Posts Tagged ‘Freecycle’

If you are interested or already have a rain barrel (Water Butt) attached to one of your down spout / gutter drainpipes, here is what you should do.
Preferably before you install the system, build a good platform to hold your first barrel securely at a good height. Even if you only intend to have a one barrel system, this is still highly recommended to ensure you wont need much alterations later on if you decide to expand the system!
In the below image you will find your typical household rainwater harvester: should you want to expand, you may get away with placing one more final barrel flat on the ground next to the existing one connected with an overflow pipe.

Rain Catchment / Water Barrel Harvesting: Typical Setup

Rain Catchment / Water Barrel Harvesting: Typical Setup

The below image is of a good system where the first barrel was placed high enough to allow the expansion to accommodate another 3 – 4 barrels! So in the case of your typical 220 liter system, you can now potentially increase to a 1100 liter system running off of One Downspout / drainpipe!

Rainwater Barrel / Roof Harvesting Multi Barrel Setup

Rainwater Barrel / Roof Harvesting Multi Barrel Setup

Think ahead and be proactive! This summer has been quite dry for us here in Southern England and this year my one barrel emptied quite fast compared with last year and it took a while before the rains came to replenish the lost water, Remember as well to clear debris from the diverter and pipes to ensure you get the full potential out of your equipment.

Register on Streetbank and Freecycle as people give stuff away for free there, a water butt can easily cost £30 new online or at a garden centre, just be sure that if it is not a purpose built water butt / barrel, it needs to be a container that is food grade.

I remember now my first few visits on a Permaculture Forum online where I was asking loads of questions with the reply generally being ‘ do you really need to go out and buy it? look around, ask neighbours, look on freecycle, streetbank etc. ‘


It took a while to sink in, what was the problem in buying a few essentials, I thought. Now years later, I find it quite un-moralistic to get to a garden centre or DIY type store to get something which, may very well be lying in a rubble skip two streets away from my house! I strongly believe, or Know that consumer culture is pretty much responsible for most of the issues we have in this world today including War.

Here is one small idea I am sharing of the permaculture mind vs the consumer culture mind, my goal is merely to show you the great difference even in such a small case and if you apply this in almost every situation you come across, your life will change for the better!

Every so often, I came across people (some are friends and colleagues) whom have consumerism so engrained into their minds that they even disregard recycling, reusing, re-purposing etc. almost as some sort of alien practice that needs to be eradicated for the fear of an economic collapse if everyone suddenly started living in an eco mindset! One example being when I discovered Honey (even willow leaves soaked in water) is a great alternative to rooting hormone (when you root plant cuttings in water or compost, you can use honey instead of buying a special gel or powder), a good friend of mine was adamant that it would not work, that it is probably just ”some old folks tale” and that ”I should go to the B&Q or Homebase to buy the hormone gel”. Fortunately, I am the master of my own self and trusted my source, I have never and will never need to buy any rooting gel or powders due to the Honey WORKING!

An unusual post, yes. I just hope that I may have planted a seed of thought in some of you

Example of Permaculture vs Consumerculture:

Scenario: You need some stirdy sticks to stake your tomato plants

Get in car / walk to bus stop or train station,
Travel for a period of time to get to shop / garden centre,
Spend time looking for item, probably distracted by stuff you didn’t go there for and don’t need,
Purchase item/s with money,
Travel back to home,
Spend time outside staking the plants,
Time consumed? Anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours (depending on transport and locality of shop / garden centre)
Pollution: Contributed through transport AND purchasing a processed product that has packaging etc.
Money spent? Anywhere between £2 and £10 for a pack of canes, separate charge for twine etc.

Item used? Possibly contaminated with chemicals due to factory processing and any preservation agents for storage

Looks at tomatoes,decides they need staking,
Grabs secateurs or loppers and searches around garden for dead branches on shrubs and trees,Cuts suitable sized branches,
Goes back to tomato bed and stakes the plants.
Time consumed? Perhaps 10 minutes all together if extra time spent looking for dead branches
Effort? Minimal
Pollution? None (Zero)
Money Spent? Zero
Item used? Organic