Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Do the British Take the World's Most Inconsiderate Showers?

showerflickrflip.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Maybe they should call it "soggy old England." Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry published a survey this week finding that U.K. residents used more water, and cared less about their water waste and pollution, than their Western European counterparts. Only 48 percent of British survey subjects said they showered for less than five minutes, as opposed to 59 percent for both the French and Spanish. As always, it's hard to know how accurately the survey statistics reflect real life. The French and Spanish appear to be the most water-conscious Western Europeans, but knowing that you're wasting water isn't the same as stopping your waste. Still, the results fired up Richard Pike, the Royal Society of Chemistry's chief executive. It takes only two minutes to get clean in the shower, he says, but only 4 percent of the Britons in his study were so efficient. On an already over-populated island that figures to have the same water woes as the rest of the world, Pike says, long showers are "absurd and self-indulgent." He's probably right, but those few extra minutes of hot water in the morning sure feel good. That's probably why Americans are even worse about long showers the Britons. The L.A. Times says the average American shower clocks in at 10.4 minutes, while even in Britain, according to the Royal Society survey, about 80 percent of people manage to keep it under 10 minutes. Perhaps the Brits just need to go back to cramped water closets so people don't want to stay in there for so long.

Image: flickr/Krikit

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In