You want me to give up my what?

woman-in-bathThis week’s ‘change the world Wednesday‘ Challenge arrived in my inbox after I’d put the immersion heater on for a bath.

I was feeling cold and miserable and decided the only way to pull myself out of my mood was to luxuriate for half an hour in a few gallons of hot water.

The challenge read “This week take only showers and limit them to no more than 5 minutes each”.


So one could say I’ve failed already, but perhaps I can salvage things a little here.

Firstly, in my defence, I have a shower and shower screen at the ready to install, thanks to the wonderful initiative Freecycle. I’ve had them here for about 18 months, but you know how it is; best laid plans and all that…

Secondly, I would imagine we are Waaaaaay below average for the numbers of baths we have in this household. I almost feel a bit weird admitting to it for fear of being judged or labelled, but we have around two baths a week each.

This is just ‘normal’ for me – the rest of the week we wash; ya know, anything that is dirty or stinky and no one has run screaming in the other direction yet when I’ve offered them a cuddle.

However, I discovered when talking to friends that I am FAR from normal. One of my bestest friends in the entire Universe has TWO showers DAILY. That’s her, two kids and her husband. They’re just a regular family like us – no sweaty physical jobs, no workouts at the gym, no kids that are any muddier than mine but they’re having EIGHT showers a day between them. Phew!

Third, we recycle the bath water. Well, ok then, we bathe with a friend. Well, ya know what I mean – Mr Green and I share a bath and yep, we’ve even been known to hand over our sullied waters to Little Miss Green afterwards for a soak.

Is that bad? It feels bad writing it, but I know it’s not. It’s just that many others don’t partake of such behaviours and we’re all so gung ho in the Western World about cleanliness and germs and sanitising to within an inch of our lives that I can just see people reading this, taking a sharp intake of breath and disengaging with me from their RSS feeds.

So there we are. I won’t be swapping my baths for 5 minute showers, but between 3 of us we’ll probably run about 4 baths for the week; we’ll share and share alike and I might even pull out a bucket or two for watering the plants; how about that?!

Come on – share your dirty little secrets with me; how many baths or showers do you take a week?


  1. Gaby @ Tmuffin on July 28, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Ha! I take a shower every 2 or 3 days. I know some people who take 2 showers a day, too. I think that the more you shower, the more you feel like you need it. The greasier your hair gets in between washings and all that. You’re not gross. People don’t need to wash as much as they think. I know someone who gives her baby a bath every single day. That poor kid’s sensitive skin! My 6 months old has probably gotten 10 baths in his lifetime. Ha.

  2. Sarah Stone on July 29, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I’m with you on this one. I shower twice a week as that’s all my hair needs and the other days I just wash in the basin. The rest of the family do similar.

    We’ve got a water meter too and noticed a big drop in the monthly bill, to the point where when I was on the phone to the water company once they questioned us as to how we use so little 🙂

  3. Lomba on August 12, 2011 at 5:53 am

    We too have a bath. We know we should install a shower, we know… but! We are very conscious of using water for anything, especially so since we had a eater meter installed. Like you Mrs Green.we recycle all of the bath water, either flush the toilet with it or using it on the garden. We din’t flush the toilet ever, just just bath water for water from garden water butts.

    Oh and we only have one bath a week too! But wash regularly too.

    We have Economy Seven so only have baths at night or in the mornings.

    I love wallowing in a bath for a couple with a book!

  4. Mrs Green on August 15, 2011 at 6:29 am

    @Gaby @ Tmuffin: You make a good point about hair becoming greasier and skin getting sensitive. I used to wash my hair EVERY DAY because it got oily. But hey, guess what? Since I cut back on that it’s pretty much self regulating – who knew 😉

    @Sarah Stone: Good for you for using so little water. That feels good doesn’t it?

    @Lomba: Great that you’ve found a way around flushing the toilet with potable water; it’s one thing I would love to solve here.

  5. Jennifer on August 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Oh man…I shower every single day, and I by no means do hard labor. (Hah! Even the thought is laughable.) It’s part of my waking up ritual: get up, slope off to the kitchen to feed the cat, then step into the shower to wake up properly. I do take short showers with an energy efficient shower head, but if I go for a swim later in the day, I take another shower to rinse off the chlorine. Sigh.

    When I lived in Durham, I didn’t have access to a shower, so I took baths three times a week. It wasn’t horrible. I think I just brewed my tea a little stronger to wake up!

  6. Jessica on August 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Monday through Friday I take a shower at least once a day, when I wake up in the morning before work. It’s not only a habit but I’m in business and constantly in front of very big customers (think along the lines of who makes your cars) and I’d be afraid of being any where close to smelly.

    I also work out, either running, mountain biking, or the gym, almost every day, so there usually is a second rinse off after that.

    On the weekends I’ll only shower/rinse off after exercise. I have a tendency to get bad breakouts if I don’t rinse off after exercise. If I don’t work out on the weekends then I won’t shower. I love camping trips when I don’t have to shower.

    I never take baths though… something about sitting in dirty water. I used to live in Japan and they wash first and then use a deep soaking tub, the water shared by everyone in the household… but you only get it in if you are clean.

  7. Mrs Green on August 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

    @Jennifer: Sounds like it’s a habit then. And of course, habits can be changed; if we choose to 😉

    @Jessica: Thanks for sharing your experiences Jessica. We all have different requirements. I don’t tend to suffer from not bathing often; in fact, on the contrary my skin is WORSE the more I wash it. Anyway, you’ve found what works for you …