In Cape Town, South Africa, which may soon become the world’s first city to see its taps run dry, city officials have asked residents and tourists alike to limit their water use in a number of ways, including by taking two-minute showers.
That request was followed in November by a wise and humane public service campaign that attempted to soften the blow for people making the adjustment. It introduced a playlist of two-minute shower songs, all up-tempo remakes of South African pop and rap hits. “When the song ends, so should your shower,” the campaign’s authors suggest.
It’s a smart solution that could, in theory, support a badly needed change in daily behaviors. Every minute in the shower means roughly 2.5 gallons of water lost, according to some estimates. Nevertheless, most people in developed countries continue to take showers that last on average eight minutes, despite evidence that we’re collectively heading toward an era of global water shortages.
The Cape Town playlist solution could easily be replicated elsewhere, however. In fact, its creators at the city’s King James Group, a creative agency, told Quartz that they hope it will be. But there’s no reason to wait for a government decree. We’ve collected a list of short songs that you can use to start training yourself now. We hope you’ll find something that suits your typical morning mood.
- “Fell in Love with a Girl” by The White Stripes
2. “Priority” by Mos Def
3. “Woza,” by Hugh Masekela
4. “You Can Do Better Than Me,” by Death Cab for Cutie.
5. “Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon,” by Queen.
6. “Dance Music,” by The Mountain Goats.
7. “Flowers In Your Hair,” by The Lumineers
8. “Blind Man In Amsterdam,” by George Ezra
9. “Yoncé” by Beyoncé
10. And a classic, “The Next Episode,” by Snoop Dogg