Showering and your carbon footprint

Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your shower time

Not many people realize that our daily showering ritual has a vast carbon footprint. Almost everyone takes a hot shower. The water used is warmed by adding lots and lots of energy. At the same time, the percentage of energy obtained from renewable sources is only 7,3% in The Netherlands. That means that 92,7% of all our energy is not from renewable sources! Because of this, the carbon footprint of taking daily (and long) showers is extensive.

We love our long and hot shower. On average we shower for 8,3 minutes per person per day and use 53,6 liters of water, according to an investigation by Vitens from 2019. Therefore, the conclusion that we could shut down one coal powered electricity plant if we would reduce our shower tim from 9 to 5 minutes is not that strange. Martien Visser from the Hanzehogeschool recently calculated that we would save 1,5 megaton of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

In order to meet the 2020 Paris climate goals we need to greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas. The goal is to realize a reduction of 25% compared to the emissions in 1990. Urgenda is holding the government accountable. But reducing the carbon footprint is everyones responsibility,

An energy saving shower can be a sustainable shower?

According to Vitens we do want to reduce our environmental impact. But we do not want to reduce our shower experience. Unfortunately, we have only been extending our time in the shower: from 38,8 liter per shower in 1995 to 53,6 liter per shower in 2019! It does add up investigating how we can reuse the energy put into our shower water.

Usage of shower water in The Netherlands

Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your shower time

Not many people realize that our daily showering ritual has a vast carbon footprint. Almost everyone takes a hot shower. The water used is warmed by adding lots and lots of energy. At the same time, the percentage of energy obtained from renewable sources is only 7,3% in The Netherlands. That means that 92,7% of all our energy is not from renewable sources! Because of this, the carbon footprint of taking daily (and long) showers is extensive.

We love our long and hot shower. On average we shower for 8,3 minutes per person per day and use 53,6 liters of water, according to an investigation by Vitens from 2019. Therefore, the conclusion that we could shut down one coal powered electricity plant if we would reduce our shower tim from 9 to 5 minutes is not that strange. Martien Visser from the Hanzehogeschool recently calculated that we would save 1,5 megaton of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

In order to meet the 2020 Paris climate goals we need to greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas. The goal is to realize a reduction of 25% compared to the emissions in 1990. Urgenda is holding the government accountable. But reducing the carbon footprint is everyones responsibility,

An energy saving shower can be a sustainable shower?

According to Vitens we do want to reduce our environmental impact. But we do not want to reduce our shower experience. Unfortunately, we have only been extending our time in the shower: from 38,8 liter per shower in 1995 to 53,6 liter per shower in 2019! It does add up investigating how we can reuse the energy put into our shower water.

Usage of shower water in The Netherlands

How big is your carbon footprint?

Water saving shower head (6,9 liter) 8,3 minutes Water saving shower head (6,9 liter) 5 minutes Hamwells HomeSpa (15 liter) 9 minutes in circulatiemode Hamwells Blue (7,5 liter) 9 minutes
1 person 0,22 ton CO2 0,13 ton CO2 0,08 ton CO2 0,1 ton CO2
Household 0,488 ton CO2 0,29 ton CO2 0,17 ton CO2 0,22 ton CO2
10% NL 0,377 Mton CO2 0,27 Mton CO2 0,132 Mton CO2 0,17 Mton CO2
100% NL 3,77 Mton CO2 2,27 Mton CO2 1,32 Mton CO2 1,70 Mton CO2

How big is your carbon footprint?

Water saving shower head (6,9 liter) 9 minutes
1 person 0,15 ton CO2
Household 0,33 ton CO2
10% NL 0,377 Mton CO2
100% NL 3,37 Mton CO2
Water saving shower head (6,9 liter) 5 minutes
1 person 0,08 ton CO2
Household 0,18 ton CO2
10% NL 0,227 Mton CO2
100% NL  2,27 Mton CO2
Hamwells HomeSpa (15 liter)
9 minutes in circulatiemode
1 person 0,078 ton CO2
Household 0,17 ton CO2
10% NL 0,13 Mton CO2
100% NL 1,3 Mton CO2
Hamwells Blue (7,5 liter) 9 minutes
1 person 0,1 ton CO2
Household 0,22 ton CO2
10% NL 0,169 Mton CO2
100% NL 1,69 Mton CO2

Energy saving showers

The Blue made by Hamwells is a shower system with integrated heat exchanger module. This heat exchanger will recover with high efficiency the heat of the shower waste water and will reuse it again to heat up the cold supply water. The supply of domestic hot water will drop to only 1,8 liter per minute. A conventional water saving shower like specified by milieucentraal still requires 4 liters of hot water per minute.

The Blue is more then twice as efficient as a conventional water saving shower. If everyone in The Netherlands would use such a system with heat exchanger then the carbon footprint would drop from 3,77 Mton to 1,7 Mton. This is a saving of about 2 Mton and can be compared to insulating 500.000 houses.

Savings in carbon emmissions

When everyone in The Netherlands would shower for 5 instead of 9 minutes we would reduce our carbon emissions with 1,5 Mton per year.

2.58 Mton CO2

If everyone in The Netherlands would use a shower with integrated heat exchanger we would save 2 Mton per year.

1,16 Mton CO2
De duurzame douche
Picture above: The Blue made by Hamwells uses only 1,8 liters of hot water per minute.

Recirculating showers

If you want to live even more sustainable or even completely off the grid, then you can also have a look at recirculating showers. A multiple of companies are now offerings these units. These showers can filter, purify and recirculate the water of your shower.

Picture above: The HomeSpa made by Hamwells uses only 1,4 liters of water per minute.

There are great differences in the systems that are offered by, for example Orbital Systems, Showerloop and Hamwells. The HomeSpa made by Hamwells only adds hot water based on the temperature requirements of your shower. This means that on avererage (based on NEN7120) you only need 1,4 liter of hot water per minute. In real life it can be even less. These systems are an ideal solution for autarktic living.

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Contact Hamwells

Energy saving showers

The Blue made by Hamwells is a shower system with integrated heat exchanger module. This heat exchanger will recover with high efficiency the heat of the shower waste water and will reuse it again to heat up the cold supply water. The supply of domestic hot water will drop to only 1,8 liter per minute. A conventional water saving shower like specified by milieucentraal still requires 4 liters of hot water per minute.

The Blue is more then twice as efficient as a conventional water saving shower. If everyone in The Netherlands would use such a system with heat exchanger then the carbon footprint would drop from 3,77 Mton to 1,7 Mton. This is a saving of about 2 Mton and can be compared to insulating 500.000 houses.

Savings in carbon emmissions

When everyone in The Netherlands showers with a water saving shower head there still are 2,58 Mton of carbon emmissions per year.

2.58 Mton CO2

When everyone showers with a shower with heat recovery module then the carbon emissions are lowered to 1,16 Mton per year.

1,16 Mton CO2
De duurzame douche
Picture above: The Blue made by Hamwells uses only 1,8 liters of hot water per minute.

Recirculating showers

If you want to live even more sustainable or even completely off the grid, then you can also have a look at recirculating showers. A multiple of companies are now offerings these units. These showers can filter, purify and recirculate the water of your shower.

Picture above: The HomeSpa made by Hamwells uses only 1,4 liters of water per minute.

There are great differences in the systems that are offered by, for example Orbital Systems, Showerloop and Hamwells. The HomeSpa made by Hamwells only adds hot water based on the temperature requirements of your shower. This means that on avererage (based on NEN7120) you only need 1,4 liter of hot water per minute. In real life it can be even less. These systems are an ideal solution for autarktic living.

Follow us on Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram

Contact Hamwells