Relearning How to Shower

Shower head

When living in an RV full-time, a honey wagon is needed by those without a sewage connection.When living in an RV full-time, and it doesn’t have a sewer system connection, you need to be very conscious of your water usage. Any water brought in must be taken out via the storage tanks. Because we wanted a site by the creek, we knew we’d be reliant upon the weekly services of a honey wagon. Every Monday morning, the honey wagon hooks up and drains our three tanks—one black water tank (toilet, 50 gals.) and two grey water tanks (sinks and shower, 85 gals.).

In the shower this morning, as I scrubbed my hair with my eyes closed, I could hear the birds loudly chirping. The water from the showerhead was off, and through the skylight the sun was filling the enclosure with bright light. It is going to be a beautiful day the red-winged blackbirds were telling me. I used to spend 15 minutes in a stream of hot water, but now I am usually in and out in about eight. And with the promise of such gorgeous weather, I didn’t feel deprived. I can’t say the same on a cold winter day. Liv

Accidently Going Green

To be honest, I never used to give much thought to water usage. At some point, I did learn to turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth. I also felt good about trying to run the dishwasher only when it was full. And finding a dripping tap always caused thoughts about how wasteful the person was being. Therefore, whenever I heard something about its conservation, I self-righteously thought, no problem, got it covered.

But this changed over the last year when a Swedish teenager raised my climate change awareness to the sky, and the associated guilt. I’ve learned that small homes are more environmentally friendly in many ways, and bolstered my feelings that living in an RV full-time was the right way to go. But not only for us.

Showering a New Way

I recently did a bit of research to see how much water a person uses per day. Most of the newer information indicates that, on average, a person uses 55 gallons per day. I then narrowed in on the numbers only related to our grey water tanks. It appears that folks typically use two gallons per minute in the shower.

Due to our lack of sewage hookup, how we showered needed to change. It is no longer as simple as, turn on the water, lather and scrub, rinse, and turn off the water. Nope! Now it consists of:

  • Turn on the water and wet down body
  • Turn off the water
  • Lather up and scrub
  • Turn on water to rinse body and wet hair
  • Turn off the water
  • Lather up and scrub hair
  • Turn on water to rinse hair
  • Turn off the water

I’m not so big – yet – that it takes me a full minute to wet down my body and hair. And even if it did, that equals two gallons; rinsing, another two gallons. So instead of averaging 30 gallons of water for my former 15-minute, hot shower, it’s now only about four. With two of us following the same routine — minus the hair washing for one of us, 60 gallons drops to eight.  That’s an 86% reduction in water usage! Living in an RV full time

Hand Washing Gone Viral

Water running as hands are scrubbed.I cringe whenever I see a faucet gushing out water, as someone demonstrates how to wash our hands during this time of the pandemic. As they meticulously scrub their hands, the water continues to stream out in the background. That’s at least two gallons per hand wash, and how many gallons per day? You can often use your wrist or a towel to turn off the faucet as you scrub

Please turn off the tap while you wash—and make Greta proud.

6 thoughts on “Relearning How to Shower

  1. Tess says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for the reminder! We just installed a water saving shower head. Your showering method was taught to me on my first visit to Germany in 1987. Ralph’s uncle was very much a conservative with our natural resources. Keep up the good writing and conservation!

  2. Judy Paschall says:

    This is great news and information. I was thinking about a drought we had more than 35 years ago. We were not allowed to water the garden or lawn unless it came from a well dug on your property. It was a chore but we managed. I will use these instructions and conserve water! Thank you!

  3. Kim says:

    I never thought about water until I started watching Alaska the Last Frontier and following the Kilchers. Jewel in her bio talks about being horrified the first time she saw someone brushing their teeth while the water ran. It really made me think.

  4. Terry Witowsky says:

    Thanks for a thought-provoking article and a reminder to conserve water, Cindy. Since reading it, I’ve been more mindful about shutting off the faucet when washing hands and brushing teeth.

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