There are a number of things that make saving energy difficult. One is that people who can afford to be comfortable don’t like to be uncomfortable. Another is that people often have no idea what really drives energy use in their home. Turning off a few lights really doesn’t compensate for the fact that your new digital video recorder stays busy 24 hours a day.
If you want to help people save energy at home, make it convenient and comfortable to curtail wasted energy. We spend an awful lot of energy heating air and water. If you want to be comfortable, you can’t avoid doing a fair amount of this. But I’ve always thought it’s a particular shame that we pay to heat water for showers and shaving and then we immediately send it down the drain and out of the house. Sure enough, there are people who think about graywater heat recovery, but that’s still (relatively) capital-intensive and far from mainstream.
So what are some ways to simply use less water and still be comfortable? Low flow faucets and shower heads are good. But here’s a brilliant idea that I came across on Indiegogo the other day: the Bonsai shaving tool. I don’t know if they’ll meet their fundraising goal, but I love the idea. Men tend to leave hot water running while they’re shaving. Every last one of them realizes this is wasteful, but the alternative is just too inconvenient. This Bonsai widget is a shaving mug that keeps the razor clean by shooting a jet of water through it. No need to have an open faucet.
Clever and Bright Green!