German official suggests shower hack

Green head of state calls washcloth a ‘useful invention’

When threatened by an energy shortage, people can save a lot by using a washcloth instead of taking showers « all the time », the head of the German state of Baden-Württemberg said on Friday, Winfried Kretschmann, in an interview.

Kretschmann, a Green, leads the state in southwestern Germany, bordering France and Switzerland, with some 11 million inhabitants. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are headquartered in the state capital of Stuttgart. Speaking to the Südwest Presse newspaper about the energy crisis Germany is currently facing, Kretschmann revealed the steps he is personally taking to avoid wasting energy.

The Minister-President said he had a « huge » solar power installation on the roof of his house, drove an electric car and heated only one room, which he called a « healthier » usual anyway. When asked if he also takes cold showers, Kretschmann said he does even better.

You don’t have to shower all the time. There is the washcloth, after all – a useful invention.

Nearly two-thirds of Germans have already reduced their time in the shower in response to repeated calls from the government to do so, according to a poll carried out last month by the INSA research institute.

Read more

Most Germans shower less now – media

Noting that rising heating costs weren’t as problematic for people in his income bracket, Kretschmann admitted that some Germans couldn’t make ends meet without government help. However, he argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the German government will be there for those hardest hit by the crisis.

This time there would be « loss in terms of prosperity », said Kretschmann. « We all have to adapt to this. »

Germany faces a severe energy shortage as gas shipments from Russia, its main supplier, steadily decline due to technical problems stemming from Ukraine-related sanctions. Scrambling to ease the growing crisis, the federal government and states have urged citizens to reduce their energy use by turning down their air conditioners and using less hot water.

READ MORE: Germany at risk of deindustrialization – Bloomberg

Berlin has started to revive coal-fired power plants, imposed an additional tax on gas use and is reportedly considering keeping its remaining nuclear reactors online after their scheduled disposal this year.


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