I got a great tip from an amazing sustainable living practitioner.
She and her husband would turn their hot water on in their shower and cold water would run for a couple of minutes before hot water came out. Their temporary solution was to run that cold water into a bucket and re-use the water elsewhere around the home.
Their new solution (and it will be mine very soon) is to buy a Watts Hot Water Recirculating Pump. The pump maintains the water temperature at the location of the bypass valve at your sink or shower. For a little under $200 you can have instant hot water and peace of mind. You can find it at a hardware store and is apparently easy for a non-professional to install.