A lukewarm start to the day (Day 161)…

cold shower

So I figure, if my underwear is going to put up with cold water, so should I, and it all starts with my shower. All right, truth be told, I’m not about to crank the nozzle all the way to freezing cold just yet — but I have decided to turn the temperature down to a more lukewarm level.

This is a big deal.

You see, I’ve always loved scalding hot showers. On Treehugger‘s list of How to Green Your Sex Life, they suggest showering together, but that’s really never been an option for me because chances are the other person will consider my optimal shower temperature somewhere between boiling and Oh-dear-lord-I’m-getting-second-degree-burns.

Even in the summer, I may start off with a cooler temperature, but after a few minutes I want to feel that almost painful heat on my head. It’s a little weird, I know, which is why I’ve decided to try and adjust to a more practical and ethically responsible shower temperature. I don’t have an actual thermometer or anything, but I’m going to keep the dial in the middle of the hot-to-cold spectrum, which is at least … well … an inch cooler than normal.

Photo of an icy shower in Stanley Park courtesy of Mark Goodwin on Flickr

12 Responses to A lukewarm start to the day (Day 161)…

  1. Nick in Iraq says:

    Great post, and good luck with the cooler showers. I’m not sure what it is about girls and hot showers. My fiance loves her 30 minute super hot showers, despite being very green about everything else. She only uses organic soap/shampoo etc, but loves those super long, hot showers. Sometimes she only gets out when the hot water runs out. Not very green if you ask me!

  2. emily says:

    In my in-laws’ old apartment, their shower actually had a temperature knob. There was a big red line at 35C, as in, DO THIS. There was another line at 38. I froze at 35, felt like it was just tolerable at 38, and felt great at 40. I got a big rap (“hey, I thought you were green!”) for it, and slowly worked my way down to about 37ish. In the summer. But now they’ve moved, and the new shower doesn’t have that Conscience Knob, and I don’t have one at home…

    I wonder if it’s possible to buy those knobs and install them? Or would you need a new way to hook up the water heater the shower…?

  3. Liz says:

    You might also try working out immediately before your shower, so that the cooler water feels good. That’s what I do, and it works quite well! I think that shower time is very important as well. We all need to learn how to maximize efficiency in the shower. I used to take 30 minutes in the shower, now I’m down to five, and I wonder what the heck I was doing in the shower that took me so darn long.

  4. Unfortunately I have already taken this step towards a greener life, not by choice. I love super hot showers as well, so hot that my wife cannot understand how I am unhurt. The hot water heater in our apartment is so finicky. I only get anything more than luke warm once a weak. I do not understand why this happens, but the fact that less heat = less energy use has kept me from griping to the landlord about it. I guess if I want some heat these days I can head outside where it is in the high 90s and super humid. I love Atlanta in August.

  5. fawn pea says:

    I share your love of the deadly-hot shower. Using a shower timer has made me much quicker in there, but the temperature thing is tough. When I lived in a house with no A/C (here in NC), in the summers I used to take a freezing cold shower at night and then get into bed without drying off. The evaporation kept me cool and comfy all night long. But now that I live the soft, flabby life of one who has air-conditioning, I am hooked again on the steamy showers.

  6. Hot in Virginia says:

    Here’s a thought… what about using one of those sun showers? Maybe there is some way you can hook it up in your regular shower? Just an idea…
    Love your site btw. 🙂

  7. Stella DeGree says:

    Lately, I’ve been hopping in right away, while the water is still cold and warming up, and at least getting my washcloth wet and soapy. I think it’s been saving water in general and warm water, too.

  8. limesarah says:

    Yeah, I love scalding showers, too. I’ve been transitioning to colder ones, and finding it not too difficult in this hot weather. The compromise I’ve decided on is that when I’m just showering to get clean, I’ll use lukewarm water and sometimes even sponge baths. But sometimes a hot shower really is theraputic — then I will turn the hot water up as high as I want and really enjoy it for two or three minutes and then turn it down again.

  9. Liz Harvey says:

    Hey girl! As always, I love your site.

    I found a resource I thought might interest you http://www.enviromaid.ca/ Aaron and I just took posession of our new house, and the 24 weeks pregnant excuse is great for getting out of cleaning other’s grime! I will give you a review if I end up connecting with them.

    PS: I am serious about wanting to send you a Porchlight shirt – I have and extra one and don’t want to move it! Email me your mailing address! eharvey@the-cma.org

  10. Jennifer says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that the length of time in the shower is more important than the temperature? Granted if you let it warm up for fifteen minutes before getting in so it’s scalding hot, I guess that would make a difference. I was in the military, so I’m used to short showers. Lately I’ve taken to only showering a couple of times a week and taking sponge baths the rest of the time.

  11. carly says:

    I laughed out loud at your showering with a partner comment! My BF thinks I’m crazy and we go thru a turn it up/turn it down fight thru the whole shower.

  12. Christ says:

    Spasibo za vash trud!!

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