Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Re-use That Rain for Living Green Purposes

Sometimes living green requires you to think outside of the box; get a little creative with what is around you and then use it to conserve your resources. While we may have crested the worst of winter folly in some places, there are plenty others that are still waking up and going to be amidst thunderstorms and have no shortage of rain. Hopefully anyone who is running their landscape off of a sprinkler system has turned those suckers off; when there is no shortage of water being supplied to your garden from the clouds above you don’t need to double up. But you can further do more with all that precipitation.

Collecting that rain water and then reusing it is an excellent living green measure you can take that really is no extra effort on your part. Much like stocking up stored energy from the sun as in solar panels and their subsequent batteries to be used later, you can do the same thing with the excess water that is in abundance during this time of the year. You can buy a rain barrel that is specifically designed for this purpose and some will even come with an attached hose nozzle and rolling wheels that can facilitate water recycling, but this really is just a glorified trash can. Such green rain barrels aren’t going to cost you a fortune, I found one online in a matter of minutes for $70, and I’m sure there are others even cheaper, but this model from Green Home had a nice little mesh screen on the top to keep out say leaves or branches and it even collapsed so you could stow it in your garage in the summers.

The premise of the rain barrel really isn’t rocket science, but sometimes the simplest ways to reduce our impact on the environment are staring us back in the face and we just need someone to have an ‘ah-ha moment.’ Sorry to use an Oprah catch phrase, but what are you going to do? If you live in an area that has plenty of rain falling all around you, collect it and then use it for all the other outside chores that you might be tempted to use a hose for. If you’ve got to give Fluffy a bath, he won’t mind if the water was from that hose running off of your home’s general water supply or from the sky above. The same goes for if you’re washing off your car or even watering those plants that live inside of your home.

Living green is doing what you can to limit your reliance on standard resource consumption whenever you can. If you’ve already installed more energy efficient appliances and put in place low flow toilets you’re well on your way, but there are always new tricks and ideas you can pick up. So if you haven’t jumped on these rain barrels, either buy one meant for such a task or create your own, I know many of you green people out there love a little DIY challenge, and get to harvesting that rain while it’s still showering…you can even feel free to sing.

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