Most of us know that showers (apart from power showers) use less water than baths, but there are other things you can do to make your shower a little greener. There’s no need to buy expensive plastic gadgets to time your shower. It’s far better to just relax and enjoy your shower, and use these simple tips instead.
Handmade soaps are great, but tend to go squidgy after a few uses, requiring a slatted soap dish to store them in. Soap on a rope is a good alternative, as you can hang it up in the shower after use, and let gravity do the work to keep it dry between uses. Soap Daze offers a nice range of plant-based soaps that are free from palm oil, all with hanging ropes and in paper packaging.
Avoid aromatherapy essential oils for pregnancy/nursing (and medical conditions like epilepsy and asthma). Avoid rosemary & citrus oils for high blood pressure. Avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
Plastic-Free Shower Puffs
Most shower puffs are made from nylon, so bits of plastic can break off in the shower and get washed into the sea (most also are sold with plastic tags).
If you want a plastic-free version, this cotton scrim shower puff is handmade with a recycled cotton hanging rope, to hang up to dry between uses. The loose woven fabric creates a rich lather, and the coarse weave offers a gentle exfoliation. Ensure it’s thoroughly dry between uses (due to the difficulty in getting shower puffs dry, 98% of dermatologists say it’s best to just shower with your hands).
This exfoliating shower mitt is made from ethically-sourced cotton. The heavyweight design means there is no need to buy plastic tubs of exfoliating creams. Sent in brown card packaging.
Switch to a Greener Shower Gel
Most showers gels are packed in plastic, and contain fragrance oils, which don’t biodegrade when they wash down the drain. This creates algae bloom in our rivers and seas, which chokes oxygen out of the water, and harms marine creatures.
Instead, choose a natural shower gel made with real ingredients. SOP Bergamot & Black Pepper Body Wash is by a company (‘sense of place’) that names its products after Norfolk words (this one is ‘dene’ for a sandy stretch of coastline). It contains bergamot oil (to reduce stress) and black pepper oil (to improve circulation). It’s packed in a recyclable aluminium bottle, and is available in a travel size. Avoid aromatherapy essential oils for pregnancy/nursing. Avoid glass bottles in the shower, as it’s not safe to handle with wet hands.
How to Make Your Own Shower Gel
You can make a simple shower gel, by purchasing an Earthkind Soap Saver Shower Bag. Just use it to collect slivers of leftover soap, then use the hessian jute side to exfoliate, and the soft cotton towel side, to foam up the soap. After use, remove the soap and wring the bag dry, put the soap slivers back in, and hang to dry. You can machine-wash the bag every couple of weeks, and compost it at end of use.
Switch to a Greener Shower Head
If you have a modern shower, likely it’s pretty water-efficient already. if not, it may be worth installing a low-flow showerhead that basically mixes air with the water, to give the same ‘rain water’ effect, but uses a lot less water. You should be able to buy these from any good DIY store – Mira is a good brand.
If you find the flow is low, it’s also a good idea to check if it’s simply the shower head that needs cleaning. Place the shower head in a container or the sink (away from pets and children) and cover it with white vinegar, then soak for 30 minutes to an hour (no longer than 30 minutes for brass). Rinse with water, and you should find any limescale or clogged areas have disappeared.
We all hear that it’s best to ‘take a shorter shower’. But in truth, the above tips have more effect,. If you enjoy a nice shower in the morning, go for it. Taking care of yourself, is the best way to have reserves to take care of others. It’s not like a bath (where you’ll be there for 20 minutes). If you want to get ambitious, take a ‘navy shower (sailors used to do this to save water, you simply turn off the shower while lathering up, only using the water to rinse down).