Homeowners looking for an eco-friendly and cheaper way to water their lawn this summer may find a solution in rain barrels.
The approximately 50-gallon barrels, which are used to collect rainwater as it runs off the roof of a home, can also be purchased locally through the nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Mallory Pendleton, headwaters outreach manager for CRK, explained that each rain barrel comes with an installation kit. This kit includes drill bits, spigot and installation pipe.
With these pieces, a homeowner can either attach the rain barrel directly to a gutter of their home or, depending on the shape of the roof, attach a funnel to send the water to the barrel.
"The sole purpose is to capture water from a roof and [the barrel] will hold it for later use,” said Pendleton. “A lot of people will use it on their lawns, gardens, indoor plants...but collecting this roof runoff water reduces the amount of water that flows onto your property or from your property."
Pendleton said that CRK sells each rain barrel for $35, which covers the cost of the installation kit. The rain barrels themselves are recycled syrup barrels from The Coca-Cola Company.
Pendleton said the rain barrels are also a way for the nonprofit to further their mission of stewardship and conservation of the Chattahoochee River.
"It's really just to practice our stewardship to our water resource, since it is capturing all of this rainwater that would simply be going into the ground,” she said. “[The barrels] are able to reduce our use at our house or companies or wherever you’re putting this rain barrel so you can use it for other things.”
Pendleton added that she has seen an increase in sales of the barrels ahead of Earth Day today and the warmer spring months.
"I know Earth Day gets a lot of recognition just throughout the entire world, it's such an important day for a lot of people,” she said. "It definitely could be connected to that and it could also be connected to the fact that it's April and people are starting to get their gardens ready and people are getting their lawns a little bit manicured.”
Anyone interested in purchasing a rain barrel from CRK can visit the shop on the nonprofit’s website for more information. The rain barrels are only available for pickup at one of CRK’s offices in either Gainesville, Atlanta or LaGrange.