…Maybe This Wasn’t Such A Good Idea


The further into this sustainable behavior challenge I am, the more I realize how hard it is to keep up with it.  I’m starting to believe that my behavior was a bit far fetched and doesn’t really accommodate with my everyday life. I brush my teeth right before going to bed and when I first wake up. Most of the time, I shower again a few hours before going to bed. Therefore, I am more likely to brush my teeth during my shower in the morning, but not during my shower in the evening. Perhaps, my behavior change is doing more harm than good. For those who do not remember, I agreed to stop turning the water on before I’m physically in the shower, and to only brush my teeth in the shower. I have been doing fairly well with the first part of my commitment, but I always slip when it comes to brushing my teeth.

For the past week, instead of turning the water on and leaving the shower unattended, I place my shower caddy in my desired shower, and continue doing whatever else I need to in the bathroom. When I’m done, then I will get in the shower and turn the water on. More often than not, I forget to brush my teeth and end up just getting out of the shower and brushing my teeth in the sink.  The one day I did remember to brush my teeth while in the shower, I began to question whether my behavior was sustainable or not. According to a EPA’s kid friendly website, I can save up to 8 gallons of water by turning off the faucet while brushing my teeth. This is a sustainable behavior I am already accustomed to. I recently came across a large water conservation movement online (WaterUseItWisely), and learned that a shower head could potentially fill a gallon in less than 20 seconds. Brushing my teeth is a three minute process (give or take) when you include reaching for your toothbrush and toothpaste, applying the paste, and finally brushing you teeth. If I am still standing in the shower for all of this time, I am essentially wasting 9 gallons of water on top of the 10-12 twelve minutes I’ve spent already in the shower.

Final Conclusion: My behavior is NOT sustainable! From now on, I will continue to focus on saving water by not turning the water on for unnecessary reasons and I will continue to brush my teeth over the sink and not in the shower.

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