A collection of artfully-decorated rain barrels landed at the Chicago Center for Green Technology after traveling to different eco events around the city last year. Named Recycle the Raindrops, the exhibit aims to raise awareness about how collecting rain water can relieve stress on water treatment facilities, reduce water consumption, and help to control flooding. Local artists created scenes on their barrels that showcase the benefits of re-using rainwater, touching on topics ranging from global issues with water access to adequate sanitation.
With just 100sq ft of roof area, 60 gallons of water can be collected per inch of rain fall. This can amount to incredible savings for the planet (and your water bill) when rainfall is used to water the garden, feed your indoor potted plants, or even to wash the dog.
The site of the Recycle the Raindrops exhibit is the prefect venue for showing off the uses of rain barrel-collected water. The Chicago Center for Green Technology is a government-run building that was renovated in 1999 to achieve LEED Platinum certification — as such, it is an incredible showcase for energy efficiency and conservation practices. The painted rain barrels can be seen through the property, interspersed with a field of solar panels, on the deck of a UIC Urbana-Champaign Solar Decathlon House, inside the resource center for green building materials, and around the prairie of deep-rooting native plants that help to manage ground water.