show-me: water consumption at a glance to promote water conservation in the shower

Abstract

Water is a scarce resource worldwide. Yet, we have many opportunities to conserve it. One particular opportunity for water conservation is the shower, because depending on the shower head and shower habits, an individual can save many liters of fresh water each day. Feedback proved to be an effective method to promote sustainable behavior. Therefore, in this paper we suggest to promote water conservation by providing feedback in form of an ambient display that can easily be integrated in current shower types. We built a prototype to study the potential of such a feedback device. These shower water meter (show-me) display the amount of water, that is used during one shower in form of LEDs assembled on a stick. Thus, an increasing water level is visualized. The user study revealed two groups. The subjects who considered themselves as ecologically conscious changed their behavior and turned the water down or off while soaping. Also, they are willing to pursue this behavior. Other subjects who did not have the goal to act more sustainable, were surprised about their water consumption and tried to reduce it. However, after the removal of the show-me device they did not maintain their behavior and fell back into their previous habit.

Publication
Talk: The Fourth International Conference on Persuasive Technology (PERSUASIVE 2009), Claremont, California; 04-26-2009 - 04-29-2009; in: “Proceedings of the 4th international Conference on Persuasive Technology”, ACM, New York (2009), ISBN: 978-1-60558-376-1; 1 - 6
Karin Kappel
Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Mag.rer.soc.oec. Dr.techn.
Thomas Grechenig
Thomas Grechenig
Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.