So I have been asked the inevitable personal hygiene questions – are you really going without showering for the week? Or are you copping a hot shower at your office with that fossil fueled water heater at the E-House?
OK, I admit it – I took a shower at work when I biked and paddled in on Monday and today (Thursday). But I went all in and took a cold “navy shower.” Still sweating from the ride to work, I popped into the shower with just enough cool water to wet my hair and body, soaped up without the water running, then rinsed off. I could probably have justified a hot shower at work as being an “indirect” greenhouse gas emission, since no-one asked me how to heat the hot water at my office. But I want to err on the side of sustainability this week.
I can do the quick sponge bath at home, and if I am feeling luxurious, I can heat some water in the electric kettle. The well-water fed shower is just a little too shockingly cold even for a navy shower. And our experiment at home with a solar shower bag didn’t really work, since it is no good first thing in the morning, and it had cooled off too much by the time we got home from work.
So, don’t worry, going fossil free does not stink. I haven’t gone full “No Impact Man,” not by a long shot. In the long run . . . well, they do make electric water heaters after all, and renewable electric service (which I have) is fossil free. But the extended warranty on my gas water heater doesn’t expire until about 2031. That sounds about right — fifteen years for the planet to go entirely fossil free, or face the consequences. According to Global Warming’s Terrifying Math
we’ll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today’s preschoolers will be graduating from high school.