Year without Showering

Lessons Learned from a Year without Showering

*Update 04/20/2015- Today is my 2 year no-shower anniversary! Enjoy the story I wrote a year ago today:

As of today it has been one year since my last shower. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and a year ago I would have agreed with you. I was a regular showering guy for the first 26 years of my life. Well, maybe not every single day, but just about.

So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across the United States to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living. I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and rain or from wasted sources such as leaky faucets. And I kept track of exactly how much I used too, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.

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I haven’t showered in 6 months

Yeah, that’s right, the last shower I took was on April 20th, 2013, exactly 6 months ago. Why have I done something crazy like this? Well, the answer is simple: to conserve water. At first I thought it would be quite the challenge, but I learned quickly that I do not need water to pour out from a shower-head above me in order to stay clean. Water is naturally available all over and it cleans me just as well from a trickling creek, a rushing river, a placid lake, a pounding ocean wave, or dripping from the sky. 

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Rob Greenfield Water

Water: How I Cycled 4700 Miles Using Only 160 Gallons

I crossed the United States by bicycle using only 160 gallons of water and almost every last drop came from natural sources or water that was going to waste. That is less than 2 gallons per day. Actually, that is an understatement. 3,000 miles would have gotten me across the country, but I rode 4,700 miles on 160 gallons of water. I crossed the United States without turning on a faucet on the grid, without taking a shower, without washing my clothes in a washing machine, without using a toilet, and without washing my hands in a sink. I practiced water conservation to the extreme for the first 4,100 miles until I arrived in NYC and at that point, since I had officially crossed the country, I lightened up a bit, but just a little bit (as in I started to use the occasional toilet and a turned on a few faucets).

Here’s the story of my water usage.

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