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Monday, February 23, 2015

How Being a Dirty Slob Can Help Save the Planet

Do your part to protect the world's water supply and ward off a catastrophic megadrought. Stop taking so many showers!

A new NASA study claims an 80 percent chance that a megadrought—a catastrophic shortage of water lasting more than three decades—has already begun blanketing most of the western half of the U.S. Clearly, we need to think of new ways to save water.
You already know about desert landscaping, ocean desalinization, and grey water reuse. And they're all important.

A real dent could be made in America's water demand if guys were allowed by our wives, mothers, and girlfriends to be our disgusting natural selves. We know because we showed this plan to the California Institute for Water Resources at the University of California, and Director Doug Parker estimated a 17.5 percent reduction in national water use if American males of all ages followed it. That's a whopping 1.9 trillion gallons of the 10.5 trillion that Parker says U.S. residents use every year.
In other words, hardly a drop in the bucket. And you thought that saving the world and being a lazy slob were mutually exclusive.
If you follow the suggestions below, then the next time somebody calls you a good-for-nothing slob, you can inform them exactly what you're good for.

SHOWERING TWICE A WEEK 
Gallons saved per male per week: 62.5
A new poll of 527 men and women taken by Mashable and SurveyMonkey found that 60 percent shower once a day and most of the rest (20 percent) shower every other day. If you're not a construction worker, mechanic, or daily exerciser, this is too much.
The daily shower is a cultural custom, not a health imperative. In fact, most dermatologists think that overshowering can be bad for you. Daily showering removes the skin’s natural oils and outermost dead layer—which protect the underlying, alive layer from drying out—and it strips away beneficial microbes that a recent University of California study found help you ward off infections. In addition to the gallons of water saved, Parker cites “a serious energy savings” as well.
Of course, this suggestion is contingent upon taking and passing the pit smell self-check at least five times daily, or you may enter a horrible feedback loop that negates your water savings: getting the cold shoulder and requiring a cold shower.

WEARING THE SAME JEANS ALL WEEK
Gallons saved per male per week: 36
We know what women don't—that jeans are perfectly good for seven straight wearing days. In fact, the CEO of Levi's has admitted to never washing his jeans. Underwear prevents direct pee and poo contact, so we're really talking about the accumulated smell and stains from sweat, dead skin flakes and oils, and leaky pizza slices.
If you work in an office where tons of other environmentally irresponsible, overwashing women might notice and ostracize you, then alternate between several pairs of what they would call "dirty" pants but we know are perfectly fine.

CHANGING BEDSHEETS ONCE A MONTH
Gallons saved per male per week: 27
Most of us guys would be fine with this frequency. But sharing a bed with a woman usually means they're washed once a week for us. It feels great to snuggle up on soft, freshly-washed linens, but is it worth the water? (Plus, think about how great it would feel after going four weeks between washes!)
Admittedly, this will be the toughest recommendation to pull off—especially if we're showering twice a week. But every additional day between washes helps.

SHAVING ONCE A WEEK OR NEVER (OR GOING ELECTRIC)
Gallons saved per male per week: 21
Women think they hate it when we don't shave. But what they really hate is the way 1-to-3-day stubble feels against their skin. At around the fourth day, your beard becomes soft instead of stabby, and contributes more to a grooming style than a lack of one.
Parker says 5 gallons of water can be spared per shave, if you leave the water running, 1 gallon if you don't. So we'll call it 3 gallons.
Of course, if you just like shaving, you can go electric and contribute even more water savings.

FLUSHING EVERY THIRD BATHROOM TRIP (pee-only, of course)
Gallons saved per male per week: 63
This is the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” edict popular in many of the California communities that still house aging hippies. It saves three of your average five flushes per day.
Since the average toilet flushes 4 gallons, and new ones 1.5, we'll call it a savings of 3 gallons per flush. Needless to say, asparagus should be avoided.

EATING OUT OF TAKEOUT CONTAINERS OR OFF PAPER PLATES INSTEAD OF WASHING DISHES
Gallons saved per male per week: 20
Dishwashers use about 10 gallons per load, and most people run theirs twice weekly. "So, again some real savings in local water use," Parker says, although he admits that disposable containers pose other environmental problems.

MOPPING THE FLOOR ONCE A YEAR 
Gallons saved per male per week: 2
Most women can’t tolerate less than once-a-week mopping on their kitchen floors, which we guys know is a useless exercise. I mean, who's really coming by to visit without calling first? Nobody you want to see anyway. Just sweep and wet and soap a towel for the really bad stains.

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