Collecting rainwater is an ancient practice. And still common in areas that are used to scarce water supplies. Industrialized countries, with sophisticated engineering have been less likely to rely on more rudimentary resources such as home harvesting to run their households, but this is changing. Rain is free and your roof is a natural catchment area. Nearly 40% of your water is used outdoors, for uses such a lawn and garden and does not require treated water. In fact gardens and lawns prefer natural rain water. Rain barrels are a cheap and convenient way to make your home more cost efficient. One rain barrel attached to your downspout can provide you with approximately 1700 gallons of water that can be used outdoors for your flower and vegetable gardens, potted plants, to fill your pool, wash your car and any other outdoor use. While rain water collected in rain barrels is not potable, your plants will love it the chlorine free water. Just try washing your hair in it. You will not believe how gentle and soft it will be.