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Articles by Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress is dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, our work addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. We develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter and shape the national debate. Founded in 2003 to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement, CAP is headed by John D. Podesta and based in Washington, D.C. CAP opened a Los Angeles office in 2007.

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Barrel essentials.Photo: kierkierAs the old adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. But for those looking to green their homes, April showers also provide an easy way to reduce water bills and water waste.

Rainwater harvesting is a simple and efficient way to capitalize on the naturally occurring precipitation in your area, and reduce dependency on irrigated or treated water. Provided you live in a region that receives above a certain amount of annual precipitation (the EPA recommends a minimum of 8 inches), rainwater harvesting can be a cost-effective means of greening your home.

The most basic way to harvest rainwater is to use a rain barrel. As the name suggests, rain barrels are simply large bins placed at the end of roof gutters to collect rainwater. This system is incredibly simple and easy to install, yet able to collect tremendous amounts of rainwater. On a 1,000-square-foot roof, one inch of rain can yield 620 gallons of water. Given that the daily per capita household water usage is about 70 gallons, this means that even in climates with low levels of yearly rainfall, the potential for saving water is quite significant.

The EPA hand... Read more

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