How many baths could I get from a rainstorm?

From the USGS Water Science School:

Let’s say your house sits on a one-half acre lot. And let’s say you get a storm that drops 1 inch of rain. You’ve just received 13,577 gallons of water on your yard. A big bath holds about 40 gallons of water, so if you could save that inch of water you could take a daily bath for 339 days!

 

A great reason to get a rain barrel and collect all that water. Place it underneath your gutters and you’ll have an endless supply of water for your garden. Be a water warrior!

 

Continue reading How many baths could I get from a rainstorm?

What’s it like going solar (installing panels on your roof)?

I’ve been seeing a lot more solar panels installed on homes. Which has me wondering, what is the impact on cost, inconvenience, and utilities.

Scott over on the Zero Waste Blog has the perfect, written-by-an-engineer, write-up. It is worth reading the whole thing, but here is a meaty excerpt:

So what has the impact been? Well, we did actually turn up the heat – so I don’t have to wear the puff jacket all the time. But despite the relaxation of the “thermostat tyranny”, we have seen a huge decrease in our month bills:

  • For our first full month (FEB 13 to MAR 14): We used negative 5 kWh (our meter ran backwards). Of course, in Northern California, we had a sunny, warm February, with virtually no rain. For the same period in 2011, we used 601 kWh.
  • For the 2nd month (MAR 14 to APR 13): We used 141 kWh. Last month was cold and very rainy (i.e., less solar power), we had guests and turned up the electric heaters. For the same period in 2011, we used 567 kWh.
  • Bottomline: Our total electric bill for two months is $17.50, plus $8.88 in unavoidable taxes, etc. For comparison sake, the same two months last year cost us $207.28.

keep readingZero Waste Blog

 

// Photo – Pink Dispatcher