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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rain Barrels

"We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
                                                 Jacques Cousteau
History records the collection of rainwater as far back as 850 B.C.  Through all these thousands of years the means of collecting the rainwater went from the most simple of a banana leaf used to direct the rain to an urn, to the enormous aqueduct systems underground in the desert regions.
When I was a teenager it was popular to collect rainwater to use in shampooing hair.  I might have done that a couple of times but it proved to be too much trouble and I never saw any great results.  So much for my foray into being environmentally conscious at the age of fifteen.
I live in Florida where the use of water is critically overdone.  To correct this problem there are many restrictions on watering lawns, flower beds and vegetable gardens.  Aside from the environmental impact of over-watering, there are stiff fines to be paid if the watering bans are not followed. 
I do not believe that there are "water police" scouring neighborhoods to find offenders but do believe that neighbors who are responsibly aware of restriction abusers will report them. 
There is a way to keep flower beds and vegetable gardens flourishing without skirting restrictions and be environmentally responsible at the same time.  This is the use of rain barrels.  This is the simplest of all solutions because the rain is collected in large (55 gallon) barrels and then used on the vegetation. 
There are rain barrel systems that can be purchased and there are very good DIY rain barrel systems.  Because of my being cost conscious (cheap) I recommend the DIY systems.  Because I am not an authority on this, I will give a couple of links to sites that seem to be easily understood and thorough in making rain barrels. 
If we keep it simple what more can we ask in our easy livin'?
Rainbarrel DIY 1                   Rainbarrel DIY2

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