Ryan emailed us with this good question: I have been scouring the net to find ways to go green in my new apartment. I have found some great ways to start composting (either indoor or on my porch, unsure as of now), but I am having a heck of a time finding anything to aid me in my desire to harvest rainwater for addition to my compost and watering my plants.
I really don't think that just setting a bucket on my porch will do much as it is covered, maybe some sort of gutter system... But my fear is that that would turn real ugly, real quick; I need to maintain a decent aesthetic as I will be living with fiancée!
When we read your question, we immediately thought of The Garden Water Saver's "Hide the Rain Barrel Contest."
We were thinking ... Garden Water Saver's sells a rainwater harvesting kit and, if you're worried about your fiancée, you could always just hide the barrel from her!
Kidding! Kidding! Don't hide it from her; do some research with her. A great place to find a tremendous amount of (convincing) information about rainwater harvesting is Richard's Rainwater. We think Richard Heinichen probably knows all there is to know about subject, and he even wrote a book, Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged ($15). You can read a sample chapter here.
Anyone else have thoughts on rainwater harvesting, or, more specifically, how to make it look good?