2 Ways to Be Economical When Showering With an Injury

Picture of a pair of legs with red toenails, a showerhead submerged in water and an overflow drain - all centered in the image. Snuggling in a bathtub.

Written by Jackie Young.

It’s extremely challenging to lead your daily life while sustaining an injury. And yet, dealing with sports injuries is something that most of us will have to go through, with nearly 2 million sports-related injuries affecting high school athletes alone per year. Most of us know the feeling of attempting to take a shower or bath when your arm is wrapped in a cast and cannot get wet. It’s a defeated feeling, and it can quickly take away the motivation to shower or bathe in the first place. After all, wouldn’t it be easier to not deal with the challenge? Furthermore, you may also be concerned that showering with your sports-related injury will be a longer process than a normal shower, making the entire ordeal less environmentally friendly. While there are ways to make sure you are being economical while showering, like being conscientious of what you put down the drain, you may not always be thinking about the environment when trying to avoid getting your injury wet in the shower. Fortunately, there are two ways you can be economical about your water usage while showering with an injury, including:

Using Water Intermittently

One of the first shower routines you should try if you have an injury is using water intermittently. This method will actually help you avoid getting your cast or sling wet, as well, as you will be more in control of how much water you’ll use to bathe. Start by getting as much of your body and hair wet as you can—without getting your injury wet. Then, turn the water off completely.

While the water is off, you can shampoo your hair as usual. Rinse off the shampoo by turning the water on, and when you’re finished rinsing, turn the shower off again. If you use conditioner, you can then condition your hair as usual. If you do not, you can spend time scrubbing with soap. After this, turn the water on again and finish rinsing off. With this method, the idea is to never have the water on when you are not directly using it. You will inevitably save water this way while simultaneously controlling the amount of water that gets near your injury.

This is a good way to use Shampoo in the Showerloop as well. Disabling Loop mode, and letting the water go down the drain reduces the load on the activated carbon filter and thus improves it’s lifetime. - Jason from Showerloop

 

Using a Bucket

If you have a large-scale cast or slang and cannot risk getting into the shower completely, you may want to try using a bucket to bathe. This is another economical way to shower that will give you total control over the amount of water that will touch your body. All you will need is a plastic or metal bucket and a pitcher of some kind. Fill the bucket up with water. This will be all of the water that you will use for your entire “shower,” which you’ll notice is a significantly lesser amount compared to a normal shower or bath (Showerloop only requires one bucket of water per shower of any duration). Use the pitcher to pour water over your body or whichever area you wish to wash. Again, you will have control over exactly where the water goes, which is extremely helpful if you want to avoid getting your injury wet. 

By trying one of these two showering methods, you can manage to properly bathe without running the risk of getting your injury wet—and while still being environmentally-friendly.

 Current setup of the Showerloop system + a heating system. One bucket of water is all that is needed to fill the filtration system, and have some water left over for showering.    

Current setup of the Showerloop system + a heating system. One bucket of water is all that is needed to fill the filtration system, and have some water left over for showering. 

 

Don’t Put These Things Down The Shower Drain!

drainbubbles
Written by Jackie Young. Editted (a little) by Jason Selvarajan, CEO of Showerloop.

 

Natural water in Finland is some of the most polluted water in Europe (read the discussions in the article). You might be contributing to its pollution without realizing it, such as if you’re putting things down the drain that you really shouldn’t. Making your shower eco-friendly should be about saving water as well as preventing water contamination. Here’s what you can do to be greener and cleaner! 

In Finland, people use an average of 140 liters of water every day. By installing a product such as Showerloop into your shower, you can save water and energy. Showerloop reuses water while you shower so that it doesn’t go to waste – and you don’t have to feel guilty about taking longer showers. However, that’s just Step One to ensuring a more eco-friendly shower. Step Two involves preventing toxins from ending up in water systems and the environment. That means you can enjoy showering without worrying about how you’re harming the water and wildlife.

It’s crazy that it takes so long for laws to be established to protect the environment. One of the reasons is that it’s very easy to introduce new chemicals and materials onto the market with basically no testing when the quantities are sufficiently low. There was supposed to be an EU law stating phosphorus and nitrogen quantities in Shampoo’s and other products but manufacturers claimed that they would self-report these by 2016 (if I remember correctly) but this law apparently never came into place :( - Jason
 

It’s worth remembering that it’s not just toxins that should be kept away from the shower drain. Other things should also be avoided as they can clog your pipes. Listed below are some chemicals and other items you should never put down the drain:

Microbeads

More and more European countries are banning microbeads, the minute pieces of plastic that are found in hygiene products such as body scrubs. When you’re using these products in the shower, they go down the drain and can pollute the environment. Lots of microbeads have a large surface area that collects toxins and pollutants. When they enter large bodies of water, they can be consumed by marine animals. When consumed by fish, these microbeads can work their way up the food chain, even getting consumed by people. To avoid microbeads, avoid hygiene and beauty products that contain ingredients as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, and nylon. 

