Written by Rebecca Thompson, CNN The morning shower has been called the oldest city amenity, while the elevator in an ancient mosque is considered one of the world’s oldest, dating back to the 13th century. Yet, as the global population gets more sophisticated — and world cities get ever more crowded — water, energy and waste have taken center stage. In order to minimize waste, eliminate energy and at least
temporarily conserve scarce water resources, cities from Athens to Lome are encouraging residents to turn their thermostats down, leave their showers to the recommended 30 seconds, take walks instead of cars, close the bathtub spigot and even shower for just 30 minutes. In some cases, these efforts may require a trip to the bathroom. It’s the same story when it comes to saving water. Cities from Cape Town to Jakarta
are encouraging residents to turn down their taps as well, but in some cases, the remedies may require a trip to the bathroom. “Even when you’ve got good water supplies, you can’t guarantee that people will use less of it,” said Carlo Petrini, founder of Italy’s Zero Waste Forum. He is spearheading a campaign to reduce flushing by 15%, which could save up to 35.5 billion liters (10.7 billion gallons) of water per
year. In Brazil, meanwhile, which this week marked its worst drought in living memory, some have adopted more extreme measures. On Thursday, government officials sent a graphic memo asking Brazilians to use toilets only once, take showers for only 30 seconds, and run their dishwashers and washing machines just once a week.