Japan to save the world, get dirty

A great American: taking an energy efficient, zero water bath.
A great American: taking an energy efficient, zero water bath.Courtesy mikekanyo
The Japanese government is encouraging its citizens to strike a grimy blow to the forces of overconsumption.

In an official report sparkling with figures and spinning with good intent, the government recommended that people take speedier showers, and not screw around in between baths.

“We’re savin’ water this way, see? And we don’t got to heat up as much, see? That saves energy, kid,” said Prime Minister Fukuda of the recommendation. “Now scram—ya bother me,” he added.

Still below the average American and European consumption levels, energy use per capita in Japan has increased by 44 percent over the last fifteen years or so. An, unlike America and Europe, where household energy use is primarily for heating and air-conditioning, the bulk of Japanese household energy use is applied to heating water for kitchens and bathrooms.

Shorter showers is an old trick, but traditional Japanese bath time customs leave some room for improvement—bathing is often done outside the tub, and followed by a soak in the hot water. Family members then will reuse the water when it’s their turn. Baths in quicker succession would require less reheating of the water, thereby saving energy.

“So simple a baby could have come up with it,” says Fukuda. “It’s genius, I tell ya!”

It’s a thought-provoking plan, certainly. I don’t recommend that Americans adopt it, however. No, while we could all stand to use a little less energy, who wants to constantly play catch up to another country? Not us. I say, then, that we stop bathing altogether! Let’s see another country try to beat that.

Sidenote—Does Pigpen have fleas? Or are those just dirt particles?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bert123's picture
bert123 says:

that is kind of messed up so basically they want you to be dirty? and how is it the government that can tell you to shorten your baths/showers?
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Fri, 06/06/2008 - 1:16pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options