How many times you take a bath in a day? Once? Twice? Data showed that indeed most people in the world, where water is not a rare commodity, take bath at least once a day. Boy, imagine how much water is being flown into the sewer by doing it.
Taking a bath everyday has been our habit since long ago, and in modern society, the purpose of taking a bath is various. Some want to clean themselves up from dirt, some to get rid of annoying odors, some want to relax the tension, and some other just do it because it is their daily routine.
Averagely, people take a bath or shower in 5 minutes, and in that time most of them constantly consume water. Well, that would be so much water if we measure it. So, is this activity actually a kind of wasting a precious resource in vain?
Not only that, we also use chemicals in our bathing and showering, such as shampoo, conditioner, and also soap. If both factors combined, consuming water and adding chemical to it, then flow it out to water drainage, is taking a bath eco-friendly? Let’s talk about this.
Shifting Of Purpose
If you take bath regularly in daily basis, what are you doing it for actually? Is it just a habit or you have some specific purpose? No need to answer one by one, since those questions have a combined answer. We take bath regularly to stay clean and comfortable, which is a normal people’s basic need.
Apparently, the purpose of taking a bath in this modern era has shifted from its original purpose. While our ancestors took bath to get rid of potentially harmful microbes or substances so that they could keep healthy, nowadays people are taking bath mostly for aesthetic reasons.
The problem is, apparently aesthetic is so important nowadays. Many people think that people who are not taking bath are dirty and disgusting. Thus, the demands from society is so high that most of us feel like taking a bath everyday is important.
Because of that, taking a bath becomes a daily need. And since most of us are thinking so, it becomes a worldwide (even in areas where water is scarce) stereotype that a human is human when they take a shower or a bath at least once a day.
But looking back on human history, this culture actually is not an ancient culture but almost modern. Our great-grandparents, grandparents, or even our parents might have showered less frequently than what we do nowadays.
The reason why people are taking bath more frequently nowadays is because of easier access to water. Today, access to water in most part of the world is easier than decades ago, which affects our standard of cleanliness in overall.
After many centuries of being ‘dirty’, we get easier access to water. We then subconsciously demand higher standard of cleanliness. After centuries of longing for water to make ourselves clean, we get it and do not take it for granted.
Let alone the rapid growth of beauty industry that always comes with an update to make our appearance as interesting as possible. And since aesthetic is their marketing path, bathing products also often offer beautifying aspects.
Thus, we can say that mostly our obsession to bathing nowadays is the result of fulfilled dreams for water and seasoned with marketing strategy from beauty industry. Well, you know that most hygiene products have just emerged recently.
So, is taking bath everyday is just a waste of water? The answer depends on your point of view. If you see it from aesthetic point of view, the answer is no. But if you see it from personal hygiene and our natural basic needs, the answer might be yes.
How To Waste Water
While in overall it is still debatable whether taking daily bath is a waste of water or not, but actually there are many ways you can waste water by taking bath. You might not realize it but mathematically you can simply waste a lot of water to the sewer every time you take a bath, that you should avoid if you want to conserve water.
The first way is by overfilling your bathtub so the water spills out of the tub. When getting in the bathtub, actually the you add a mass in the tub which will result in the rise of water. No wonder when you fill the tub to the top and later you get in, you see some amount of water is spilling out.
Secondly, when you are showering, you cannot measure the amount of water being flowed. Do you realize that every minute you spend in the shower means that you consume about 150 gallons of water in a month? In addition, spending more time in the shower also doesn’t mean you will get cleaner.
You actually just have to make sure the water is distributed evenly on your body to get clean, and that’s all. In this case, to avoid wasting water, just take a short, yet clean, shower by wetting your body thoroughly and then turn it off while you are applying shampoo or soap.
How To Be Clean
We know that taking bath or showering consumes a lot of water, at least much more than the coffee we drink every day. But how frequent should we take bath is considered effective for our personal hygiene and water consumption?
To find the answer for that question, researchers actually conducted real research to find out frequent should we wash our bodies. Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, the assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University may have come up with an answer.
“I think most people over-bathe,” he said. “Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. A daily shower isn’t necessary,” Mitchell explained. Thus, if we take too many bathes (which usually includes the use of soap) we will strip the natural oil off our skin. But the problem is, when we don’t take a bath daily, we will smell so bad.
According to Mitchell, there is a way to solve that without stripping our body’s natural oil. “I tell patients who shower daily not to lather their whole bodies. Hit your pits, butt and groin, which are the areas that produce strong-smelling secretions. The rest of your body doesn’t need much soaping,” he said.