PERSONAL HYGIENE – Carbon Footprint of Water Use
It is clearly important to maintain good hygiene. However replacing a daily bath with a three-minute shower could save about 849 Kg CO2 per year, for a family of four. This is huge!
To meet COVID-19 guidelines, we’re all washing our hands for longer now. Usually when you turn the hot water tap on, it takes a while for the hot water to reach the tap. If you have narrower pipes between the tank and basins, the waiting time to receive hot water can be reduced. The physical action and the soap itself is responsible for cleaning our hands more than the temperature of the water. Washing our hands with a cooler temperature, along with soap, is kind to the climate and it is just as hygienic. Shaving your legs in a wash basin rather than during a shower might use eight litres of water rather than 48 litres. 
Some people love to have a long relaxing shower, but that uses a lot of heated water. Installing shower heads that use less water can also reduce the carbon footprint produced by pumping the water to your home and treating it once it goes down the drain. Mixer showers, which combine hot and cold water before the water emerges from the shower head, produce 100 Kg less CO2 in a year than an electric shower. You can install a shower head that spreads the water around in a more efficient way. You can feel like you get just as wet, but you’re only using about seven litres a minute instead of 15.
The bathroom is a really great place to make a big impact on water use and improving our carbon footprint in the home.
 Vintage bathroom interior published in 1877-1893 by J.L. Mott Iron Works. Original from New York public library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.