Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Keep Showers Short

A survey, using innovative technology, has offered an insight into people's showering habits.

The average shower lasted eight minutes - much longer than previous studies suggested, using almost as much water and energy as the average bath.

The information was compiled from "data loggers" that recorded 2,600 showers by 100 families over a 10-day period.

The survey was carried out by producer Unilever, which wanted to find out how people were using their products.

According to the data, an eight-minute shower used 62 litres of hot water, compared with an average bath's 80 litres.
And, it suggested, that if people were using a power shower - an appliance that adds extra pressure to the water flow - then an eight-minute shower would require twice as much water and energy as a bath.

"Most people have now got the message that, generally, taking a shower is more environmentally friendly than a bath, but what this research shows is this is not necessarily the case," she told BBC News.

Dr Owen, who produced "eco action trump" cards to help people understand the environmental and economic impact of everyday activities, said that she recommended that people took four-minute showers.

"People always consider the running costs of cars and phones, but no-one considers the running costs of everyday appliances such as showers, washing machines and TVs."

The survey suggested that taking eight-minutes showers would cost an average UK family £416 a year; using a power shower would see the annual bill soar to £918.

"Water companies often give away timers that help you limit your time in the shower and attachments are available to fix to your shower head that will reduce the flow but not the bathing experience," she explained.

"If you are partial to singing in the shower, pick a short pop classic to shower to; and when lathering up think about turning the flow off until you are ready to rinse."

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