Austin, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — In an effort to increase public awareness for global warming in Japan, officials are taking a new approach to old customs when it comes to water and energy consumption, specifically when it comes to bathing. A recent report by Reuters stated that although Japan is one of the world’s most energy efficient countries, greenhouse gas emissions from industrial machines and households have increased steadily in recent years.
In light of that conclusion, Japanese officials have released a government report noting that residents should speed up the traditional family-style bath. The family-style bath is a standard Japanese practice whereas one member of the family will begin by cleansing outside of the bathtub and then soak into a tub filled with hot water. That tub water is then reused by the next person in line. Each time, the water in the tub must be reheated if the previous bather takes too long.
“Japanese households consume less energy than their U.S. and European counterparts, but consumption has been sharply increasing –jumping 44 percent between 1990 and 2005 — a big reason the environment white paper zeroed in on ways for people to save energy.” According to the report 39% of the energy used in Japanese homes are due to the use of heated water in kitchens and lavatories. In contrast, Western and European households mainly use energy for heating and cooling purposes.
The report now suggests that Japanese families take a cue from the Western society and shorten daily baths by at least one minute as well as to take baths “quick succession.”
Global warming and environmental changes will be a major source of discussion during the G8 summit which Japan will host in July 2008.