Ever Wondered How Much Water Your Shower Uses? This New Google Tool Will Help You Find Out

September 7, 2018, 1:40 PM UTC

Ever wondered how much water your shower uses? Or the impact of throwing away your food?

Google launched a new tool on Friday with the California Academy of Sciences, called Your Plan, Your Planet, which hopes to help you answer precisely those questions.

The interactive tool covers three areas: energy, water, and food usage. It asks questions about your usage on everything, from the length of your shower to how many hours a day you keep lights on in your home. It then uses that information to determine your annual use and provide tips for more efficient use.

For example, washing your clothes in hot water uses ten times the energy of washing in cold. A person who does three loads of laundry per week in hot water uses 708 kilowatt hours of energy annually, creating the carbon dioxide equivalent to driving a car for 18 hours. The same number of loads washed in cold uses just 62 kilowatt hours of energy annually, equivalent to driving a car for two hours.

The average American family uses 300 gallons of water each day—enough water to fill three swimming pools in a year. And showers are one of the big culprits: a 10 minute shower uses over 9,000 gallons of water in a year. That could fill 31 hot tubs.

Food waste is also a major problem. Food production uses more than two-thirds of the world’s water and accounts for almost one-fourth of carbon dioxide equivalent use. To offset this, the tool outlines a number of food storage tips that will help maximize the lifespan of the items you have in your fridge.