Living Responsibly: Shower Less—Cleanliness in the 21st Century

“Therefore strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers.” —‘Abdu’l-Bahá

In 2018 Christine Muller (faculty for the Wilmette Institute’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind courses) is continuing to give us monthly tips aimed at helping us to live more socially and environmentally responsible lives and to treat our physical world with the respect it deserves. We hope that, as we make these tips a part of our habits, we will collectively be mitigating the severity of climate change, reducing human suffering, and keeping the Earth a livable place for the next generations.—THE EDITORS

by Christine Muller

Shower Less—Cleanliness in the 21st Century

shower headTaking shorter and less frequent showers greatly helps to reduce our use of water and energy. “The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute (gpm) (7.9 lpm).” It is sufficient to shower three or four times a week, unless the weather is hot and humid, you are prone to sweating, or you have a physically demanding job. This is still much more showering than Bahá’u’lláh prescribed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (K106): “It hath been enjoined upon you . . . to bathe yourselves each week in water that covereth your bodies. . . . If the bather, instead of entering the water, wash himself by pouring it upon his body, it shall be better for him and shall absolve him of the need for bodily immersion.” Showering less frequently is actually healthier for you because water and soap remove the natural oil from your skin. Sometimes we can just wash ourselves, for example the feet which require more attention. Bahá’u’lláh wrote, again in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas K152: “Wash your feet once every day in summer, and once every three days during winter.” We can be responsible world citizens and follow this counsel of Bahá’u’lláh at the same time (K76): “God hath enjoined upon you to observe the utmost cleanliness. . . .”


Avoid Plastic
Purchase Mindfully—Do I Really Need It?
Why Eat Organic Food?

(Choose Reusable Shopping Bags / Insulate Your House / Go for a Walk or Bike Ride or Car Pool to Meetings / Shop Locally, Support Local Agriculture / Give Up Bottled Water—Go Back to the Tap / Go Solar / Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry / Ethical and Easy Lawns / Buy Clean Energy / Eat Less Beef / Home Energy Audit / Searching the Web (Use Ecosia and Plant a Tree)

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