Green baby step: Shower like you're camping

BlogHer Original Post

An imaginative way to save water: Imagine you're camping while showering. That's really the only way I can think of to make Navy Showers -- basically turning off the water while you shampoo and soap up during your shower -- sound like fun. However, because Navy Showers save so much water, you might also have fun seeing the savings on your water bill:

The term Navy Shower makes water conservation sound a little too -- militaristic -- which makes me want to rename the method Camping Shower, or something else more reminiscent of a nature-y vacation. Says DIY Maven at Curbly. "Although never in the Navy, I have had to take my share of Navy showers. Anyone who has spent time in the woods, in an RV or on a boat are most likely familiar with the concept."

Have a hard time imagining you're camping while showering in a tiled bathroom? You can always move the shower outside. Leslie at The Oko Box blog's doing just that -- and saving money on both her power and water bills! Thanks to a solar camping shower she got at REI, Leslie enthuses in her photo-illustrated post that she can enjoy a hot, almost 10-minute long shower anywhere now: "I highly recommend it for saving money on hot water bills, making camping easier, when disasters happen or just for some summer time fun."

If refilling and rigging up the solar camp shower's too much work, maybe you'd be interested in a more permanent solution -- like one of the 7 outdoor showers profiled by Trent in Re-Nest. Says he: "Outdoor showers aren't necessarily green by default, but it could be argued that it keeps the mess outside (reducing cleaning) and a low flow shower head is certainly more efficient than using your garden hose to rinse off." An additional eco-nomical bonus I see for the outdoor shower: Graywater recycling becomes a cinch! Just shower near your garden!

For those who, like me, don't really want neighbors to see you naked: Perhaps Navy Showers can be made more appealing by a water-saving shower valve, which Lifehacker says "can toggle the water flow off and on without undoing your carefully-calibrated mix of hot and cold on the faucet itself." Just follow the photo-illustrated illustration guide.

Or you could get the Green Choice showerhead, which Stephanie at Re-Nest says lets you take "a Navy shower for wimps": "The showerhead has a little green dial that lets you control the water pressure during your shower. Turn it way down (but stay warm) while you lather up and shampoo, then turn the pressure back up to normal as you rinse off."

Still not convinced Navy Showers are for you? Then just learn to take short showers. Stephanie at Re-Nest has tips for that too -- my favorite being "Create a playlist on your iPod that coincides with your desired shower length." Unfortunately, I can't actually implement that tip because I don't have speakers in the bathroom. Do you?

BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel showers indoors and blogs at


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