Saturday, May 17, 2008


About three weeks ago during an afternoon thunderstorm, David decided that we should capture some of the rainwater to use as water for watering our plants and grass. He quickly filled a garbage can (by putting it under the downspout draining our entire roof). Thinking that the garbage can wasn't big enough (READ: we were letting too much rainwater get away from us), he decided to fill our entire 50 gallon recycling can. Again, it only took a few minutes to fill the entire can. He was SO excited.

For the past few weeks, we've used the leftover/recycled rainwater to water our indoor plants. We haven't needed it to water our outdoor plants and grasses because it has been such a wet spring. Needless to say, our recycling can is still full of rainwater (probably breeding mosquitoes and we'll both have West Nile virus before the end of the summer, but that's another story). Since our recycling can is full of water, we cannot put our recyclables into it. The DC government requires that all trash/recyclables be placed in either the blue or green containers they provide in order for the trash/recyclables to be picked up. We cannot put out a plastic trash bag and expect the city to take it away. Nor can we just leave our recycling sitting in the alley.

So every week on the eve of trash pick-up, David or I has to, under a veil of darkness, sneak out to the alley and covertly place our recyclables into our neighbors' recycling containers. Sometimes we have to go three or four houses away to find a recycling container with enough room for all of our stuff. The whole process is becoming ridiculous. I'm just waiting for the night when one of our neighbors catches us placing our stuff into their container or us moving their recyclables around to make enough room for our stuff in their container. David said he was going to get rid of the water last week (by watering our grass), but we've had so much rain that our yard is saturated with water. There is no need/use for the recycled water. For now, it is just sitting in our backyard waiting for a dry snap of weather and some grass that needs watering.

Having a rain barrel to capture and reuse rainwater seems like a good idea, but I'm in favor of buying a barrel that was designed to be a rain barrel. One that will capture and dispense the rainwater properly. And one that will not allow mosquitoes access to the pool of fresh standing water. For now, I think we should just dump the remaining rainwater into the alley and free up our recycling can. I'd prefer to be able to take our recycling out more than once a week and to use our own container. Borrowing recycling space in our neighbors' containers is getting a out of hand.

Maybe after we finish our basement home improvement projects, we can invest in an actual rain barrel. Stay tuned...


Today: Spent the morning at Ikea looking at cabinetry for our laundry room. We're pimping out our laundry room and putting in a full bath in our basement. This afternoon, I crocheted while sitting on my front porch and emailed a few people about cribs and baby furniture advertised on craigslist. Still waiting to hear back if the items are still for sale.

Tonight: I'm home alone. Just doing some laundry and reading a book. Also watching a little ALIAS.

Dinner: Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with strawberries.

Tomorrow: David is running a 5K in the AM. I'm going to go cheer him on. I made the decision weeks ago not to run thinking that I'd be too pregnant to run a 5K halfway through my pregnancy. I'm kicking myself now. I'm totally up for running 3 miles, but I had no way of knowing this weeks ago.

Monday: I have jury duty. Blah...


SARAH said...

Awesome that you're using rain water! We wish we'd concocted some system last summer because, due to the drought, we couldn't even water our vegetable garden. Thankfully, this spring has been wet, but your post reminded me we should be looking for a rain barrel.

Jill said...

In Charlottesville, I once called the police on somebody who was dumping stuff in our trash. (I had the police on speed dial...I'd call all the time about anything). But the police told me that I'd need "evidence" beyond just me telling them about it if they were to fine the person. So, you should be ok.