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Rain Barrels - Save Money and the Environment : Ask the Landscape Guy

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Rain Barrels - Save Money and the Environment

by Tim Sanford on 11/08/10

In an effort to celebrate Earth Day, I thought I would blog about an environmentally-friendly topic - Rain Barrels.  Each year more than 30,000 gallons of rain water will fall from your roof.  Most of this water runoff is washed away into storm sewers and eventually nearby streams and rivers, which can cause river bank erosion and water pollution.   An easy and inexpensive way to conserve water, help stop pollution and save you a little "green" is to install a rain barrel on your homes downspout.    

Basic Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

Rain barrels range in sizes from 30 to 100 gallons and come in many designs.  A single rain barrel can save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water a year.  This is 1,300 gallons of FREE water that you can use for watering plants, gardens and lawns or for even washing cars.  In addition to the cost savings you receive by reducing your public water consumption, you will help the environment by reducing water runoff as you use the stored rain water around your home and garden (water will absorb slowly back into the ground replenishing groundwater supplies, helping to protect our rivers and Bays).    

Decorative Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

You can find rain barrels just about anywhere these days, the big box retailers, your local conservation organizations or you can make your own (Home Depot sells a kit).  Most barrels come with a spigot for your hose, a screen to keep debris and insects out and linking kits to link several barrels together.  They range in price anywhere from $70 to over $200, and in design from a basic black plastic barrel to more decorative pots.  I thought Plow and Hearth had a great selection of basic and decorative rain barrels (just a suggestion, not an endorsement).

So on this beautiful, sunny Earth Day, think about how you can do your part to help save the Earth - start catching some rain!

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