Summer shower hacks to save water (and cut your energy bills!)
When summer days heat up, many of us start saving water without even thinking about it. How? By taking fewer baths! A loll in a hot bath isn't quite so tempting when the temperature outside's a steamy 30°C or more...
So, with most of us switching to showers only during summer, let's find out how to up our water saving game when we're washing. And, don't forget, the more hot water we can save, the lower our energy bills!
Healthy skin? Shiny hair? It's all about that water temperature
Did you know that really hot baths and showers can 'overclean' our bodies, stripping away natural protective oils and leaving the skin dry and prone to infection? Set the temperature closer to lukewarm for a gentler clean and clearer, flake-free skin.
For an invigorating boost to the blood circulation, healthier pores and super shiny hair, as well as another saving on your water heating energy bill over the year, do as James Bond does and rinse off in cold water. Go on, grit your teeth for 30 seconds and think of 007... we promise you'll be buzzing all morning!
Extra green tip: Keep a bucket or large watering can to hand in the bathroom. Fill it up while you run your shower to the right temperature. Use on houseplants, the garden, for mopping the floor or even for flushing the toilet!
Ditch the loofah... oh, and the shower gel!
Good news: we can minimise the time spent in the shower this summer by cutting down on the expensive body washing paraphernalia – and we'll likely have healthier skin for it.
All that gear that we use to scour our bodies on the daily? Full of nasties. That's right – when we diligently rough ourselves up with cloths, puffs, mitts, sponges and loofahs, instead of cleaning ourselves we're rubbing a hair-raising, pore-infecting cocktail of bacteria, yeast, mould and more into our poor skin.
Many dermatologists recommend avoiding harsh shower scrub 'implements' and drying shower gels entirely. Why not start a new summer regime, as recommended by independent skin experts? Wash down daily with a bar of soap foamed up in your hands and use a gentle body scrub a maximum of twice weekly, or once weekly on areas that you shave.
>> Soaps: For a non-drying formulation, look for a natural bar soap with as few ingredients (and minimal packaging) as possible – African black soaps with moisturising shea butter are a popular choice. Whichever you choose, you'll be glad to hear that bar soaps are sanitary and can be shared if need be.
>> Body scrubs: Effective natural body scrubs can be whipped up in just a few minutes from the stuff most of us have in our kitchen cupboards right now. Hello Glow has a great mix-and-match inspiration page to get you started!
Extra green tip: To maximise your water and energy savings, take a minute to wet your hair and body, then switch the water off. Lather up with soap and shampoo (save packaging with a long-lasting bar shampoo!), then fire up the shower again to rinse.
Ignore what it says on the back of the conditioner
Ever spend more time in the shower because the conditioner bottle told you to wait a certain number of minutes for the product to 'penetrate' the strands?
Happily for your water usage and energy bills, you can ignore this (cough!) advice, as by the time you get to the conditioning step your hair will already be swollen with water and so the best the conditioner can do is to coat the hair's surface. Leaving the conditioner on for ten seconds or ten minutes makes no difference, so why not save time in the shower and cut the amount of water going down the drain?
With all standard conditioners, simply apply to your wet hair, massage briefly from scalp to ends and rinse.
Extra green tip: Take the four-minute shower challenge. Line up one of your fave four-minute tunes on your phone, pop it into the dry sink for amplification, press play and head into the shower. Can you be washed and water off before the track fades out?
do you keep your shower time down to a minimum? Share your tips and
comments with us via Twitter