Chemical drain cleaners

If you’re using chemical shower drain cleaners, these are dangerous for your pipes and the environment. Chemical drain cleaners contain ingredients like sulfuric acid and caustic soda which are corrosive and can damage metal pipes. They’re also bad for the environment as these chemicals can enter bodies of water where they poison fish as well as other wildlife. Coming into contact with these chemicals, such as by breathing in their fumes, can be dangerous to your health. They can irritate the skin, eyes, or cause more dangerous illnesses such as cancer. You don’t need chemicals to clean your shower drains. Use eco-friendly methods instead, such as baking soda and vinegar.

Coffee granules

How do coffee granules enter in your shower? Easy – they’re becoming a popular, eco-friendly DIY ingredient for many skincare products, such as exfoliating scrubs. Natural and organic products in Scandinavia are becoming more popular because they avoid the use of chemicals that can harm the planet. Although coffee granules aren’t bad for the environment, they can be bad for your pipes. When they mix with oils in your pipes, they can stick together and clog them up. Worst of all, to get rid of the clogged pipes, you might use chemical drain cleaners. These don’t help to break down the coffee grounds, though. The result is you’ll be putting harmful chemicals into your pipes that can get into the environment. 

We really need to look into alternative products for use with Showerloop. So far all we know is that organic soaps are better absorbed by the activated carbon / filter setup that we are using. For mud scrubs we need to add an additional filter to capture it before it goes through the pump - Jason

Shampoo

It’s common to wash your hair in the shower, but many shampoos contain harmful ingredients. One of these is phthalates. This chemical has been linked to reproductive problems in wildlife. According to a report by Health Care Without Harm Europe, the Women’s Environmental Network, and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, phthalates can lead to reproductive problems in animals, including a reduced survival of offspring, altered levels of hormones, and fertility problems. Avoid this from happening by switching to an organic shampoo that's kinder to your health as well as that of animals. Nitrates and phosphates are also released into the environment if a water treatment facility doesn't have all the right stages (tertiary treatment) before releasing water into the environment. Finland is world class in this respect and is working to reduce nutrient release into the sea from human activities to as little as possible. Water ways are shared so ultimately it requires cooperation and a community commitment. 

Having a clean and eco-friendly shower is important. By ensuring that you don’t put harmful products down the drain, you can keep your pipes healthy and prevent chemicals from entering the environment where they can pollute the water and harm wildlife and ultimately ourselves.

With Showerloop but it’s still better to let soapy water go down the drain for the longevity of the filter. Our goal is to find or invent a way to filter out all kinds of soap with 100% reliability but that will require way more time and funding than what is currently available. I’m certain that the goal is achievable on a small scale and in an economically and ecologically feasible way (large scale utility projects are still the most effective for saving water but maybe not energy). Showerloop is just our first step in readjusting our relationship with water and the beautiful and plentiful resources on this planet.

 

 

Showerloop at the Design museum

Showerloop at the Design museum

Low poly showerstall for the Design Museum. Enter & Encounter Exhibit

At the start of the year, we were asked to bring a demo of Showerloop to an art/design/futurism exhibit. We also designed a wooden shower stall to accompany the showerloop system. The shower stall was made with blender, Explision, Meshlab, a lasercutter, circle saw, router, dremel, drill, clamps, hammer, crowbar, screwdriver, nuts, sticks, planks and bits, interior wax, lights, music and action. 

The electronics board PCBBasic2.0

For the last couple of months we have gotten back to circuit boards and looking at completing the project we started a long time ago. Making the shower smart and easily controllable like one would expect from modern consumer products. There's been a lot to learn considering all we could do a few years ago was wire up a light bulb, and even then we would need to check what the difference was with the brown wire (live/positive) and the blue wire (ground/neutral). 

Climate KIC Alumni Association Local Rep Meeting Feb 2017

Representing the Helsinki-Uusimaa region for the CKAA, my brother and I got the opportunity to network with amazing people in a beautiful city, or is it beautiful people in an amazing city? Good fun either way.

Something, something, portfolio?

Not stopping the work on Showerloop any time soon but for various reasons sent in an application to study Creative Sustainability in Aalto University. Mostly because it sounds like my thing and I really want to get 50% off on my bus tickets. While it's certainly not my best work I managed to start putting together some content from the last 1-2 years of work and while I hope to do a more thorough job in the weeks to come, I think it's a rather good start.

Let me know what you think. 

 

Yay, I've been asked to help get Showerloop into a book on Social Design :) :) :)

When someone says they like to publish your tech in a book my first thought it YAY, my second thought it, daim, that's a lot of questions. Just in case it doesn't work out and they don't add Showerloop to their book I figure I should just share my thoughts with everyone. Mind you I've only slept for a bit of five hours and might close my eyes for a bit as I type this... forgive me if I make no sense.