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Al Fresco Eco-Bathing: DIY Solar Shower

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Al Fresco Eco-Bathing: DIY Solar Shower

After some serious sea-dreaming about a home near the ocean, I realized one of the highlights of time spent at a beach house is basking in the afterglow in an outdoor shower. This important element of the beach experience gets a beachcomber in the mood to chill out and clean off.

Now, there are outdoor showers, and then there are outdoor showers. The beach house we stay at has the most alluring outdoor shower — no cobwebs, no dried leaves in the corners, no mold, no flotsam and jetsam, no splinters and no Peeping Tom holes. By day, the vista from above the shower opens up to the sky with a vibrancy that only a home by the sea can reflect. With the windswept foliage and the smell of beach roses wafting in, showering outdoors is pure bliss.

Staying connected to the beach doesn’t have to end when you get home or when beach season ends. You can bring the outdoor shower to your landlocked home. Here’s an inspirational and refreshing array of alfresco showers from Sunset Magazine.

While those images are dreamy, I tend to look for building products that are not just aesthetically delicious (like the ones above). The products must also be thoughtfully designed with minimal damage to the environment. This eco-tip reminds us that taking showers can save double the amount of water than used for a bath. But, did you know that an outdoor showers can be heated by the sun, making them one of the most eco-sensitive choices for bathing? Even if you don’t have access to a hot water line, solar showers are an available option.

If you’ve got the DIY ethos, there are green outdoor shower projects of varying degrees of time and difficulty.

Photo credit: Sheila Narusawa Architects via Remodelista

Next: Things to consider for your outdoor shower

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.

50 comments

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12:44AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:43PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Looking so nice. We are using the Solar-power on our country place,but the shower..is still just the cold one :( Maybe next summer!

2:48PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Excellent idea. Now if only I didn't have highrises next door, everything would be perfect. However, I do love the idea.

6:17PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

Lovely, looks like showers I've used abroad.

5:27AM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

That's a great article...thanks.

5:18AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Thank you!

2:26AM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Looks interesting. Many thanks.

1:10AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

Too bad we can't give a beautiful, clean, refreshing shower to the Gulf Coast... (snif!) That said, any good venue for being naked outside and getting clean too is mighty fine in my book.

6:24AM PDT on Jun 10, 2010

Great info... thanks

10:26AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

I love this! I think we must build one someday!

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