Image: Unsplash Showers vs. Baths
Image: Unsplash

Small change, big impact: showers vs. baths

The debate around whether showers or baths are better largely comes down to preference. Some like the efficiency of showers whereas others prefer to soak and relax in a hot bath. But, what are the environmental differences between showers and baths, and how might they impact our daily routine?

The water usage per shower largely depends on how long you use the shower for and the type of shower you have. The average bath uses 80L of water whereas a conventional electric shower uses 62L for an average eight-minute shower. Although, this may not seem like a huge difference, it soon adds up, especially if you shower every day. Also, these are just estimates and many people take shorter showers, especially when in a rush, hence further limiting the water usage. Investing in an aerated shower head is a great way to reduce your water and energy usage as it uses less water whilst still maintaining the illusion of a high flow shower. 

Power showers work by producing an enormous flow of water and in turn can massively increase your water usage. It is estimated that an eight-minute power shower can use up to 136L of water! If you have a power shower, it is then more efficient to have baths or very short showers. However, the best long-term solution would be to switch your shower head to an aerated one or if possible to switch the whole shower system. Another great reason to switch from a power shower is the cost of the water. The cost of a ten-minute shower varies greatly by model from about 25p for normal electric showers to £1.16 for power showers. So, not only will changing your shower head help the planet, it will also drastically reduce your bills. 

Investing in an aerated shower head is a great way to reduce your water and energy usage as it uses less water whilst still maintaining the illusion of a high flow shower

Although this is an important choice to consider in our day to day lives, many climate activists are more concerned about bigger contributors to water usage such as the fast fashion industry. With 2,700L of water needed to produce a cotton t-shirt, our reliance on fast fashion makes a 5-minute shower seem much less significant. This being said, every contribution you make to a more sustainable lifestyle adds up to make a big impact. 

Sure, an occasional bath can help you to relax and use up all your pretty bath bombs, but is it really worth having a bath every day when you could be cutting down on water usage as well as your bills by switching to showers for the majority of the time? 

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