Friday, December 5, 2008

Big news! I took a shower!

Against my better judgement, I took a shower this morning. Dr. Wife, MD, forced me to do it. She gave me some nonsense about "proper" hygiene, and made some not-so-veiled threats about the guest bedroom. Well, at least the shower gave me the opportunity to test out the new, eco-friendly low-flow shower head.

For background: I installed a Waterpik Ecoflow shower head earlier this week. (Or was it last week?) Of course, it was made in China, and it came in one of those giant plastic bubble containers that are almost impossible to open without a chainsaw. (Millions of years from now, long after the human race has perished, the vast populations of intelligent, highly evolved cockroaches that rule the earth will send out their archaeologists, and I'm sure one will find this Ecoflow container, completely unbiodegraded.)

For the sake of my sustainable argument, lets overlook the carbon imprint of my driving to Home Depot to buy the new shower head, and the greenhouse gases produced by Waterpik to manufacture, package, and ship it. (Environmentalists are so good at casting a blind eye--or two--at such trifles.) Instead, I'll highlight its benefits. The output of a standard shower head is 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute. The Ecoflow puts out about 2 gallons a minute. That should save my house about $75 a year on water bills, and $50 a year on water heating bills.

In other words, the shower head should easily pay for itself within six months, and then rack up hundreds of dollars in energy and water bill savings in the next few years. On top of that, I'll be conserving more than 7,000 gallons of water a year, and untold amounts of energy.

So how did it work, you ask? Well, it didn't exactly feel like a fire hose. More like a gentle but steady rain shower overhead. It took me no more time to, say, rinse shampoo from my hair (which, by the way, I've begun to notice is vanishing at an alarming rate) than with a normal shower head, but the lower output was noticeable. People who would rather get pummeled with a Swedish massage-type spray in the shower every morning than save the earth from extinction will be disappointed. People who actually want a better life for their kids and grandkids won't think it's so bad (if they overlook the whole packaging, shipping, and manufacturing thing, of course).