Smarter Shelter

Whole green resources for home design, flooring, insulation, lighting, heating, and more.



Let It Rain!

RainIn greenspeak, it’s called rainwater harvesting. In plainer language, it’s simply a strategy for collecting rainwater so that it may be used for watering plants and other purposes. The components in a small-scale rainwater harvesting system are pretty basic. Your building needs gutters and downspouts to collect rainwater, rain barrels to store it, and some sort of screen or bypass valve to filter out leaves, twigs, and other debris. Companies like Rain Harvest Systems sell all these components. But depending on your budget and the scale of your project, you might be fine just buying a barrel or two. Rain Harvest Systems sells plastic rain barrels equipped with tops and spigots (for connecting a garden hose) for around $160.

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A green house will have more insulation than local building codes require. In fact, it should have enough extra insulation to be at least 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a standard code compliant house, according to Energy Star guidelines.

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