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. I live in Brisbane, Australia. We’re in the middle of a drought and have had water restrictions for ages! This means residents are restricted to 4 minute showers! Council even gave us timers to make sure we obeyed. It’s amazing how fast 4 minutes go, but we are totally water aware now. We also have a bucket in the shower, and use the water collected to flush the toilet and/or water the garden. Also have rainwater tanks for the garden. Never hose, unless from the rainwater tank, and that’s for doggy-washes, and occasional car-wash when the tank is full.

  2. Just stumbled upon this…count me in! Hoping to get my husband on board as well.

  3. I know I’m a little late, but I’m in! I’m going to convince my husband to cut his showers down, too.

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  5. I’m in! Now my teenager, that’s a different story. I will post a picture of this on the shower door and maybe he will cut his 30 minutes in half. Maybe!

  6. I’m in! This will be more of a challenge to me because showers are the only escape for me…but I’ll find something else!

  7. Okay! I’m signing up! This morning I tried your advice about turning the water off when I wasn’t getting wet/rinsing, and I don’t think I used any more than 5 mins of water. I bought myself a little timer today to be sure!

  8. I would be proud to join up and put the I’m having a quicke with the domesti crunchy goddess badge on my blog! This should be easy as I already practice the 5 minute shower or as I call it Seargent Ermy’s scrub down.

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  10. Ok, I’m so doing this one…great idea! How can I have the button so I can put in on my site and challenge my readers as well?

  11. This is a great idea!! I am on board with it! I just switched from daily showers to every other day to conserve water as well.

    5 min showers here I come.

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  14. Just wanted to say that while I already take really short showers (short hair and ‘neglecting’ to shave help!) I wanted to see HOW short so got one of those Shower Coaches (mostly for DH…he takes long showers.) I think my showers, including warm up water time, are about 3 minutes, but I love this gizmo. 5 minutes is PLENTY. thank you!!!

  15. Hi. I am a newer reader and just wanted to say I enjoy your site.
    We have been trying to cut down on our water usage and this challenge sounds like something else that will help!

  16. I’m in. I’m with Christina above: I often rush so I can check on my toddler. But I probably make up for it by taking a bath once a week or so. (I love my baths, so this might be really hard to give up.)

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  18. I’m going to try and do this. I also take baths and I know that’s not very eco but I have a chronic illness that leaves me in a lot of pain so I haven’t got a lot of choice but I do skip my shower the nights I take baths.

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  21. Count me in! although I’m horribly tardy in starting the process, I’m all for the conservation of the earth and its resources! I have learned (over many years) to shower, dress, put on my makeup and fix my hair in 15 minutes! (Living with men tends to make one hurry if one doesn’t want to be left in the dust)

    Yay for short showery goodness!

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  23. Hey All! I am hosting a giveaway on my blog. Prizes are a low flow shower head a shower timer, similar to the shower coach and a three areators. To enter, head over to my blog and leave a comment. that is all!

  24. Woooo! Quickies…..count me in! I love your blog, by the way. I just spent the last hour and a half reading your posts. Sounds creepy, I know.

  25. Recognizing that it’s already winding down toward the end of August, I’m in! :) I wish I’d seen this earlier. I’m already a pro at quickie showers, given that I’m generally rushing to finish before Sweetpea wakes up, but I will commit to keeping my showers as short as possible, and under 5 minutes!

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  27. Even turning off the shower there is no way to take a 5min shower if you have significant body hair. That’s after I replaced my low flow shower head with a real one.

    Some things are reasonable: as I also have significant facial hair, I do draw water into the sink and rinse my razor in that instead of running the water.

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  31. Hey all! So I’m late ((completely infact since it’s already over XD )) to join but I am! I don’t want to waste water like I do,besides my hair takes awhile to air dry,so this while add time to let it d so.

    I think I’ll challenge my highschool to try the ‘quicky shower’out.

    Save the future and peace out!

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  33. Well, my showers have always been speedy, and I felt suddenly like I was being left out: How could I participate in a new push to save water in the shower? Here’s how I did it: My water pressure is great. I found I could turn it down instead of standing under that blast and still get clean and shiny. And feel good about it to boot. I don’t know how much water I’m saving; it’s still an appreciable stream rather than a drip, but it makes me feel better knowing I’m in the game.

  34. I like the challenge. My husband likes baths and I take showers. So I will put the stopper in the next shower I take and see if it fills the tub as much as it does when my husband takes his bath. I bet I can take shorter showers if I just think about what I’m doing. I need to get a water-saving shower head too!

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  36. great idea! imagine how much water you can save if you take a one minute shower? I´ll start with a five minute shower and then let´s do it!

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