Today’s Green Living post is by Tara Nolan. She is the web editor of our sister site, CanadianGardening.com. Check out Canadian Gardening’s new site after you read her post about water conservation.
When I bought my house three years ago, I discovered I had inherited a rain barrel. All set up and connected to my downspout and everything. As a new homeowner, I was all gung ho about water and energy conservation, so I was very excited to have a head-start with this handy water saver. I didn’t quite appreciate my trusty rain barrel’s significance until last year’s hot, dry summer when the city recommended cutting water use. Don’t even get me started on the people I witnessed incessantly soaking their lawn or worse, using their hose to wash a few flower petals onto the street (ever heard of a broom?). My lawn might not have been so lush and green, but luckily, the trickle from the rain barrel allowed my thirsty plants to drink.
Apparently lawn and garden watering make up almost 40 per cent of total household water use during the summer. This year, we’ve had so much rain, my barrel practically runneth over. It just seems like a no-brainer to collect all that rain water that would end up in the sewers and not let it go to waste.
Some municipalities have depots or hold special environment days where you can purchase a rain barrel. Many also have downspout disconnection programs that encourage residents to get a rain barrel and stop the rainwater from running directly into the sewers. There are even sites out there that show you how to make your own! Or, you can do what my clever neighbour did and place your watering can under a downspout. You may only get to sprinkle a couple of pots, but that’s one less watering can-full of water and every little bit counts!
Web Editor, CanadianGardening.comFind out more watering tips at the freshly re-designed CanadianGardening.com: