If winter is a shower of shooting stars, then spring is a hop, skip and a jump through lush meadows. I love me a shower. I really do. The lengthier the better. But then I feel the antithesis of green and pretty guilty. I recently read that whilst working on an academic project with Nasa, Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, a Swedish industrial designer, realised there could be parallels between sustainability in space and on Earth. The extremes of space require that the vital resource of water be used in the most efficient way possible, and so, inspired by those experiences with the space agency, Mahdjoubi created a shower system that reuses the same water in a circular loop, while two filters take out impurities as it circulates. This Shower of the Future, from his company, Orbital Systems, can operate on five litres of water. The water constantly circulates for 10 minutes or so – the time of an average shower apparently – in turn saving on energy. I think we should jump on this bandwagon. Tout suite.
I go through all the typical shower rituals — washing, washing and then some — until I’m ready to steam it up a bit. I put a few drops of essential oils on the floor, giving me a rise of note and my very own makeshift inhalation. Lavender, geranium and eucalyptus are a potent little triumvirate for an invigorating and sometimes soporific boost, but I also keep Aura Cacia Shower Tablets around. Place one on the floor in the direct stream of the water and then languish under the beat, sucking in what feels like a field of herbs in Provence (that’s my kind of kick mind you), just with fun effervescent bubbles beneath your feet.
And then I go nuclear. Or Arctic to be more precise. I grab the handle for the water, pause, take a deep breath and then turn it to all-the-way-cold, or freezing. The thing that most draws me to the cold water is also the thing that most repels me: It’s really hard to do but it feels all sorts of amazing afterwards. And your circulatory system will be ever so grateful. And that, in a nutshell, is the biggest reason to do it (with the caveat that if there is a water shortage in your area, you should find something else to do that is hard). It reminds me a little bit of that Mark Twain saying, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”