Using rain barrels to catch water that normally falls off your roof and funnels through rain gutters can save a house dweller a significant amount of money. The Akron Sustainer, in conjunction with Let’s Grow Akron, recently offered a free class about making rain barrels as part of the Sustainable Saturday series.
The two organizations have turned the second Saturday of the summer months into learning opportunities for environmental sustainability through this series of workshops that teaches Akronites practical ways to conserve water, protect the environment and reuse and rework materials that would usually end up in a landfill.
Residents can collect roughly 300 gallons of water for each inch of rain that falls on 500 square feet of roof, according to Better Homes and Gardens. In Akron, that savings helps two ways: first, it keeps cleaner water out of the sewer systems where it would be polluted by petrochemicals and animal and human waste; and it helps homeowners reduce their monthly water bills by saving and then using rain water for gardens, lawns and for other uses.
Building a water barrel isn’t as difficult as it sounds, says Dave Daly, market and garden coordinator for Let’s Grow Akron, who led the workshop. He built one for his attendees in less than 15 minutes with nothing more than a drill, fittings, a hammer and a food-grade barrel. The white barrels he used for Saturday’s workshop were donated by the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Twinsburg to Let’s Grow Akron.
The Sustainable Saturday workshops are facilitated by Kaley Foster and Let’s Grow Akron and are open to the public. These are family friendly events held outdoors, and the next one is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, at 11 a.m. The focus of the July workshop will be reworking plastic shopping bags into more durable bags, and will be facilitated by Mila Susnjar of Summit Reworks.
These workshops are held in or outside the Sustainer, a shipping container that was cut and refitted with reused and recycled materials as a shelter and educational hub. Located on the corner of 21 W. North St. and Howard Street, right outside the Northside District, the Sustainer has a distinctive colorful exterior mural that was painted on all four sides by the Art Bomb Brigade of Akron.
The Akron Sustainer helps residents think “inside the box” by providing an environmentally conscious space to work, think and create sustainability to minimize environmental impact on future generations. Visit www.facebook.com/AkronSustainer for info.
Let’s Grow Akron is a nonprofit organization that creates and supports community food gardens and beautification of neighborhood sites prone to blight. Visit letsgrowakron.org for info.