I currently live in the house that I grew up in, so I know a little about the property. For 37 years now I have lives here. A lot of time to get to know the land. My house is also 37 years old, so many things need upgrading as far as efficiency goes. Using permaculture design I have a plan to retro-fit my house making it more environmentally efficient and save resources. I have prioritized things according to price and impact. Start with the most bag for my buck per say. I also have three categories in the retro-fit; water, energy, and food. These are broad and the specifics and gone more into details when I look deeper into each category.
Firstly there is water. Because of the luxury of petroleum we have fairly cheap water, but in some parts of the country and world water is very scarce. Water is wasted. Irrigated lawns where the run off just goes down the drain carrying all the chemicals that were applied to those lawn. No thought of what impact it has down stream. Water is precious, and we must treat it that way. The easiest way to capture and save water is in your landscape. Swales and deep mulches soak water into the landscape. Planting a food forest and ponds regulate are more techniques to store water in you landscape. I am currently working to establish a food forest and digging a pond. Trees help to stop erosion and provide shade to reduce evaporation. I feel the landscape is the easiest and cost effective way to start storing water.
Then next comes capturing and storing water. This means having storage for the water, and a system to catch rain. Rain catchment if allowed, can be started small, and be scale-able. Start with a simple rain barrel placed under the gutter down spout. I don’t even have a gutter system installed. I just have many five gallon bucks that I put along where rain runs off my roof. I use this water to water my garden. It’s currently to much but it’s a start. I have grand plans of cisterns and gutter system to store rain water. Filter it and make it drinkable. Water conservation is also important. Cut down on usage with water smart appliances. Then there is grey water recycling. Grey water is the water not from the toilet. Toilet water is black water. I don’t recommend recycling black water, and caution recycling grey water. These are waste water, and in some area illegal to recycle. Grey water catchment and composting toilet are much father down the road for me, so I have only little knowledge other than look at plans for both. If you are interested on these there are plenty of resources on the internet.
I hope to keep you guys up to date when I complete some of these projects. So stay tune.
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