The Guardian, Britain’s wildly anti-fossil fuel news site, floated the idea on Tuesday of taking the “no-shower challenge” as a way to alleviate water shortages and heal environmental degradation.
“Reducing the frequency of showers (and the number of cleansing products used) has very real implications for our environment,” The Guardian’s Madeleine Somerville wrote. “The average shower lasts seven minutes and uses 65 litres of water.”
“The vital importance of clean water is becoming harder and harder to ignore, as California enters another summer gripped by drought,” she added. “It’s becoming clear that clean water is one of the world’s most valuable commodities, and one that will soon be in short supply. Add in the environmental toll of all those body wash bottles, and you’ve got yourself a handful of very compelling reasons to let your body go au naturel.”
Somerville’s concerns may be unfounded as it turns out.
Recent research done by British author and global warming skeptic, Andrew Montford, and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, shows that droughts are not more prevalent now than they every have been.
“Evidence that droughts have become more prevalent on a global scale is equally hard to come by,” Montford wrote in a report published in April. Montford’s report is not an outlier, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ climate branch, has slowly back peddled on previous claims of droughts and parched earth environmental destruction.
In 2013, the IPCC stated that “[c]onfidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, owing to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends.”
Somerville notes other reasons for cutting out showering, if the drought argument doesn’t fit your fancy, including restoring your body’s natural bacterial enzymes, rather than washing them down the drain.
“If this whole thing is giving you the heebie-jeebies as you recall the last time you were pressed cheek to jowl with those who evidently already skimp on the showers – and have clearly not reached the hallowed scent-free stage yet,” she added, then “relax.”
Apparently the “no-shower challenge” does not mean going without deodorant.