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Take The Plunge and Get Thinking About Water Use
The French and Americans have always favoured showers, but we Brits love our baths. This article looks at the two forms of bathing and has some fascinating facts about our bathroom habits here in the UK.
Obviously, this is not the subject to discuss with the local vicar, with a stranger at a bus stop or as the coffin is brought into church for Granny’s funeral, but when the moment is right it is a subject that most people in Britain seem to have a strong opinion on.
The French and Americans are well known for their love of showers but for many years we Brits have preferred a bath. These days however, many more of us prefer to step into a shower than wallow in a bath, with or without bubbles.
It seems we equate baths with luxury and we can thank the Romans, Turks and Greeks for that. It is far quicker to shower but at the end of a long day a slow, soothing bath can work wonders.
A shower, with its powerful sprays of water, revitalises us but a bath rejuvenates.
And then there is cost and the environmental impact. This year, when much of the country has water restrictions because of drought perhaps the responsible thing is to shower and use less water. If you have a water meter it is possible to see the difference taking fewer baths can make but it is not a simple equation.
A recent study showed the average shower lasted eight minutes - much longer than the five minutes previous studies suggested - using almost as much water and energy as the average bath.
The survey suggested that taking eight-minute showers would cost an average UK family £416 a year; using a power shower would see the annual bill increase to £918.
An eight-minute shower used 62 litres of hot water, compared with an average bath's 80 litres. Using a power shower required as much water and energy as a bath.
Waterwise, which tries to encourage people to use less water, agrees with the study and says baths are not necessarily more eco friendly than showers. It points out that a four minute shower under a water-efficient showerhead –uses just 32 litres.
For many of us with mobility problems a shower is much easier to access than a bath. Even if you don’t have the convenience of a modern wet room with its level floor, taking a small step into a shower cubicle is safer than getting into a bath.
The good news is that whether you live in Edinburgh or Essex bath lifts are available to buy from companies and charities which supply mobility aids
Special baths step-in baths, which fill after you are sitting down, and even inflatable cushions to raise and lower you into the water, are also options if you are not ready to convert to a shower.
However you take the plunge enjoy your bath or shower; in today’s fast-paced world we all need a little me-time.
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