believe it or not, adds time to my shower, trying to maneuver in a tiny space) I will commit to trying to get my time down below 30 minutes, though.

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  13. I am on board with the challenge. I believe that we should take care of our water for future generations.

  14. Try Hot Mess speed soap (google it). It’s spray soap foam that you spray on in the shower. Just spray it on once, rub in, rinse, and go. It’s even shaving and hair friendly, too!

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