3 ways to capture water for your backyard garden (that wont break the bank)

September 14, 2017 by  
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One major issue a lot of backyard farmers have to contend with is water . All plants need water in order to thrive, and that generally means people have to hose down their gardens twice a day to ensure a healthy, generous harvest. With droughts and water shortages becoming more frequent, we need to be innovative when it comes to harvesting and using this precious resource: read on to find out how you can capture water around your own home, for startlingly less cost than you might have guessed. Trashcan Barrels For about $20, you can make a rainwater collection barrel from a simple trash can. What you’ll need and how to make it: A 20-gallon plastic garbage can—make sure to get one with a domed lid Mosquito netting A drill with a small hole saw bit 1 valve spigot that has a bulkhead fitting Waterproof duct tape or plumbing tape Teflon tape to secure the spigot Step 1 : Use your drill to create several drainage holes in the center of the garbage can’s lid. Then drill an overflow hole into the side of the barrel, about 3 inches down from the top. Step 2 : Cut a piece of mosquito netting large enough to cover those holes, and use the duct or plumber’s tape to secure it on the convex side. You’ll be tipping the lid upside-down to create a bowl, so you want the netting facing downwards, into the barrel. Step 3 : Drill a hole about 3 inches from the barrel’s bottom, get your bulkhead into place, and then insert the spigot. It’s a good idea to use the teflon tape around the spigot first to make sure it’s watertight, and then twist it firmly into place to secure it. Step 4 : Secure that upside-down lid onto the barrel, and seal with duct tape. You’ll need to prop your barrel a foot or two above the ground, so stack up some cement masonry blocks or random bricks as a stand for it. Voila! It’ll catch rainwater when it falls, and the netting will prevent leaf detritus from falling into the water below. Related: Bowl-shaped roofs harvest rainwater and promote natural cooling in arid environments Earth Mounds Got a shovel? Then you can make these. Basically, this technique just involves moving soil around in your yard to create channels that direct rainwater to where you want it to collect. Pretty much every bit of land has naturally occurring microclimates : these are areas that are either higher or lower than the rest of the soil around them, or get more light (or more shade), or have different clay/sand/loam ratios. You can determine where the wetter microclimates in your own land are by doing a quick, heavy watering with your garden hose, and watching where the water runs. You can use your shovel to dig shallow trenches to divert water to where you want it to go, and use the soil you’ve removed to build up shallow walls on either side of that trench for reinforcement. You’re essentially creating mini streams that will flow towards the plants that require the most moisture, and away from those that prefer drier feet. Ideal areas that will benefit from this kind of diversion system are: Trees, especially those that produce fruit or nuts, as they require a lot of water Brassica beds: dedicated areas where you’ll grow kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and so on Lettuce beds: those greens are thirsty Corn rows: its shallow roots don’t hold water well, so it needs to drink often Legume patches: peas, snow peas, beans Related: DIY hugelkultur – how to build raised garden beds Mulch Say it out loud, just for fun: “mmmulch”. Satisfying little word, isn’t it? It’s also a tremendously effective way to collect (and keep) moisture in your garden. A lot of people end up watering their food gardens far more often than should be necessary because so much moisture is lost through evaporation, so the best way to combat that is with mulch . Grass clippings, trimmed leaves from plants like squash and comfrey, and bits of bark can all be lain atop your garden’s soil—just make sure to keep it about half an inch away from vegetable stems so that it doesn’t cause root rot. Here’s a tip: lay strips of copper coil around these mulchy mounds to keep slugs away, since they won’t cross the metal barrier. Those slugs may love moist mulch, but the copper will keep them away from your vegetables. As an aside, don’t be too overzealous with your weeding: those inedible plants may be “unsightly” as far as a traditional garden goes, but they help to keep water in the soil and prevent erosion. Additionally, if you let your chickens roam around freely, they can feed on those weeds instead of on your vegetables. Unless the unwanted plants are causing real harm, let them be. Photos via Pixabay, Unsplash and Wikimedia Creative Commons

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3 ways to capture water for your backyard garden (that wont break the bank)

