About the Author

Jan Stejskal
Journalist, Ekolist.cz ()

Journalist. Freelancer. Now editor-in-chief at Ekolist.cz - daily on-line news, comments and discussions on the environment and the nature. Ekolist.cz is based in Prague, Czech Republic. Member of the editorial board at Krkonoše-Jizerské hory - monthly issued magazine about a region in Czech Republic with the Czech oldest national park. Author of the book "Novopacko - Portrét paměti a srdce" (in English: "Novopacko - Portrait of Memory and Heart"); book is about the cultural identity of one northeastern region in Czech Republic. Degree in general anthropology, Charles University in Prague.

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Do You Pee In The Shower?

Published 21st February 2011 - 15 comments - 13377 views -

The question is a bit gross, isn‘t it? Or intimate at least ... But the answer will tell you if you waste thousand(s) litres of the water every year.

 It was about one and half year ago when Brazilian TV ads (see below) were encouraging residents to save the water by urinating in the shower. We published an info about the Brazilian iniciative on our website Ekolist.cz. Large discussion flamed up shortly after. People treating peeing in the shower as unsanitary were on one side. „Typical stupid green idea taking the society back to primeval ages,“ they claimed. Others backed TV ads saying it is normal. „Peeing in the shower helps to grow a connection with your own body. You save time and money – and you feel relaxed,“ they argued.

 I like the spot, it‘s funny. I do not understand it properly but I guess it shows that everyone is peeing in the shower. In the end it says how much water you could save if you would do the same. The video was made by the Brazilian organization SOS Mata Atlantica which is promoting a conservation of the Atlantic rainforest. The group said if a household avoids one flush a day, it can save up to 4380 liters (1157 gallons) of water every year. I think these numbers are too high. It is no problem to have the flush with three litres or less, so we get, lets say, about 1000 saved litres of water every year. However it still counts. The group provides even the website Xixi no banho where you can vote whether you pee in the shower or not.

 According to a poll on the Xixi no banho pages almost three quarters of people pee in the shower. When Glamour Magazine made its own poll with the question „Have you ever peed in the shower?“, almost 75 percent of poll-takers said yes. But some people care about the sanitation. SOS Mata Atlantico argues that 95 % of peeing is the water anyway and the rest is all drained down by flowing water. Even doctors say that unless you have an infection (hepatitis for instance), urine is sterile and nontoxic.

 It is true that toilet flushing accounts for a huge part of indoor water use. But be careful – if you pee in the shower without doing anything else (like washing your hair) you may spend more water than if you would use an eco-friendly type of a toilet flush or a pisoar. Peeing in the shower is not surely going to save the world. But it is not going to ruin your health either. However, this ad helps to people think about a conservation of the water at least. And I like that it does in a funny way. If you decide to join pee-in-the-shower movement, just bear in mind that it does not mean you should take the shower everytime you need to pee. And remember that taking a shower or taking a bath makes a huge difference!

*Feature Image Credit: Steven Depolo / Flickr / Creative Commons BY 2.0

Category: Sanitation | Tags:


  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 21st February 2011:

    I wonder how much water will be saved…

  • Avgi Lilli on 22nd February 2011:

    Great post, interesting and funny!!
    Oh well, it´s like peeing in the sea! Who doesn´t?

  • Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira on 22nd February 2011:

    I loved it!
    When I first saw the tittle of the article, I thought: “oh, nice, they did it in other places too”.

    Talking about the video:
    The children are invinting every kind of person who pee (women, men, kids, poor, rich, musicians, bad and good people, brazilians and greeks characters, monsters, etc, etc) to do it while taking a shower… and at the end they say how much driking water is wasted in the toilet.

    @Jan, the campaign had a nice repercussion over here. On the internet, lots of blogs and websites have talked and discussed about it; TV and newspapers also entered on the discussion asking their audience whether they did it or not. These pros and cons also came up… but most people said they did it. Well, I always did… Of course it is not going to save the world, but there is no need to waste water for this purpose.

    @Avgi and @Pabitra, it is exactly the same thing… and I would say on the sea and swimming pool it is worse… and no one cares!

    Just a plus for my thinkers colleagues to prove people sometimes do not have what to do: someone has created a spin-off of this caimpaign, the “poop in the shower”. I am serious! haha But it was more for fun, it is just a blog… but, well, who knows! Here is the page: http://coconobanho.blogspot.com/

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