Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day - Rain is a Terrible Thing to Waste

In honor of World Water Day 2011, I wanted to remind everyone to put out some rain barrels and not waste any of the wonderful Springtime rain!

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: "A rain is a terrible thing to waste."

So I hope you have your rain barrels up and functioning. If they are already full, get more barrels or open the spigots and fill up all of your watering cans.

And if you don't have any rain barrels, the obvious question is Why Not?

Rain barrels collect and save rain, which provides wonderful pure fresh water for plants and landscapes. A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.

Which means, of course, that rain barrels save money by allowing homeowners to use rainwater rather than tap water, cutting down on utility bills.

If you make your own rain barrel, you are saving space in a landfill by keeping a nice big plastic barrel out of there.

Rain barrels also help prevent stormwater runoff which can pollute our waterways.

To encourage more property owners to reap these eco-friendly benefits, many local Maryland and D.C. government programs offer discounts as an incentive to get even more of these water savers into backyards across the DC region. Some of these programs are listed in our previous post How to Earn Green by Going Green.

For information about buying supplies and instructions to build your own rain barrel, visit my previous post on rain barrels.


  1. That's a really pretty rain barrel!

    We live in Shenandoah, and we JUST installed our rain barrels over the weekend! Good timing :-) We took the admittedly easy way out and bought our barrels premade. Our fruit trees had a hard time last summer, so I'm hopeful that this year will be better!

    We documented it, if anyone is interested (http://www.shenandoahvalleyflowers.com/gardening/making-rain-%E2%80%93-water-barrels-deliver-free-water).

  2. Rain barrels are extremely expensive and not particularly large. I believe a better solution than rain barrels are trash cans. Rubbermaid, for example, makes them in sturdy plastic in a variety of beautiful colors and they come with a lid to cover the can when the rain has stopped.

    Trash cans are also much easier to get water from because you can just dip your watering can into the water rather than waiting for it to fill up from a spigot (which is very slow by comparison).

    You might not consider even a Rubbermaid can to be attractive enough for the front yard, but most houses have plenty of downspouts around them where a trash can would be just fine.

    Save yourself time and money–use a trash can!

  3. Hi Marlene. We made our own rain barrels and I think the empty barrel and supplies were rather inexpensive. Plus, it gave me and my hubby a project to work on together.


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