This chapter sets domestic bathing in a broad context – the large and increasing overload of the planet’s ecology by human activity (This overload is indeed so marked that the term Anthropocene is widely used for a new geological epoch in which human influence is a major factor). 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 who also bring their talents and trained skills to the invention and development of useful arts, is apparent throughout the essay.


Ethical Engineer Engineering Ethic High Heating Value Grey Water Personal Aspect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ChemistryUniversity of East AngliaNorwichEngland

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