"It struck me that using a lot of fresh water and energy was not the smartest thing to do," the monarch told Svenska Dagbladet newspaper

By Caris Davis
Updated November 24, 2015 02:30 PM
Credit: Nigel Waldron/Getty

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has called for a ban on bathtubs.

“All bathtubs should be banned. Imagine!” he told Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

The idea occurred to him last week when his morning routine was interrupted, the 69-year-old monarch said, after he found himself having a bath because the room he was staying in had no shower.

“It struck me that using a lot of fresh water and energy was not the smartest thing to do. I felt embarrassed about wasting it,” he said.

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His jovial suggestion, he said, contained a grain of truth and was one of “those small details that can have an enormous effect.”

The king’s comments foreshadow his attendance at Paris’s United Nations climate conference on November 30. Carl XVI Gustaf has cultivated green credentials since Stockholm hosted the 1972 U.N. Conference on the Human Environment and, 20 years later, he flew to a U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where his interest in climate change blossomed.

“When was it that Al Gore started? That was when I first wanted to highlight the issue, but he beat me to it,” Carl XVI Gustaf said. “And he was a better speaker.”

Like Britain’s Prince Charles, the king said he’s making royal palaces greener by switching to more environmentally friendly heating, and using low-energy lightbulbs.

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“We do what we can. Trying to save energy isn’t easy in old properties,” he said.

The Swedish royal family has a large fleet of automobiles, and the king a long-standing interest in them – but the Bernadotte family patriarch claimed he used an environmentally friendly vehicle when driving into central Stockholm from the family’s residence at Drottningholm Palace.

“I have a hybrid car at the moment, so when I drive into town, my ride is completely electric,” said the King, who also claimed he was trying to make his diet more eco-friendly.

“I’m eating less meat,” he said.