Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dirty Little Heathens

*moves soapbox to centerstage*

I begin typing this as the teenager next door’s shower passes the 20minute mark. And before I continue I will make the disclaimer that you will learn more about me in this post than I’m sure you want to.  But it’s for a good cause.  So have the eye-bleach ready, & your selective-reading glasses on.

I have never understood daily showers. Honestly. Never in my life have I felt the need to take a daily 10 minute shower. Ever.  Not even when I worked in the middle of the California desert for the National Parks (and not just for conservation purposes).  I just don’t get that dirty.
And it, to me, is just a colossal waste of water.  

For example, my best friend of 15 yrs is a stunning woman, just gorgeous. And not because she spends hours gussying herself up.  It’s not uncommon for her to take two showers a day, at least one of which is rather lengthy.  She’s always been that way. A lot of girls/women are.  In her defense, my friend is in the medical field (to control the flow of germs she must be clean) and has OCD, but my goodness!

What is the excuse for the girl next door?
The times have not changed so drastically in the decade since I was in high school to suggest that teenagers have become markedly dirtier in their time at school, and day thereafter to suggest they need half hour showers.  I have half a mind to inform the youth that in bootcamp you’re allotted 2 minutes to shower—and you get all the way clean! But I know such information would mean nothing to them--& might instead drive down enlistment rates further.
But back to the point: what in the hell are they doing in there so long? 

Now, I’m not without guilt.  My hair is insanely thick—thick enough that I have my sister thin it by over 50% twice a year, and still it takes me 5-7 minutes to wash it. But I multitask, while the hair is rinsing, or the conditioner is setting its recommended 2 minutes (which I double) I’m washing the rest of me.  And again, this is not daily.

Now, unscrew your faces and keep in mind that humans were never meant to bathe daily.  Your skin and hair produce oil necessary for health and maintenance. Washing it away everyday before its done its job is part of the reason people ‘need’ so many products: lotion, hair oil, etc. So by NOT bathing daily you’re saving water, allowing your body to better take care of itself and cutting down the products you use (and all the resources that went into making them). YAY!   I should also point out that using hot water isn't good for you either (not only because it dries out your skin, damaging it and making it harder to absorb that lotion you're slathering on--but think of all the energy you're using just to heat that water up! Warm water is better, cool water is best as its more easily absorbed). OH, and air-drying it the way to go--your body wants to suck in that moisture not have you wipe it (and skin cells) away (PLUS it saves laundry! Another bonus!) See people, what's good for the planet is very often good for you too!!

Also, for those who feel the need to continue daily bathing habits, why do you shower in the morning? If you truly believe you get filthy enough to need scrub off the day, why would you bring that to bed vs. washing it off before you climb into your nice comfy, cozy bed? If you need it to wake up try just splashing cold water in your face in the morning, and enjoy washing your sheets less.  :)  Bonus!

The world is changing. Unpredictably and uncontrollably. We all need to be conscious of our habits and how we are impacting the world around us. Water WILL become scarcer—in many parts of the world it already is.  **Click on the images on the left to get a better look of how such shortage will most likely affect you!** 
Soon it’ll be too expensive to indulge in 20 minute showers regularly, but why wait until then? Turning off the water while we brush our teeth is a good start, but there are lots of ways we can further reduce our water wasting.  Take a look at your daily routine and see how you can reduce your use. Even if it’s just fixing a leak. 

When I worked in a nursing home we had a constant leak in the kitchen—which I calculated to leak over 4,000 gallons of water a year. As soon as I gave management that number and they converted it to dollars it was fixed—in under an hour! Again, these are simple, EASY to incorporate changes that aside from helping the planet help your budget!!  And until the former becomes as important (more so!) than the latter, I will continue to emphasize that point!

***By the by, grand total shower time for the 15yr old next door: an absurd 44 minutes.

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