We were in the Medemblik marina , where the Ya always gets a warm welcome. We take showers there. Everybody takes a shower there. All together some 50 to 100 showers each morning. Although the Dutch heat efficiently on gas, an average Dutch shower brings approximately 1,5 kilogram CO2 into the air. When you use coal to heat, like in the USA or China, this can be triple! We shower a lot, so here is something to reduce. Use a checklist to reduce CO2 in your showers: the Shower Check.
The Shower Check applied
Peter made a checklist on what you can do to save CO2, and money. He applied it on the showers in the marina of Medemblik. Here you see the checklist and the results.
|Medemblik Marina Showers|
|Throughput (flow) of the spray head||4,4 ltr/min|
|Temperature||41 degrees at outlet|
|Heating efficiency||90% (on paper)|
|Automatic stop on e.g. 2 minutes||yes|
|Short hot water lines||yes|
|Heat recovery unit(s)||no|
Peter put a bucket under the shower and let it run for exactly 1 minute. The Medemblik Marina showers are well adjusted. They managed to lower the flow to the minimum of 4,4 liter per minute. And still you have a nice shower. The temperature only could perhaps be lower; this saves CO2 as well. Directly after our feedback, the harbourmaster lowered it.
If you push the ON button, you shower runs for 2 minutes. Push again, and it starts again for two minutes. Luckily there is also an OFF button, when you want to stop. Many harbour showers have coin systems and then the shower simply continues, also when you are done. It runs only for the bureaucratic reason that you paid for a certain amount of time. It is a waste. Not in Medemblik. You get exactly the shower you need. This saves money and the showers are free (the coin system would only make it more expensive).
What the marina does not have is a heat recovery unit. This installation reuses the heat from your wastewater to heat to your fresh shower water. This saves a lot, but it should be built in when they rebuild the showers. This, together with some sun boilers on the roof, would easily make the showers fossil free, and cheaper on the long run. The harbour master explained that the steep roofs do not allow to get enough sun there. The roofs must be rebuilt then
Generally, the fossil fuels used, are reduced to the minimum. It is the main prayer of the Fossil Free Around the World project: “Three things: (1)Use only what you really need, (2) use only what you really need, and (3)use only what you really need.”
The whole installation is as ecological optimized as one can with the conventional equipment. If Medemblik marina wants to save more, structural decisions have to be made.
How you save CO2- money- and energy
You can use the Shower Check to reduce your own CO2 en money emissions.
First, you can minimize the flow. In stead of a big, wide spray head creating a rain shower of about 10 or 15 liter per minute, you simply buy a so called ‘sport spray head’. These do not cost much and give a pleasant flow of about 5 liter per minute.
Second, you can reduce the time of your shower. The average shower is 9 minutes. This is not necessary (and it is also not healthy for your skin, you might give that some thought).
Heating water means combusting gas, oil or coal. Medemblik Marina uses a gas combustion heater, with an efficiency of about 85%. But there are heaters that do over 90%.
If you have the money, install one or two sun boilers on your roof. Better put your money there than on a bank. And you shower fossil free!