Rainwater Harvesting - Best Idea

Why Should I Care?

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Over the last few years Texas has been experiencing a serious shortage of rainfall which has depleted our water supplies to dangerous levels. Sustainability of a water supply, particularly in Texas, is even more urgent due to the fact that our population is increasing rapidly as our supply is decreasing.

Due to the recent shortages of rainfall that has caused a drought condition in our state, we are being forced to rethink our usage habits and alternatives to cut back on consumption. Many homeowners and landowners are now harvesting their rainwater in storage systems for future use. This water can be used for irrigation, in-home watering, pets and washing washing your vehicles.

As an alternative to drilling deepwater wells or shipping water in from other places many are using simple rainwater harvesting techniques that store the water for future consumption. In most cases the water comes from the roof and gutter system to a storage system usually above ground. Many people with space limitations or for aesthetic reasons opt for underground storage tanks.

There are tax benefits and state laws that you should investigate. Licensed landscape architects and plumbers should be used to meet the requirements.

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 Top 10 Ways to Green Your Home

Appliances

Any appliance older than ten years should be replaced with new “Energy Star” qualified appliances that use 10- 50% less energy which obviously saves on your utility bill as well as the environment.

Cabinets

Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry should follow the Environmental Stewardship Program(ESP) that promotes air quality, product resource management, and environmental stewardship standards.

Cleaning Products

Use eco-friendly cleaners that use grain alcohol, coconut or other plant oils rather than chemicals in your detergents.

Food

Buy locally grown and produced foods that you don’t need to ship across country which burns fossil fuels to get them to you.

Flooring

Hardwoods - Solid or engineered flooring to be installed with non-toxic adhesives and finishes. Cork is hypo-allergenic, insect resistant and renewable every 8-10 years. With bamboo look for zero voc finish and no added formaldehyde. Tile should be from recycled glass or porcelain. Carpeting should come from sheep’s wool which is composed of amino acids, the building blocks of life.

Lighting

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use a third of the energy for standard bulbs and will last up to ten times longer.

Organic Mattresses

Buy a bed without synthetic materials such as polyurethane foam which is made from petroleum. The cover or ticking should be from organically grown cotton and wool. Luxe Mattresses of Houston hand crafts an all organic mattress.

Paints

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from paints and stains can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, headaches and even more serious illnesses. Flat paints should be no more than 100 G/l and non flat no more than 15 G/l.

Utilities

New Leaf and early pioneer Green Mountain Energy offer a 100% renewable energy plan with wind and solar. Also, look for low impact hydro-energy plans that are available.

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