Are you sinking under the weight of advice about your own health, let alone that of the planet? Do you feel that if you add another task to your list—read labels, drive less, walk more, swelter or shiver longer, buy local, juice your fruits and veggies (but only in season)—you’ll break down, give up, roll over, and die? Each bit of advice comes not only with its own behavioral burden, demanding extra effort and attention. It often also packs a psychic burden: awareness of the ills and evils it will purportedly help you avoid.
I don’t want to add to your To Do list or your Oh No, Not Another Thing to Feel Bad About list. I just want to share a few little gizmos that will do a lot of good work for you, with very little effort or expense on your part. And I’ll put it as simply as possible.
So here it is, folks. After doing lots of research, I found that could fulfill a number of healthy person, healthy planet goals easily, by attaching a low-tech, low-flow shower head, to an installs-in-a-blink chlorine filter. Then, I smacked an even lower-tech shower timer on the wall. Done. Easy-Peasy.
I’ll break this down, with the minimum of factoids. The low-flow shower head reduces the stream of water, but still provides a fine shower experience. You save water (I’ll spare you the depressing statistics on how much water we use compared to the rest of the world), as well as the energy costs of heating it up, simply to pour it over yourself and send it down the drain.
The shower timer—basically, a laughable 5 minute hour-glass on a suction cup—augments those two savings. If you are like me, and tend to go into a trance while showering, you may be pleasantly surprised by how long 5 minutes actually is. You can indeed get every necessary thing done in 5 minutes, with time enough to space off a little. If you are one of those people who waits for the conditioner to set in, you can use the handy little lever to further lower, or even shut off, the water flow temporarily.
But only if you are not also using the chlorine filter, which will blow out with the pressure. However, if you are using the chlorine filter, you may find you don’t need to use conditioner.
Let me explain, again, in minimalist terms. Chlorine may be a great way to kill germs in your water system, but it isn’t that good for you. You can research the depressing facts about chlorine yourself, if you feel like adding to your psychic burden. Here’s what it boils down to: chlorine in the vaporized form it takes when you are in a nice hot shower, breathing deeply and opening all your pores, is not a true friend to your hair, skin, lungs, and bloodstream.
I have a friend who told me she solved a longstanding problem by simply moving one object. No, she wasn’t talking about Feng Shui. (Or maybe she was?) She wanted to bike more often, but she didn’t seem to be doing it. She really enjoyed riding, and it reduced her stress. So, she took a second look at what was derailing her intention (pun intended). She realized that she was keeping her bike in a spot that required too much effort to get out. (Our house is full of such places. We call them “have-to-stand-on-your-head-to-get-it” spots).
She moved the bicycle. Problem solved. I suspect many of us are stalled out by small impediments like that, and mostly too busy to stop and consider.
That’s the beauty of my shower “system.” It takes about 5 minutes to set up, and then it starts working for you. It is extremely low maintenance. You simply change the filter once a year. And you probably won’t forget, because you start to feel the personal benefits (all that smooth skin and soft hair) tapering off. No headstands required. Turn on the water, turn your timer, and enjoy. Easy-Peasy.