As times become more crucial for our environment, conservation across the board becomes paramount and essential for daily living. Our friends in West Virginia have been stampeded in recent months with ongoing issues resulting from oil spills and more, as the New York Times and Huffington Post report. Its impact upon its neighbors can be easily felt as we are forced to question the quality and safety of our own drinking water and agricultural produce. Yet, proactive measures can actively address these concerns through simple yet effective sustainable practices.
Waiheke Island off of Auckland's coast has been conserving rainwater sustainably since early 2000 with great success. Quite recently amidst unexpected drought, they provided this list of how to save and conserve natural water resources more efficiently. More and more, people across the United States have moved to more pragmatic systems both, for ecological and economic benefit. Rain barrels can be used to collect rainwater. Another option is to use a well rinsed Food Grade container. These are commonly used by restaurants for storing large quantities of oil and other high in demand items. In some cities, incentives are in place by water bureaus urging residents to be a part of mindful conservation. As we seek to install these in our homes or shared living establishments, here are some essentials to keep in mind:
1. When using a plastic barrel, make certain that it is BPA free. This water will be used for bathing, washing dishes, maintaining plant life and actual consumption, and needs to remain as fresh as possible.
2. Be sure to install more than one barrel - 2 barrels per person minimum are recommended. Individuals require a great deal of water daily simply to survive. If safe drinking water is not accessible, this can impact health, mental productivity and emotional stability - particularly in times of a crisis.
3. Hook up the rain barrel to the downspout outside of the dwelling, as this will facilitate easier collection with minimal fuss. For shared communities, this collective resource will provide its most critical function by maintaining the landscape, which may also seek to provide active vegetation.
4. Each barrel must be outfitted with a water dispenser. Once filled, these barrels can become quite heavy and cumbersome. As such, easy access to one's water supply is a prudent and important step for conservation.
For those newer to rain barrels, Mother Earth News provides an excellent guide on installing these for the first time. Best of luck and enjoy the path towards self sustainable living.