Showerer Beware: This Curtain’ll Kick You Out If You Take Too Long

Have you ever been in the shower so long, the water gets cold, forcing you out a lot sooner than you expected? Well, these shower curtains have the same idea. After four minutes, they’ll kick you out. No, they won’t turn your water cold, but they will get you thinking about water conservation… hopefully. At least, that was the idea behind designer Elisabeth Buecher’s concept—which was an art installation at the 2009 Milan Furniture Fair, not actual products for sale (though I do believe it should be the latter). One curtain, “Spiky,” has plastic spikes that jut out after the four-minute shower allotment. The other, “Trap,” inflates around you when your water time’s up (only, without the spikes). Both are in her “My Shower Curtain is a Green Warrior” collection.

On her website, Buecher says:

I looked at the environmental issue of excessive water consumption. I designed a series of water-saving shower curtains which inflate after four minutes spent under the water, taking over the space and discouraging long water-wasting showers.

Unless you’ve been in hiding, you probably know that those of us in California have been living with a drought. I wish these curtains were mandatory in California, as I keep seeing people wasting water—whether it’s while they brush their teeth, do dishes or take long showers. Aside from reminding them there’s a state-wide water shortage, I feel like following the water-wasters around and collecting the spare drops in a bucket. (Come on, people! Who doesn’t enjoy a long shower? But not during the drought! Long showers could eventually mean no showers! I feel I should start Buecher’s Kickstarter campaign for her, in fact!)

Until the shower curtains go on the market (let us hope), here are some water conservation tips to keep in mind, even if you don’t live in California:

  • Take a five-minute shower (which can save 12.5-25 gallons of water(!), depending on the type of showerhead you have).
  • Soak pots and pans.
  • Turn off the faucet (when brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.) and it can save around 10 gallons a day.

The Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts have some water-saving suggestions, too:

  • Only wash full loads of laundry and full sink fulls of dishes.
  • If you take a bath, fill the tub halfway or less.
  • Use a broom (instead of a hose) to clean your driveway.

So next time you find yourself in the shower more than four minutes, your skin getting all wrinkly, think of Buecher’s curtains coming to get you and kicking you out. (Or I’ll come over and do it.)