Rain, rain, don’t go away (Day 341)…


TerraCycle is a very cool company — not only do they reuse milk jugs and pop bottles to package their Worm Poop plant food, they also turn old wine barrels into compost bins and rainwater collecting systems.

Now that I’m in a house with a garden, front yard and two decks, I’ll definitely need more than just leftover pasta water to keep all my greenery hydrated. So I’m getting a rain barrel like the one above and rigging it up to the bottom of my drain pipe, as this video demonstrates. I’m not sure where I’m going to find some extra cinder blocks to prop it up, but I do think I have some of that quarter-inch mesh wire leftover from when I constructed my compost bin (Um, OK, also, I think I can it’s safe to say that I never in my life thought I’d have extra quarter-inch mesh wire lying around the house … seriously, what have I become??).

Image from TerraCycle

23 Responses to Rain, rain, don’t go away (Day 341)…

  1. csim33 says:

    Speaking of worms… how about an update on yours? Did you have to bring them in during the winter. Where do you keep them at your new house. OR… like me, did you inadvertantly kill them all and are waiting for spring to start them over again???

  2. Cool! Just make sure you don’t use your collected water on food plants (if it’s asphalt). You can see the discussion from a post I wrote last May – I contacted our local Natural Lawn & Garden Hotline about issues with certain roof types. You’ll need to read through all the comments to get the info…

  3. D says:

    Extra quarter-inch mesh wire lying around the house is very Macgyver and totally cool.

  4. blah says:

    You should really get a garden going once the weather is safe enough to start planting. Tomatoes are easy to start off with and after a few seasons, you’ll have more tomatoes than you will know what to do with (same thing goes for green beans)! Besides, it will taste better knowing that you’ve grown your own vegetables.

  5. gettinggreen says:

    Good point, csim33 — I should really write a whole other post about my wormies. What happened was: When I was selling my condo, my real estate agent came by and said there was no way this gigantic compost bin with fruit flies and smelly things and worms could be sitting in my living room for the open houses, so it had to go. I was going to put it in one of my storage lockers, but it’s REALLY hard to move because I constructed it in this awkward kind of way with a drawer that basically just falls out; and, on top of that, when I’m in my house I’ll have a green bin that gets picked up by the City of Toronto every week for composting anyway.

    So, long story short: I spent a few hours digging up all the good soil and all the worms, put them all into two big buckets, and handed them over to my dad, who drove them back up to my mom’s garden. She dug a few holes for them, deep enough so they probably won’t freeze to death, and is crossing her fingers come Spring.

    I’m not throwing out my food waste now, I’m just handing it over to someone else to compost. But bearing this in mind, I’m still looking at getting some more worms for myself in the Spring because the soil in my garden is pretty rough.

  6. Hey, we’re sort of in sync – toilets and rain barrels, which I blogged about recently, too. In our area, using rainwater is not legal, although I don’t think the water company has a big enforcement budget … but a jail stay is probably not green. 🙂

  7. blah says:

    Whoa, you can’t use rain water? How is that law even enforceable?

  8. Esme says:

    You’ve got a yard now-you can have your own compost bin! To heck with waiting for the city to come get it once a week; there’s some good bins to be had through the city (or used to be) or Lee Valley or a dozen other places. Set ‘er up and you can feed it every day. I have the once-weekly pickup too (I, alas, have no yard) and the problem with it is you can get little white creepy crawlies (I’m not gonna say the name, they gross me out so much) around/on/in the bin if its been hot and rainy. Disgusting. Also, it means less diesel fumes spewed in front of your house as they do pickup.

  9. SP says:

    I have lots of rocks if you could use those in place of cinderblocks, they all came out of that damn pond we are filling in.

  10. SP says:

    Oh and also don’t buy any screws or nails for anything for the next ten years , I have a whole milk crate full of them left over from the renovation. This is what happens to you when you buy a house.

  11. kimberly says:

    hahaha, i actually have a whole roll of wire mesh left over from bunny-proofing my apartment… i’m thinking of freecycling the excess. what the eff am i doing with mesh?? i don’t even own a screwdriver!
    p.s. congrats on the new house!

  12. Cool Blue says:

    You can make your own rain barrel for under $40 like I did.

    I bought a rubbermaid large garbage can ($25)and cut a near the bottom on the side. I picked a garbage that was flat on one side so it could be pushed back flush to the house.

    I bought faucet for around $6 and a nut to attach it to the barrel for another $1.

    I found that with the type of material that rubbermaid uses, the plastic is soft enough that you get a good seal between the faucet and nut and don’t need a rubber washer. If you use a different brand you may need one though.

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  14. GMan says:

    Speaking of rain barrels, check out the new terracota rain barrel I got for my backyard! (pictures are in my blog)

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  16. Dman says:

    That’s a good looking rain barrel! Where can I buy one in Toronto?

  17. Judy says:

    Check out rain barrels made from recycled 55 gallon plastic barrels at http://www.yellowdograinbarrels.com.

    Great Deal!!!!

  18. sej says:

    Found a great DIY box of parts to make my rain barrel with at http://www.aquabarrel.com

  19. Good way to collect water and glad that ‘waste’ materials have been used to make it – great! I’ve seen water barrels (as well as a mass of other things) posted on EcoBees – a reuse network – so take a look at the free stuff on EcoBees if you are interested.

  20. rob says:

    We are architects and builders and I’ve seen a huge increase in not only the number of requests for rainwater systems by our clients, but people are actually willing to pay and have these systems installed. A few years ago no one had even heard of rainwater systems. Now people are actually biting the bullet and paying to have them installed.
    If you want to see some of the green projects that we are working on go here:

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