Sustainable Venice © 2017

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DIY Rain Barrels

September 5, 2017

It’s #EcoTipsTuesday and, just out of curiosity… #Florida?! Is that you?!


I bet most of us in SoCal would have thought so with the heat, humidity, and rain that visited us this past weekend. Given that we don’t get blessed with thunderstorms as often at we’d like, we’re not always thinking about rain capture. But, with #climatechange knocking at our door, who really knows what’s in store henceforth?!


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A magical addition to your personal home and garden show is to create your own DIY rain barrel! This renders an excellent way to water your drought-tolerant plants in Southern California without turning on the municipal hose. Not to mention, you can save up to 50% of your home’s drinkable water and reduce your water bills!


DIY rain barrel materials can be collected from many sources; wine and booze distilleries, old trashcans, or a metal drum. Another creative design idea is the stand-alone collector that doubles as an outdoor table and umbrella. Always consider your environment when selecting your barrel materials, although here at SV we discourage plastics in general if you can avoid them.



Rudimentary tools and materials that you will need are a spigot or faucet, water hose, a wrench, a jigsaw, a hose adapter, and mesh for a filter.


Elevate the barrel off the ground by using cinder blocks or old bricks, by building a small platform using reclaimed wood, or by repurposing an unused, sturdy garden bench. The higher the elevation, the better the water pressure when you open the spigot. Assemble these materials and simply divert the gutter to your rain barrel and voilà! You’re in action!



So, let’s prep for the sky to open up on us next and capture what we can!







If you'd rather take a guided, hands-on workshop on how to build your own rain barrel as well as learn all of the environmental benefits and government rebates in more detail, sign up for Tree People's Rain Water Harvesting Workshop here!




For more tips and tricks for DIY rain barrels and sustainable upgrades to your home check out



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Steven Williams of SELVA International and SFLA Ocean Friendly Gardens

April 6, 2018

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