So coronavirus is here. For the long haul, it seems.
To be honest, folks, I don’t have a lot of healthy “stay safe” tips that ALSO benefit the planet. Washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm/hot water does not HELP the environment. Hot water uses a lot more energy than cold. It also happens to be better at killing germs.
But while our top health tip for preventing illness can’t help the planet, we can do a lot of action to provide great self-care and counter the (I’ll admit, somewhat trivial) effects of using more hot water.
While cleaning our hands won’t save the environment, it’s possible cleaning the rest of your body can. We have TONS of healthy and environmentally friendly options for when we are in the shower. These tips may even help improve your self-care habits overall in the long run.
Reduce Water Usage
The average American takes a 10 minute shower, using nearly 20 gallons of water each time they step into the tub. It’s the third largest waste of water, right after toilets and washing machines. But it doesn’t HAVE to be a waste.
There are two ways to conserve water. One is romantic, and the other is practical.
If you have a partner, take a shower together. This doesn’t have to be a sexual act (although, as far as I know, there aren’t laws against sex in the shower), but it is an intimate way to connect with your significant other. If you want to get really gooshy, the two of you can wash each other, but the general idea is if you both shower together and take an 8-10 minute shower, you are actually cutting your water usage to bathe yourself in half. And that can make a huge difference.
But even if you are single, or really want to keep your shower to your own personal private time, you can still reduce your water usage. The average American takes a 10 minute shower, but many times it has been proven we can do everything we need to do in 4-5 minutes. Again, knocking half our water usage for showering is a huge deal.
Take a Cold Shower
Hot water may be necessary for us to clean our hands, but cold showers can be better for our bodies and even our mood. Plus, of course, taking a cooler shower uses less energy than a hot one.
Cold showers have been proven to improve your mood, alertness, and increase your energy. So, yeah, taking a cold shower right before BED might not be the best idea, but it definitely helps right after a workout, or first thing in the morning.
If I listed all the pros to switching over from a hot shower to a cold shower, we’d be here all day, but some of the top benefits:
- They actually burn fat- Cold showers can help you LOSE WEIGHT
- Cold showers might even boost your immunity (there’s a reason right there, amiright?)
- Cold water is better for our hair and skin- making our skin look younger and help with acne
- Helps prevent muscle soreness- yeah, if taking an ICE bath isn’t your cup of tea, maybe you can tolerate a quick cold shower instead.
What Can YOU Do?
There are dozens of ways we can make a more positive impact on our health AND the planet even while being careful with the coronavirus. Each person can do their small part.
My parents save the water that is otherwise wasted down the drain while warming up their shower and uses it to fill the washing machine for laundry. I mean, why not? It’s clean water straight from the tap.
If you don’t need a shower every day, utilize the Body Meditation to clean yourself, while getting in tune with your body and getting focused for the day, or to unwind for the evening.
If you can’t tolerate a cold shower for five minutes, or it’s winter time and you’ll be damned if you are going to not warm up in the shower, see if you can tolerate a slightly cooler shower by just a notch. One degree is better than none.
Let me know how you are doing to take care of yourself and have a more positive impact on the planet. Remember to take care of each other and be kind to one another. We’re all in this together. Be clean, live green, and train positive.