German Green Party Leader Proposes Use of Washcloths Instead of Showers

The suggestion has sparked controversy.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Top German Green Party official Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann suggested that Germans could forgo showers to assist with the energy crisis.
  • The official was asked about the problem of gas shortages and potential problems in the winter, made worse by the war in Ukraine.
  • “Even the washcloth is a useful invention,” the Green politician told Südwest-Presse as a way that Germans could do their part in helping with the crisis.
WHAT THE PRIME MINISTER IS DOING:
  • Kretschmann made sure that Germans knew that he was doing his party, saying that he has “an electric car” and “a huge photovoltaic system on the roof.”
  • The system to which Kretschmann is referring costs likely upwards of 21,000 euros, and would be unattainable to many German citizens struggling to pay their energy bills.
  • Remix News explained the prime minister’s system, saying, “these devices rely primarily on wood pellets sourced from forests in the southeastern United States.”
  • “They are then shipped halfway around the world to individuals like Kretschmann despite many scientists arguing that these pellets are just as polluting as coal.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Germany could be facing blackouts as its power grid struggles under what is expected to be a difficult winter for Germany.
  • Supplies of firewood and heating stoves are being exhausted in cities across Germany where they are planning to use sports arenas and exhibition areas as places where citizens can “warm up,” if they’re not able to afford energy.
  • Even so, German state officials have suggested those protesting blackouts were “enemies of the state” and “extremists” looking to overthrow the government.