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How to Save Water by Taking a Shorter Shower

With apologies to the opera singers among us, there's almost nothing we do in a shower that can't be done in a few minutes less.


  • Step 1: Install a water-efficient showerhead. At about 2.5 gallons per minute, the showerhead will use less than 13 gallons for a five-minute shower—as compared to 30 to 50 gallons for a typical bath.
  • Step 2: Time your shower. Right before you jump in, set the timer to five minutes.
  • Step 3: Soap your limbs, wash your hair, shave your face, legs, whatever you like, and rinse. You'll be surprised how fast it goes if you don't dawdle.
  • TIP: Throw a bucket under the shower before turning it on. While you wait for hot water, you can collect water for your indoor plants.
  • Step 4: To save even more water, turn it off while you lather up. Taking a so-called "navy shower" saves a lot of water—just make sure not to rub your eyes.
  • TIP: Short hair can be quicker and easier to wash than long tresses. Haircut, anyone?
  • Step 5: Shower with a friend and cut the water you use in half. As the song says, "scrub the one you're with."
  • FACT: You might be "too clean"—studies show an accumulation of some bacteria is healthy for your body, so it's actually better if you don't shower every day.

You Will Need

  • A water-efficient showerhead
  • A kitchen timer
  • A household bucket
  • And readily accessible soap and shampoo
  • A close
  • personal friend

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