I admit it, I'm a complete dork.
For the past 10 years or so I've had at least one rain barrel and absolutely loved it. When they went on sale I purchased a second one, each will hold 75 gallons and I have one at the front of the house and one at the back. They're wonderful for watering potted plants and for filling the birdbaths; some summers our rainfall is spaced out such that they remain full all summer. Other years when we have less rain (or perhaps I do more watering) they run dry in July or August and are replenished in September when things cool down a bit.
They help cut down on our water bill, which is great. Our water is very expensive here; we are charged extra because of our proximity to Boston. Basically, we're funding the cleanup of Boston harbor, something I applaud, but am not necessarily thrilled about when the water bills roll in four times a year. I love that we're able to capture a small part of a resource that would otherwise be wasted and run off into the ocean- the rainfall! It's better for the plants as it doesn't contain chlorine, fluoride or any of the other additives that get put into our drinking water. And, as water is going to become a more precious resource, I am happy that we are able to utilize something that would otherwise just run down the street and into the street drains. It's a win-win situation.
For a while now I've been coveting yet another rain barrel. Joe, who has to move them in to the basement every winter to prevent them from freezing and cracking, says "two rain barrels is enough!". I don't blame him, he's a great sport about all my hobbies and for the most part he is very supportive of my wanting to be environmentally friendly by using the rain barrels. I can see his point, I'm lucky to have two. Why be greedy?
A friend told me last week she wanted to get rid of one of her rain barrels. She just didn't have a place for it, and asked if I would like it. Would I?!? Oh yes! She brought it over last week and today Joe rigged it up under one of our down spouts. And (as if the 3rd rain barrel wasn't enough!) he connected it to another plastic drum so that the overflow will fill the second barrel. Now that's love!