Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shower guilt

I was asked yesterday if I ever felt guilty for how long I spend in the shower. Aside from being a weird, personal question, it is one of those questions that comes up whenever I am around other environmentally minded people. But it is also one of those complicated questions where if you say "no" you obviously don't care about the environment or your impact and if you say "yes" you are supposedly a whining environmentalist who is never happy and can't even shower without complaining. 

Blogs and television personalities joke about this guilt, but I think it's actually important. All over green blogs people talk about bringing timers into the bathroom to cut down their showers, and it has become this challenge or competition to see who can have the shortest shower the least often. And I am certainly not saying that this is bad – conserving our water is incredibly important and every drop counts, but where does this leave those of us who have significantly shortened our showers but just can't make it to that three minute mark or who are just too cold to rinse, turn off the water, soap, and rinse again?

Image courtesy of dreamstime

It leaves us with guilt. 

So yes, I am an environmentalist, a hippy, a greenie, a whatever else you want to call me who feels guilty about the length of my shower. But I am alright with that. That guilt reminds me every time I turn on the water to shower as fast as I can and waste as little water as possible. Some days I really need that extra push to get in and out in a record breaking time, and other days it just doesn't happen. 

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