I read this article about a person’s pursuit of eco-friendliness. The author decided that the most beneficial things were the gray-water system, solar system, rain barrels, and installing a pond.

I thought I’d approach this from a practicality standpoint. First off, not all states allow gray-water systems, but Texas does allow it. Yet, in Texas, new systems have to have an on-site-sewage-facility. In other words, you have to clean the gray-water before you dump it into your yard. All in all, the system is going to be quite expensive.

Solar system. I live in one of the few areas that has a civic co-op for an electric company. So, they don’t give a credit, or payment for the installation of solar panels. But, some electric companies will help you out. It might be cost-effective for some, but for me it would be quite expensive.  One possibility for me that might work would be a solar-water heater system. It would run parallel with the regular water heater, so that the regular water heater would only be used when the solar heater didn’t get the water up to temperature. These are generally pretty cheap in comparison to solar electric systems.

Rain Barrels sound great, but if you don’t already have a rain-gutter system in place you will be shelling out some cash. We don’t have a gutter system, so it would be pretty expensive to install one, then install the rain barrels. But, it would likely be worth it. We tend to get our rain in large storms instead of small showers. So, we get drought followed by a big storm with lots of runnoff. The rain barrels would preserve the water for use later.

Installing some sort of water pond, or water trap system takes a LOT of space. In Texas, it’s pretty common for agriculturally used land. On farms, or in rural areas, we call them “tanks”. But this would take up a lot of the space in my backyard, which is pretty small anyway, so I’m not going to do it.

One thing I think that this person’s journey toward preserving the environment illustrates is that different methods are more effective in some areas than others. There is no one-size fits all approach. You have to evaluate different methods to see what works for you!

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