To begin, I wanted to share a few thoughts on the recent events in my city and our country:
Hello everyone, it’s been a while. Once again, I got thrown off track. I was working on the following post just before the recent events happened. Living in the Twin Cities, I was, of course, experiencing everything firsthand and following along closely, not sleeping much at night, participating in protests, finding ways to help and trying to get through the day. On top of the pandemic, nothing felt normal. It’s been a lot. The pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, the riots and destruction of buildings and neighborhoods in this beautiful city that we get to call home. In addition to that, my kids ended their school year and weeks of distance learning, and we started summer break which changed our routine, or lack there of, once more. So, here I am, after a couple of weeks of processing, healing and reflecting, trying to pick up the pieces and ready, at least somewhat, to continue on with my journey.
I have to say that writing about plastic free living or sustainability did not seem important to me. What seemed important was and still is to pause, to ask questions, to listen, to go inwards and figure out the right way to respond.
Black Lives Matter!
But what is my role in all of this? What can I do to be an active participant in fighting racism? How can bring about change? How can I help? How can I become an ally to my black neighbors? What are my beliefs and how do they need to be challenged? These are hard questions that I am throwing out there. And I don’t have a full answer to any of them yet, I am working on it, talking about it, reading and educating myself. I encourage you to do the same. Meanwhile, we all have to go on with our lives and continue with our work.
Though my blog isn’t exactly the right place for this, it feels right to put out a few of my thoughts. It feels important not to ignore what our country is currently going through.
It’s been hard to find my focus and sit down again to write about plastic free living. But then I came across this article (I will elaborate on this one in one of my next posts) just a couple of days ago and it gave me motivation to keep writing and continue with my mission towards a sustainable lifestyle and sharing it with those who are interested in doing the same.
So, today, I would like to share with you some insights on collecting rainwater. Why is it important? Why should we consider it? What are the benefits? What are some simple methods?
Here we go:
Collecting rainwater is one of the oldest and simplest methods of self-supplying water for households. Rainwater is a resource that most of us take for granted and is largely underused. And harvesting rainwater is considered a workable technology in urban settings. All that it takes is a system in place to collect the rainwater falling on your roof and direct it to a rainwater storage tank.
Why you should consider collecting your rainwater?
There are many reasons why one should consider harvesting rainwater, as our water supply becomes less and less secure due to mismanagement, overuse, contamination and over population. The following graph illustrates this well:
Considering all those factors, it has become clear that the collection of rainwater could become a necessity for many households and it is a relatively clean and completely free water source.
- It reduces the demand for city water
- It provides the storage for seasonal rains during the off-season
- The collection of rainwater reduces erosion, property flooding and contamination.
- Rainwater is naturally soft, free of chemicals and hard minerals, making it a healthier option for outdoor and indoor plants.
- 45% of energy use in urban areas is used for water treatment and pumping. Collecting rainwater saves a great amount of energy.
- The collected rainwater can be used as a main source of water or a back up.
- It is environmentally responsible and promotes self-sufficiency.
- It is fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain
What are some specific uses for rainwater?
Here are some ideas for specific uses for the collected rainwater:
- Water your lawn and garden
- Wash your cars
- Wash your pets
- Refill your fountains, ponds and swimming pools
- Replace the use of tap water and rainwater to wash driveways and sidewalks
- Use it for indoor non-potable fixtures (toilets and washer)
How much rainwater can I collect in my area?
First of all, you need to know your annual precipitation in your area. You can find some precipitation maps online, for example here .
Once you have figured out your annual amount of precipitation and the square footage of your collection surface, you can use a so called rainwater collection calculator.
And now I am going to give you some information on the simplest method to collect the rainwater and and what you need to get started.
What are some rainwater collection systems?
For beginners, the easiest and most common method to collect rainwater is using a rain barrel. It includes installing a rain barrel at a gutter downspout outside your house and a standard spigot or short length of hose with an on/off valve near the bottom of the barrel. You can always attach a longer hose as needed. Rain barrels don’t take much space and can easily be installed by anyone at any home. The advantage of this method is that it’s fairly inexpensive and simple. The disadvantage is that rain barrels generally only hold 50 to 100 gallons.
Here are some examples of rain barrels:
3. Outsunny 80 Gallon Rainwater Harvesting System Collection Tank with Collapsible Runoff. Most affordable option and highest capacity!!
Rainwater Harvesting Regulation
Rainwater collection is regulated by individual states. Unfortunately there are still a few states that have very limited exemptions available to legally collect rainwater. In other states it is highly regulated and encouraged, some even offer state incentive programs. If you want to find out more about each specific state, take a look at this regulation map.
Using rainwater is an amazing way to lower your carbon footprint, lower your bills and live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Using perfectly clean potable water for watering plants, washing cars or pets is clearly wasteful when you think about it, especially if you live in an environment where the water resources are already tight. Use your rainwater! Your garden, your bank account and especially the environment will thank you! Also, please share my post if you feel so inclined.
If you are already collecting rainwater at home or are interested in starting, I would love to hear from you. I encourage you to leave your comment below. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This has no impact on you as a consumer if you choose to purchase any of these products, but I may earn for my efforts in reviewing these products. Also, please note that I only recommend the highest quality products that I have either purchased or would personally invest in.