I'm waiting for J to get up so we can go to the NLR Farmer's Market this morning so I thought I'd post this.
My honey found a guy on Craig's List that makes rain barrels and sells them very reasonably. He came in one day and installed this rain barrel at the back of the house by the pool yesterday! It's tucked in a nook so you can't see it from the back doors or windows- only from the pool or the laundry room window. It's not the best picture, can't seem to find my camera so this is with my phone. Also, forgive the messy deck. That's right after the gutters were cleaned. I really hope this works. He didn't put in an overflow valve, so a bit worried about that. I think we can watch it though and make sure it doesn't get too full. If it does work we plan to put them on all the downspouts (and get more gutters on the house to run them to.) Maybe it will help with the water bills this summer!
Also, I found a neat new site: Low Impact Living. You can determine your family's impact on the environment. The calculator they use seems to be more accurate than others I've seen because you can input in actual lot size, square footage, and individual improvements at the end. We do more things that I couldn't find on the list, but the main bad guys for us are our old heat/ac unit which we really need to replace (but waiting for it to go out.) Also we REALLY need to insulate the walls and ceilings better. Want to do that before another crazy summer and our AC bills are out the roof (HA!)