Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

Environment

Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

Collecting, storing and using rainwater at home

Rain harvesting, also known as rainwater collection or rainwater catchment, is an ancient practice that we have been using since roughly 10,000 years ago during the Neolithic age and fortunately, it is becoming increasingly popular again. According to the World Health Organization, besides being widely practiced in low-income and mid-income countries, “it is becoming a focus of increased interest in developed countries” as well.

Water is one of the biggest environmental challenges that we have on our planet. Our planet’s population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, adding even more pressure on such an essential resource, making the increasing interest in rainwater harvesting great news!

Despite being a great eco-friendly solution for our planet, the rainwater, when properly collected and stored, can become a valuable resource to any household, especially in times when water shortage is becoming an increasing source of concern to more and more people in several cities around the globe.

Using rainwater in our homes is an easy and efficient way to effectively conserve water supply and cooperate for reduced use of water, saving it for the future generations. Its use is viable in urban buildings

Where can we use the stored rainwater?

Stored rainwater when adequately treated, can be used to supply all the residential needs including drinking and cooking.

Even if not filtered, the collected rainwater can be widely used in our daily lives for activities such as garden watering, car washing, toilet flushing, household cleaning, laundry among others.

According to a report from the Water Research Foundation published in April 2016, the main responsible for water usage in the average household is the toilet flushing (24%), shower (20%), faucet (19%), clothes washer (17%) and leak (12%). If collected rainwater could replace just the water used for flushing, it would already make a huge difference!

 

What is a rainwater collection system

Collecting and storing rainwater can be easily achieved and managed at a domestic level. The required investment can vary a lot according to the project. There are three important types of rainwater system:

Direct

It is the most popular among the more sophisticated residential rainwater harvesting systems, partially due to its relatively easy installation process. It requires a pump within an underground tank. Once the tank receives the collected rainwater, it will pump directly to the locations where it will be used. This method can have a variation with the use of a suction pump within the house instead of a pump in the underground tank.

Indirect

This system consists of having a high-level water tank that will receive the pumped rainwater. Then, the rainwater can reach its destination either by gravity or by using a booster pump suited to serve the desired pressure and flow.

Pros and cons of rain harvesting

The pros:

  • Easy to maintain and store
  • A noticeable reduction in water bills
  • More suitable for irrigation of crops and watering of plants in lawns
  • A reduction in demand on groundwater
  • Prevents floods and soil erosion
  • Meets several non-drinking needs

The cons:

  • Rainfall is quite unpredictable, so you still may need to rely on alternative sources
  • Initial cost can be high depending on the chosen system
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • A limited storage capacity

How to get started

Before you decide to take your initial steps towards building a rainwater harvesting system on your rooftop, you must keep in mind how much rain your home will be exposed to. The map below, from National Centers for Environmental Information, shows what regions are exposed to above of average levels of rainfall.

Considering that your decision to take one further step to live an off the grid life is taken and your new rooftop rainwater harvesting system is soon to become a reality, ecofriendly.solutions will be pleased to recommend you to the best and most suitable service providers.

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Lets Live a Green Life!

Energy

Let’s live a green life!

Why we should aim to live a green life and influence others to do the same

 

First, let’s look at things from a much higher perspective

How many times per day do you remind yourself that you are alive? And that you are a life, living on a tiny planet that orbits a small star in a galaxy with approx 200 billion stars in an observable universe that contains at least 2 trillion galaxies?

We are so fortunate to be here! We should remind ourselves of this more often. It helps us to put everything into the right perspective and tells us that life has to be treasured.

Life on Earth is the consequence of the combination of several factors such as having liquid water, minerals, atmosphere, magnetic field, the ozone layer, among many others.

The steep populational growth that we have seen, which drives an ever-increasing hunger for consumption of natural resources, is directly impacting our little blue planet’s fragile balance.

Our environment allowed life to be here, and we must take good care of it so that our environment can continue to take good care of us. We must do all we can to leave, for the future generations, a better planet than the one we found.  It is our responsibility to live a green life!

 

What is going on with our reserves of natural resources

According to recent reports from the United Nations, the way we are using our natural resources is unsustainable and is increasing at a fast pace that may cause irreversible damages to our planet. The extraction of primary materials has more than tripled in 40 years, fueled by a rapidly growing middle class.

Reports from the World Trade Organization show what we all know, but many refuse to understand: the way we consume our “economically viable” natural resources is unsustainable, and many of those resources are at risk of being entirely consumed sooner or later.

Critical resources like water, petroleum, gas, charcoal, foods, metals among several others are at risk and we may be moving sooner or later towards a mass extinction of up to 75% of all the species, a phenomenon that has happened 5 times in the past 540 million years, which for the first time will be caused by us, humans.

Let’s clarify what is going on with some of those resources:

Food

The UN estimates that by 2050 (when human population shall surpass the mark of 9 billion people), the amount of food produced on our planet will need to increase by 70%. To accomplish this, we will need to deal with relevant obstacles like global warming that impacts agricultural production in many countries. Recent data shows that currently, one out of every six inhabitants of our planet suffers from hunger. What will this look like 50, 100, 500 years down the road?

Water

The UN alerts that 2.1 billion people don’t have access to potable water at home. If we keep the current pace with regards to the consumption and devastation of nature as a whole, by 2050, 75% of the global population may have difficulties to access potable water.

Petroleum

What we know for sure is that one day we will finish consuming all our reserve of oil. There are many different estimations and opinions about when it will happen, but they all agree that it will happen. The way we produce energy is still highly dependent on the petroleum chain, but inevitably we will need to learn how to live without it, which may not be that bad of an idea after all.

Copper

Copper is one of the most utilized metals by humans. We use it in electric wires, all sort of electronic equipment, jewelry, to mention a few only. We may entirely consume our reserves by 2100. Fortunately, copper, as well as several other metals, can be recycled.

Those are just a few examples and should be enough to make us reflect on what each one of us can do to help. The short answer is live green!

 

What can we do about it? Decide to embrace a green life!

We can’t change everyone, but we can improve ourselves toward living an eco-friendly and sustainable green life and influence others to do the same by becoming a role model to be followed.

Our attitudes are a lot more persuasive than our words. So, live your life as green as you can because this is the best way to promote the real changes that our planet needs.

What can we do to live green? What can we do to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life? We have some suggestions to start with:

Reduce

Try to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources. Ride a bicycle to work, use public transportation, share a car drive to work, stop buying things that you don’t need.

Reuse

Replace that “disposable” plastic bag by reusable ones, reuse as many bottles and cans as you can, donate things that you don’t use.

Recycle

Recycle as much as possible. Try to understand where the final destination of everything you throw away will be. Learn how to recycle things at home by yourself.

Make your home more sustainable

Have you considered generating solar energy at your own home? Wind energy? Rain harvesting? Composting? There are so many things that are under our reach that will make your home and your life more sustainable. We have written several articles on these subjects. You can find the links at the end of this article.

Buy eco-friendly products

Buy products that will not harm the environment and even prioritize products whose manufacturing processes were environmentally responsible.

You can check our “eco-friendly products section” where we review and suggest products that we like and that somehow will help us on the mission of preserving our planet for the future generations. We continually search eco-friendly products and fair prices to recommend to our visitors.

Are you living a green life yet? Do you care about the conservation of our planet and our future generations? What are you doing about it? Please leave a comment below! 

The beautiful illustration on this post was created by Karina Busquets, who gently conceded ecofriendly.solutions the right of use on our website. Please click here to visit her website and get to see some of her beautiful illustrations and her unique style. 

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