Singing in the Shower A mysterious form shifts lazily, it looks relaxed, calm and peaceful. Suddenly an alarm blares and an arm shoots out from the unidentified mass. It flails about randomly, finally landing on the much adored “snooze” button. Shortly after a head pops out and the eyes, opening briefly, slam shut as the head retreats back into the warm blankets. “Time to get up, sweetie,” my Mum says encouragingly while flipping on the lights. “Come on, up and at’em.” I mumble something incomprehensible and try to ignore the red numbered glare of the alarm clock and its constant reminder that I should be awake. Eventually I swing back the blankets and head for the bathroom, attempting to make it from the warm bed to the hot shower in as little time as possible. Unfortunately the door to the bathroom is shut and I stand, staring blankly, at the opposing door. “Oh good, you’re up,” Mum says, busily getting ready for work. “Your brother is still in the shower, but I think he is almost done.” Ah, the perfect start to the perfect day, I’m sure, and if this sounds familiar to you, then I know you will sympathize. In fact if you are (or have been) the proud parent of a teenager or ever were a teenager, I’m positive you have encountered something similar. The problem is we as North Americans spend a lot of time in the shower: if you’re wrinkly when you get out, you’ve been in for too long. And generally people don’t have cold showers, so a ton of energy is used to heat these showers. Consequently, if we all had shorter showers we could save an enormous amount of energy. As implied before, teens especially spend a lot of time in the shower, and I confess that I too am one of those people. So why would I, an advocate for nice, warm showers encourage people to cut their time in there? Well there are three good reasons why. To put it simply, it saves money, water and energy. If you take a thirty minute shower every day using a regular shower head you are using about 331 601 litres (or for the metrically challenged, 72 941 gallons) per year. Now let’s not forget that all that water is heated. If you have kids I ‘m pretty sure you have seen the results of lengthy showers, and you are paying for it, literally. Especially with the economy going down the drain, we should all be looking for easy was to save money and why not choose one that also happens to be power smart. By shortening showers or inventing a shower head that controls the amount of time you spend in the shower, we can save a bundle. And if you’re concerned about how your kids will take the news, I suggest asking them to pay their portion of the water heating bill, and I’m sure they will see things your way soon enough. Another reason why having shorter showers is a good idea, is because it saves water. You know how when you were little and you refused to finish your dinner claiming you were full (it’s funny how we always decide to be ‘full’ when we’re eating brussel sprouts)? Your Mum would say “Come now dear, there are starving children in Africa, you shouldn’t take your food for granted.” Well the same thing applies to water. In poorer countries, like Africa, there is not even enough clean water to drink, let alone spend thousands of litres of water in a shower. So, we should all do like our mothers said and not take things for granted, especially something as important as water. Finally we come to the best reason why we should take shorter showers: it saves energy. Today people are thinking up all sorts of hare-brained schemes to save energy, but why not stick with something simple? Actions like turning of lights when you leave a room, an idea which has been drilled into my generation’s head since before we could even reach the light switch, have been stretched as far as they can go. So take action to conserve energy by doing something just as simple, but something that no one seems to think about: take shorter showers. While it is important for the leaders of our country to take action for the environment, the biggest change will be implemented by the average person. We need something new that is simple, available to the average person and inexpensive. Reducing time in the shower can be that new idea and it has the potential to conserve not only water, but to reduce water consumption and save us money. So whether you’re looking to make a change for the better, or just to save some money, try not to sing in the shower for quite so long.
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