Protecting our environment has been a priority to some groups and individuals for a long time. For others, like me, it is something that I recently became more aware of. As a kid I didn’t worry about shutting off lights to save on energy, I worried about shutting off lights so I didn’t get into trouble. The only thing that I learned in school about saving the environment was from my ninth grade science teacher who told us that we should “turn the water off while brushing our teeth.” Growing up I didn’t think much about peeing in the shower, in fact I thought it was normal. I remember my friends bringing the topic up and making fun of someone because they would pee in the shower. Of course my response was, “you don’t pee in the shower?”
I learned that day that peeing in the shower was not socially acceptable. In fact, when I told my husband about the topic I was going to be discussing for this blog, he looked at me shocked and said, “Did your teacher give you this topic to write about?” Proudly, I said “No, I picked it myself!” Recently one of my childhood friends sent me a link on Facebook. Attached to the link she wrote, “I guess all these years you have been saving the environment.” We joked and I laugh now because back then I was embarrassed but after you have kids these things don’t matter anymore.
I couldn’t find the actual article but I did find a similar one. In Berenson (2014) article it discusses how two students from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Debs Torr and Chris Dobson, started the Go with the Flow campaign to inspire others to take their first pee of the day during their morning shower instead of using the toilet. The idea behind this campaign is that by peeing in the shower, we are potentially saving millions of gallons of water every year.
According to the EPA (2016), the average American family of four uses roughly 400 gallons of water per day, of that 26.7 percent is used by toilets. The standard toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. That’s a lot of water! And if you have an older toilet that can mean you’re using a lot more. If you look at the percentage of water on the pie chart above you will see that the shower only uses about 16.8% of the daily usage. Now, let’s say you shower once every day, so you would pee during that shower saving 1.6 gallons of water from not flushing the toilet. So to do the math there are 365 days in a year, times that by 1.6 gallons of water saved, for a total of 584 gallons of water. That’s 584 gallons of water that “YOU” could potentially be saving by peeing in the shower. That’s amazing!!!
I need to remember this next time I use my toilet for bug/spider disposal.
Berenson, T. (2014, Oct 10). TIME. Retrieved from College Students Asked to Urinate in Showers to Save Water: http://time.com/3490337/shower-pee-environment-water/
EPA. (2016, Sep 02). EPA. Retrieved from Water Sense: Indoor Water Use in the United States : https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/indoor.html