INDEX: Design to Improve Life

How peeing in the shower can save you money – and water

With the cost of water going up in many parts of the world and concerns about conserving our natural resources rise, there are lots of ways to save the water we use at home. For instance, did you know that you can save approx. 2,500 liters of water per year per person in your household by just peeing in the shower once a day instead of the toilet?

Peeing in the shower is no more smelly or disgusting than peeing in the toilet. It all goes to the same place. The only difference is that the shower flushes it down with water that was going to be used anyway, while a toilet flush uses (drinking!) water that could have been saved, and that is where you are going to save some water and money. (Also, you’re saving on toilet paper, which is both expensive and disposable.)

As with a toilet, you want to avoid splashing urine everywhere: Men should aim for the drain, and women should squat close to the drain. It’ll all flush down as you shower. Also, urine is sterile unless you have an infection, so there’s nothing to be concerned about from a sanitary standpoint.

Your water savings will depend on how many people live in your home and how much water your toilets use. If you are in Northern Europe, there are generally three different types of toilets: 12 liter flush toilets (oldest), 9 liter flush toilets (older) and modern 2-flush toilets (3 liters and 6 liters). So if you have a family of 5, using modern toilets, you would save 8,200 liters ($60) per year if everyone peed in the shower once a day (4,5x5x365).  If you have older toilets, the savings can be over 20,000 liters ($160) a year, but at that point you would probably save more money by buying newer toilets.

These statistics might have been useful for Danish politician Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil when she – live on air in a popular Danish radio show – commented on a survey saying that 28% of all women empty their bladder in the shower. “I think it is really gross. I mean, it is only sterile until it leaves the body, and then it smells. I find it a little crazy that that many women do that. It actually surprises me. This could make me stay far away from the shower in the public pool and at the gym”, she says and adds that it is just as disgusting whether it is a man or a woman peeing in the shower…

Another great tip for saving with shower water: Put a bucket in your shower to catch all that cold water that comes out while you wait for it to heat up. This water can be reused for other things, such as watering your plants or making a pot of tea – it is the same water that comes out of your kitchen tap.

More ways to save water, click here

To read about water saving INDEX: Award 2011 Finalist Bware Water Meter, click here


Sources: BT newspaper, Statistics Denmark, Copenhagen Energy and Bohemian Revolution


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