Lindsay Popper, guest writer
If you start noticing something like Boggle timers showing up stuck to your dorm shower, you’re not alone. As part of an ELC Campus Greening Seed Grant, 5 minute hourglass timers are set to become a fixture in all bathrooms to help students become more conscious of their water use.
Each showerhead on campus use 1.5 gallons of water per minute; assuming that students take, on average, a 10-minute shower every other day, that means we’re using about a million gallons of hot water every year on showers alone. If everyone could cut their showers down to half of this, our campus could save 500,000 gallons of water (enough to fill Ecodorm) in just a single year. The timers are meant to help everyone become more aware of how long they spend in the shower, and to empower people to conserve water and energy.
As you acclimate to using the timers and taking shorter showers, here are a few suggestions for fun competitions:
- shower next to a buddy: slowest showerer buys the kombucha/PBR/local apple cider
- have a dorm relay race: the first team to have everyone showered wins
- pick a song that’s less that five minutes (“Wagon Wheel,” Ani Difranco’s “Not a Pretty Girl”, The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way”) and try to finish before that song’s done. If you need to work up to it, start with a longer song (Stairway to Heaven? Total Eclipse of the Heart?) and try to work your way down.
In the end, it’s not about having showers that take exactly five minutes. It’s about each of us learning how much water we’re using so that we can take conservation into our own hands.
Your Plumbing Arts Crew welcomes any questions about shower timers, water conservation, or plumbing fixtures