Environmental and social aspects of domestic bathing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter sets domestic bathing in a broad context - the large and increasing overload of the planet's ecology by human activity. The domestic bathing practices of prosperous, westernised people are extravagant, mainly through the use of large amounts of water and energy. Ways in which bathing can remain pleasurable and hygienic, yet use an order of magnitude less water and energy are discussed. Such a reduction cannot be achieved through technical efficiency alone, because capitalism requires net economic growth of the historic kind. The fundamental questions are political. In particular, humanity must change from an ethos of domination and exploitation to an ethos of sharing our earthly home. The discussion of bathing is an example, drawing out ideas applicable to other cases of human profligacy. The role of engineers, as normal members of society but also bringing their talents and trained skills to the invention and development of useful arts, is apparent throughout the chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthical Engineering for International Development and Environmental Sustainability
EditorsMarion Hersh
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4471-6618-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4471-6617-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bathing
  • Sustainability
  • Shower
  • CO2e
  • Energy
  • Water

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