Since about kindergarten, children are taught to turn off the water while they brush their teeth. It’s a simple step that makes one feel like a member of Captain Planet’s Planeteers. But because the CDC wants us to wash our hands for 20 seconds roughly 20 times a day, reducing water waste from the faucet is a bit tricky. Instead, a new device aims to help you save water in the shower, instead.
Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water a minute, according to the EPA. That means even if you’re not taking Kramer-length showers, your morning rinse, which averages out at eight minutes, accounts for nearly 17 percent of the water used in your home. The Eva, which is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, wants to help you shower smarter.
A few smart shower devices merely track your water usage with a smartphone app or time your shower to shame you into using less water. Eva does both but also actually restricts the water flow during those times you need less water. So as you move further away from the shower head to soap up or shave or brush your teeth (for shame! That’s practically the opposite of turning off the faucet during your dental hygiene routine), Eva’s sensors recognize your movement and turn down the flow to 80, 70, or 40 percent, depending on how far away you go. The water stays warm but less is going down the drain. When you step under the spray to get the shampoo out of your hair, the Eva cranks the pressure back up to full blast.
Unless you babysit the shower so you know exactly when it’s hot enough, lots perfectly warm water goes down the drain. Before you actually hop in, the Eva will wait until the water reaches your desired temp, then it will shut off the flow. This way, you’re not wasting water while you disrobe or what have you.
With its “late bird” special, you can pick up an Eva for $109, though it will normally retail for $189. By saving an average of 9.5 gallons of water every shower, Eva claims the device pays for itself in less than a year and could save a trillion gallons of water a year if everyone in the U.S. had one. That last stat is a little pie-in-the-sky. They’re basing it on the calculation of 316 million people shower every day. Not everyone lathers up on the regular, which, apparently might be just fine hygienically, as well as environmentally friendly.