April 6, 2009–Today’s Way: April showers bring August flowers; when you have a rain barrel, that is!  The world’s most precious resource, fresh water, is still plentiful and free for many of us, yet every day, we watch it go literally down the drain.  Whether you garden or not, a rain barrel is a great idea.  Anyone with a lawn knows how the dog days of summer make greenery—well, brownery—as you watch your summer water bill rise in relation to the mercury.  Happily, you can have a barrel installed in just one day with minimal tools and modifications…it’s best if you can locate and repurpose old industrial barrels to recycle (just be sure its former purpose was not to hold toxic chemicals), but you can find new, ready-to-install barrels at the big box home improvement stores as well.  As water rolls off of the large surface areas of roofs (either the house, the shed, the garage or the barn), it is collected in gutters and, with just a minor rechanneling of a down spout, right into your rain barrel, to which you can attach a hose or spout in order to access the water when you need it later. Gravity does all the work for you!  Whether you live in the Great Lakes or the Arizona desert, a rain barrel just makes good sense.  Your rain barrel will save you lots of green, while keeping your greenery lush and healthy–and of course, conserving and preserving our precious water as well.

You can find free instructions and plans for rain barrels all over the web, including here.