How to Take an Earth-Friendlier Shower this Earth Day and Every Day

I feel like a little woodland elf or something.
Publish date:
April 22, 2016
charity, lush, packaging, recycling, shower, Shower Heads

I feel like I've started a school newsletter lately. Last week, I informed you that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season two premiered on Friday, and this week I must tell you that today is Earth Day. Next Friday is both National Shrimp Scampi Day, and also Zipper Day, but I won't be writing about either of those. I'm sorry.

Fun fact: in college I majored in marketing with an emphasis on sustainability. I've always found the Earth and how it works to be fascinating, and I'm generally pro the Earth being around and functioning for as long as possible.

So for this Earth Day, I want to encourage you to make some small but helpful changes to your showering routine. These are little steps that anyone can take to help reduce the impact of their daily bathing, without feeling like you are giving anything up.

When I moved into my apartment, the shower head that was in place was ancient, coated in some sort of green gunk and could only sputter out a paltry amount of water. There is no way to make that last sentence sound cute.

Even after cleaning the thing, it made showers take about twice as long when I had to wash my hair because, with the crappy water pressure, I could barely get the shampoo out of my hair. And if you've ever tried to style your hair when you weren't able to get your shampoo or conditioner out all the way, you are pretty much just destined for flat, sad hair.

So I replaced that terrible shower head with an Oxygenics PowerSelect. This shower head has seven settings and a fancy "Oxygenics Engine" that increases the water pressure while reducing the water usage to 1.75 gallons per minute.

What really made the difference for me was a setting that gives a really strong, concentrated spray. It makes shampooing my hair take half the time. It seriously only takes me max a minute to get the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair when it used to seem like that would take me half my shower. Plus I get to have a gentle rain for the rest of the shower, which makes me feel like a little woodland elf or something.

That, added to the reduced gallons per minute, not only gives me a better shower experience, but also lets me take significantly shorter showers as well, saving far more water.

If you go to Lush, a lot of their products are packaging-free. That doesn't mean that they've never been in packaging during production and shipping, but it does help. So pick yourself up a shampoo bar, or one of their cool soaps, and you just did a little bit to help reduce packaging waste.

For products that are packaged at Lush, they come with this loud but cutesy NOT VIRGIN notice that informs you that the pot is made of 100% recycled plastic. You can then recycle it yourself, or you can bring it back to the store.

Lush has an incentive for you to recycle your containers. If you bring in five clean and empty containers they will give you a free face mask. It's taken me two years to actually stockpile empty pots from Lush, but as soon as I finish this Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, I can finally return my empty jars and get my free mask. FINALLY.

To up the ante, find a product that donates money, time, research, or in some other way helps out a cause you believe in.

I'm sure you've seen that the worldwide bee population is declining which can have serious ramifications for the food supply of the world. The Bee Kind collection from Gilchrist & Soames donates money to the University of California at Davis Entomology Department Honey Bee Research Program to help provide a solution to the increasing Honey Bee Crisis.

The line is $16 a piece for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash and $12 for the bar soap. They are packaged in fully recyclable tubes and the formulas are biodegradable and cruelty-free. Plus, they smell like lemon, so when I mix it with that Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, I smell like a floral lemon cake, which is just about the best combination I could hope for.

Let me know how you've greened up your shower in the comments below!