August 31, 2008


Free Water

Tara gives lessons on free water
Bill Gates Foundation has just budgeted $4m to investigate the potential of rainwater harvesting in the third world. But what about the first world?

America is rapidly catching on to water caching, as rainwater harvesting is also known.

In the Bay Area, Tara Hui, a rainwater campaigner, climbed under her deck, nudged past a cluster of 55-gallon barrels and a roosting chicken, and pointed to a shiny metal gutter spout.

“See that?” she said. “That’s where the rainwater comes in from the roof.”

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Make your home off-grid ready

Warmth and comfort not optional Start by calculating how much energy your home is consuming and what you can save by changing your habits and retrofitting your home. Online aids, like the Home Energy Saver in the US ( or the Energy Star web site or Canada’s Natural Resources home heating calculator ( are invaluable.

The next step is to calculate the return on investment of generating your own energy, beginning with the simplest technologies and those that give the biggest immediate bang for the buck.

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