There's nothing quite like a long, hot shower. But if you're an eco-warrior, you also probably know that indulging in one is not the greenest thing you could do for the planet. For example, a standard, eight-minute shower uses about nine to 10 liters of water per minute. During that time, just shy of 18 gallons of that water go to waste down the drain.
On top of that, heating all that water takes its toll; hot water use accounts for about 25 percent of the average home's heating costs. In other words, it's wasteful and expensive to take long showers, but many of us still enjoy doing it. So is there an eco-friendly alternative that doesn't involve the "get in, get out" mentality?
Thanks to recent innovation, there is an easy way to enjoy a relaxing shower while still being kind to the plant. Flow Loop is a new and improved shower made in Denmark that recirculates water for less waste and less energy use. The way it works is pretty simple. As you shower in a Flow Loop system, the warm water that would normally go down the drain is circulated back up into the shower head, essentially reusing it instead of losing it.
Will the water be freezing? Interestingly, the difference in temperature by the time it recirculates is minor. By the time water from the shower head hits the floor, it only cools by about 5ºF. So when the water comes back around, Flow Loop adds in just a little more hot warm to maintain the temperature, resulting in about 1 liter of water per minute – or 10 times less than the average shower.
It gets better, too: When the water is recirculated from the bottom of the shower, it goes through a filtration system that Flow Loop claims makes the water even cleaner and safer than most tap water. First, it passes through a prefilter and self-cleaning microfilter, which ensure large and small particles (like hair, dirt, and skin cells) don't come back through the shower head.
Next, it hits an ultrasonic descaler, which reduces limescale build up in the shower, followed by a UV filter that eliminates up to 99.99 percent of bacteria, micro organisms or viruses. This also helps give you a faster and more thorough shampooing. By the time the water recirculates back out of the shower head, it's crystal clear.
Because the Flow Loop shower saves so much water, it also doesn't have to adhere to low-flow regulations, which restrict the power of shower heads to two gallons per minute in an effort to reduce water use. Flow Loop gives you four gallons a minute. So an addendum to that first statement: There's nothing like a long, hot, high-pressure shower. And with Flow Loop, you can get that guilt-free.