The Spartan Shower

by Nicholas Saulnier, E-Rep for HMM

Fellow men: you have been lied to.  Purchasing a stick of deodorant will not make you awesome.  Neither will large quantities of money. Manliness is not a product, my friends; it is a lifestyle.  One does not save puppies from burning buildings unless one has made a habit of doing the extraordinary.

A true man isn’t greedy.  He measures the amount of food he takes from the dinner plate to ensure that there will still be plenty for his girlfriend’s family.  Later, he excuses himself from the table in order to save their city by calming the rampaging elephant two streets over with the sweet music of a handmade guitar.  If he sees a homeless man, he doesn’t give him a five; he gives him a five-dollar footlong and instructions for turning the wrapping around the sandwich into an origami sombrero.  And when it comes to water, a true man only takes as much as he needs.

The Spartan Shower is a ritual that only the manliest of men engage in.  The premise is simple:  don’t run the water when you don’t need to.  A Spartan Shower might look something like this (separated into short sentences to emphasize the manliness):  Wet hair.  Turn off water. Rub in shampoo.  Turn on water.  Rinse out shampoo.  Wet washcloth and body.  Turn off water.  Soap up body with washcloth.  Turn on water. Rinse off body.  Turn off water.  Say something that might lead a casual bystander to mistake you for James Bond.  Dry off.

Why is the Spartan Shower manly?  (A) It saves water.  (B) Only sissy guys feel the need to soak in the shower every day until their skin prunes. Do you really want to feel “pampered” in the shower?  (C) Women like men that smell like men, not men that smell like goats.  You actually get cleaner when you turn off the water while applying the soap, because then you have the chance to rub the shampoo and soap in instead of having it wash off before it can do you any good.  (D) The name sounds cool.  (E) The less water we use, the more there is for others now and later – and there’s nothing manlier than protecting the children of the future.

For special occasions, consider the Super Spartan.  If it’s the morning of the day you’re going to finally ask her out, or if you have a job interview, or if that expensive-car-throwing contest is tomorrow and you need an extra shot of manliness, try this:  Do a Spartan Shower… but do it with the water set all the way to “cold.”  You’ll save electricity by bypassing the water heater, and you’ll finish your shower in record time!

So men:  consider this a challenge.  There’s a world waiting for you, a world of adventure, and romance, and yes, puppies too.  All you need to do is turn that shower handle… Are you man enough?

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Tips to Win the SMU Energy Competition

  • Turn off lights when leaving any room, including common areas.
  • Use sunlight instead of artificial lights during the day. Sunlight also helps the body produce Vitamin D and improves your thinking process.
  • Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus light where needed.
  • Study in public area, such as a library or common room.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. CFLs reduce energy consumption by 75%, and they last longer.


  • Unplug battery chargers, power adapters and any other small appliances when not in use. Things like cell phone chargers and other adapters continue to draw electricity even when they are not in use.
  • Don’t keep refrigerators too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37-40°F for refrigerators.
  • If you are not using it, turn it off, be it lights, computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Turn off your computer when not in se, or next best configure your computer to hibernate. Hibernation uses much less energy than sleep mode, but it still returns to where you left off fairly quickly.
  • Turn off screen savers. They waste power by keeping your computer and monitor active.
  •  Turn off the TV in common areas when nobody is watching it. 


  • Turn off water when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. Leaving the water on can waste several gallons of water along with energy, especially if the water is hot.
  • Take shorter and colder showers to save energy and water. Reducing your daily shower time by 1 minute not only reduces energy, but saves about 1,000 gallons of water every year.
  • Wash full loads of laundry in cold water. Cold water doesn’t set the stains, prevents bright or dark colors from fading, prevents natural fibers from shrinking and saves energy. 


  • In the winter, close curtains or blinds during the night to keep the heat in. Open them during the day to take advantage of the sun’s light and warmth.
  • If you have control of your thermostat, then it should be set between 68-72°F in the winter and 74-78°F in the summer.
  • Keep your windows closed when he air-conditioning or heat is on. Opening windows when the air- conditioning or heat is on wastes immense amounts of energy per year.
  • During the day, open blinds in the winter to use solar gain to help heat the room. Close blinds in the summer to keep the solar heat out.
  • Walk through buildings and look for places where energy is being used when it isn’t needed. Report energy waste by emailing
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Recycling Q&A: Contamination

Q: How much should we worry about contamination?

A: If we can stay focused on the big ones (like the paper towels, trash, blood, etc) staying out of the recycling pulls, you guys should be ok!
-Kristin Marino, Waste Management

WM gave us official recycling signs to put up around campus

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Caught Green-Handed: Dean Tsutsui

All undergraduates enter SMU through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and in Dedman Dean William Tsutsui's office, all waste paper enters the recycle bin. Caught green-handed!

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is the heart of SMU – and as Dedman College Dean William Tsutsui shows, the heart of SMU’s recycling efforts!

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SMU recycles!

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Recycling Q&A: Waxy paper

Q: Can you educate us about the difference between waxy coffee cups (like Starbucks cups) which aren’t allowed and seemingly waxy milk cartons which are on the posters as allowable?

A: During the sorting process at recycling facilities, cartons behave more like a bottle or can and more easily make it to the container side of the facility while smooshed/smaller cups can get mixed in with newspaper and office paper. This gives polyethylene-averse paper pulpers the willies.

Secondly , cartons are coated on both sides with polyethylene, while coffee cups are coated only on the inside; this can confuse automatic sorting equipment. Finally, the graphics on cartons are printed on the plastic layer while any ink on coffee cups is directly on the paper. Some mills aren’t equipped to de-ink paper, so they give coffee cups the cold shoulder.

Kristin Marino from Waste Management

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Caught Green-Handed: John Gray

Virginia-Snider’s famous RA John Gray recycles his coffee cup lid and sleeve- but not the waxy paper cup. Celebrating Virginia-Snider’s new first place RecycleMania ranking! 😀

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A Green Side to the Super Bowl

The power outage that stops Super Bowl XLVII for more than thirty minutes draws attention to power use by households during game time. Read on to learn about why the big game between the Ravens and the 49ers might have actually reduced the electricity consumption across regions.


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Caught Green-Handed: Coach Rhonda Rompola

SMU Womens Basketball Coach Rhonda Rompola, “Caught Green-Handed” in Crum Basketball Center

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Caught Green-Handed: Kevin Dilliard

The University’s Sustainability Administrator, Kevin Dilliard, is responsible for centralizing all campus information regarding sustainability programs and initiatives, developing community outreach programs, and working with faculty, staff, and student sustainability organizations.

In other words, go to this guy with your green dreams! He’s really cool and supportive 🙂

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