About ten years ago, we changed our shower heads. We knew we were saving money and CO2 emissions, but we didn’t know how much. Now, we’ve done the math, and it’s pretty amazing.
We saved the old shower heads, so we tested them against the low-flow type we’ve been using. With our level of water pressure, our shower heads use 1.1 gallons per minute, compared with 1.7 gallons for the old ones. That means that for an average shower, we use 4.5 gallons less hot water than we used to. For our family, that means we save more than 1.1 tons of CO2 emissions per year, and $138 in electric bills. Over the last decade, we’ve kept more than 11 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere with these little things.
But the manufacturers say that many standard shower heads use a whopping 6 gallons per minute. Ours weren’t that wasteful, but if they were, then our little investment of $10-15 per shower head would have saved 9 tons of CO2 and $1,200 in electric bills every year!
Hint: There are many types of low-flow heads, but we like the ones with a cut-off valve, so that we can reduce flows (without cutting them off entirely) when not rinsing, or when shampooing or shaving. Some cut-off valves are either on or off, but we prefer the ones that can reduce a little at a time. Ours are chrome V-shaped wires that rotate in either direction to easily reduce or restore flow.
Here is a link to our favorite shower head, priced at $10.