Researchers develop solar-powered device to harvest water in the desert

April 14, 2017 by  
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A solar-powered device could make water worries a thing of the past. Nine scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology , and University of California, Berkeley designed a water harvester that can pull water from air even if humidity is just 20 percent. Chemist Omar Yaghi of UC Berkeley said, “We wanted to demonstrate that if you are cut off somewhere in the desert , you could survive because of this device.” Yaghi invented compounds known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) 20 years ago, and now is using MOF crystals to harvest water even in dry places. In the water harvesting device, around two pounds of tiny MOF crystals are compressed between a solar absorber and condenser plate to collect around 0.7 gallons of water in 12 hours. Related: World’s largest fog harvester produces water from thin air in the Moroccan desert That may not sound like all that much, but it’s plenty for a human trapped in the desert to survive. Yaghi said, “A person needs about a [330ml] can of water per day. That is something one could collect in less than an hour with this system.” Right now there’s no other way to harvest water in low humidity except to draw on extra energy , according to Yaghi. “Your electric dehumidifier at home ‘produces’ very expensive water,” he says. In contrast sunlight enables the new device to work. Rooftop tests at MIT have already demonstrated the device works in the real world. Even if you never find yourself stranded in the desert, you could benefit from such a water harvester. “One vision for the future is to have water off-grid , where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household,” said Yaghi. “To me, that will be made possible because of this experiment. I call it personalized water.” Science published the team’s research yesterday . Via the University of California, Berkeley and The Independent Images via MIT/laboratory of Evelyn Wang and MIT/Hyunho Kim

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Researchers develop solar-powered device to harvest water in the desert

Support the brilliant Warka Water design to pull drinking water out of thin air

January 5, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Support the brilliant Warka Water design to pull drinking water out of thin air Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “water collection” , access to water , bamboo , bio-plastic , clean water , dew harvesting , Ethiopia , ethiopia village , fog harvesting , hemp , kickstarter , mesh fabric , potable water , rain harvesting , safe water , Warka Water , Warka Water Kickstarter , water harvesting

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Support the brilliant Warka Water design to pull drinking water out of thin air

The Cloud Harvester Catches and Stores Fresh Water from Fog

July 3, 2013 by  
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The Cloud Harvester is an ingenious device that is designed to catch and condense fog into water droplets which, in turn, run down a stainless steel mesh into a water storage container. The device represents a quantum leap in water collection efficiency, and it’s ideally suited for poor, rural, mountainous, coastal regions with little freshwater resources or infrastructure. It is almost as efficient as existing fog-harvesting devices that are currently on the market, but it is much smaller and more cost-efficient to produce and transport. The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of The Cloud Harvester Catches and Stores Fresh Water from Fog Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Etienne Choiniere-Shields , fog , fog harvesting , fresh water , potable water , The Cloud Harvester , water from fog , water harvesting        

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The Cloud Harvester Catches and Stores Fresh Water from Fog

Stackable Tetris LED Lamp Takes Video Game Decor to a Whole New Level

July 3, 2013 by  
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Here at Inhabitat, we’re big fans of fun and functional Tetris-shaped furniture . But there’s just one problem with this new stackable Tetris LED Desk Lamp : we’re not sure that we could stop playing with it long enough to let it light up the room, Just think of the endless shapes that you can make! Read the rest of Stackable Tetris LED Lamp Takes Video Game Decor to a Whole New Level Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: led lamp , led light , stackable lamp , stackable LED lamp , Tetris , Tetris LED stackable desk lamp , Tetris LED stackable lamp , Tetris LED stackable light , tetris light , Tetris stackable lamp , Think Geek , Think Geek LED lamp , Think Geek Tetris Lamp        

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Stackable Tetris LED Lamp Takes Video Game Decor to a Whole New Level

The Obama Administration Proposes $8 Billion in Loans for ‘Clean’ Fossil Fuel Technologies

July 3, 2013 by  
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Coal photo from Shutterstock By now, Inhabitat readers know that ‘ clean coal ‘ is a contradiction of terms. However, as part of President Obama’s new energy initiative , the U.S. Department of Energy has proposed $8 billion in loan guarantees for fossil fuel technologies to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions . The proposal would fund schemes such as waste heat recovery and carbon dioxide capture , however it has unsurprisingly received criticism as it would draw focus away from green technology projects such as renewable energy and electric vehicles . Read the rest of The Obama Administration Proposes $8 Billion in Loans for ‘Clean’ Fossil Fuel Technologies Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy , carbon storage and capture , clean fossil fuels , coal , Department of Energy , energy loans , greenhouse gas emissions , oil , president obama        

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The Obama Administration Proposes $8 Billion in Loans for ‘Clean’ Fossil Fuel Technologies

Roof gardens to beautify mixed development on the bank of world’s longest canal

July 2, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Mixed development with roof gardens and grey water recycling. The world’s longest and one of the oldest canal, the Grand Canal has become the source of a design that won Allen Jack+Cottier a limited competition to design a mixed development

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Roof gardens to beautify mixed development on the bank of world’s longest canal

Water Harvesting Skyscrapers to Solve Sudan’s Drought

March 18, 2010 by  
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Read the rest of Water Harvesting Skyscrapers to Solve Sudan’s Drought Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , architecture for sudan , drought-proof architecture , Eco Architecture , eco design , green architecture , green design , H3AR architecture , polish architecture , sudan , sustainable design , Watertower

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Water Harvesting Skyscrapers to Solve Sudan’s Drought

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