Blank stares. That is what my simple statement was met with. Unrelenting disbelief that I had strayed so far from my newly greening roots. Within moments I was pelted with reactions ranging from outright condemnation to quiet cajoling to return to my senses.
Who knew confessing to a love of hot baths would be the start of such trouble?
Yes, I'll say it again. I'm a natural nerd and you can't make me take a cold shower. Isn't gonna happen, keep walking.
I know, I know. In a day and age where monastic simplicity is the new wave of fashion (oddly being sold from magazines offering Zen in ten easy payments), admitting to a perceived luxury is taboo. How wasteful. How thoughtless. Blog after blog are joining the cold shower movement, one Canadian writer (who I admire very much) has even gone so far as to research and decide to implement a Navy-style shower. Cold water, turned off, soap up, sluice off quickly, and leave the stall. How.... clinical.
When did enjoying life become verboten? For me, a bath is far more than the act of simply getting rid of the days dirt and dust. It almost always involves a book, something to drink kept near at hand, sometimes candles.... and often a towel shoved under the door to keep desperate kitty paws and toy mice from reaching out for my attention (hey, we all have our crosses to bear!). Its my chance to relax, unwind, let my overly active brain just chill for a few minutes. Frankly, most of my best writing comes out of a hot tub (For did the Great Pratchett not explain the phrase “Eureka” is merely Klatchian for “Where's my towel?”) and a bit of a soapy soak.
Where did being environmentally conscious mean we had to embrace a medieval hermit's lifestyle? Why is pleasure in the small things in life a bad thing?
Allow me a moment to present an argument skipping the shower train and sinking back into your tub.
A five minute shower uses roughly 12-15 gallons of water. Which means... the normal shower uses about 30. Let's face it, a minute or two is poured down the drain dickering around with the temp, if you have long hair it takes at least 5 minutes just to get IT rinsed, and that's after you soap up. You could... as the Prime Geek is wont to do, suggest buddying up for potential water conservation. But, frankly... it takes twice as long, somebody gets shafted in the warm water department... and if we're all honest adults here ultimately you end up preforming certain acts that require the use of a second shower for both parties (a long spiral of cause and effect will occur if the attempt to “share” is implemented at this point. That way lays madness.... fun madness. Madness I don't mind wallowing in once in a while... but madness all the same.). Hardly a savings to be found. And you run the risk of scaring the cats. Or breaking the soap dish.
A full tub of water? To capacity the big boys will hold 40 gallons MINUS the space taken up by your average adult. So... we're back to the 20-30 gallon range here. In other words, about the same as your “saving” shower. Toss in the capacity for relaxation – mental AND physical, the only quiet moment a lot of people get to themselves, and I think it seems to be a pretty good use of 25 gallons of water (we have a shallow tub.) But wait... there's more.
Hot water? In cold weather, don't send it back down the drain right away... that's a standing humidifier (electric free.... thank you very much) just begging to be used. Hot warm water also equals hot warm air... which means you can ratchet the temperature down a few degrees when you head to the bathroom. A hot bath before bed is not only relaxing, but if done right, means you are warm and toasty as you slip into bed... which means you can spin the thermostat down again. Another savings to be had. Warm body, cool house? Means if anyone else is sharing your abode, they are going to be searching out the one warm and toasty item in the house to cuddle up to. Wow, look at that. With the simple implementation of hot bath you've - humidified your house, warmed the floor which holds the bathroom, lowered your energy costs in heating, AND caused energy sucking lights to be turned off as you head for a serious cuddle.
Sounds like a brilliant environmental plan to me.