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rain water harvesting butts

peter donegan - rain water harvesting buttsI always reuse the grey water from my house & throw it over the veggie plot. Butt [!] it’s time to go a stage further. I wanted a water butt. It took a little research and I go two from… fingal county council.

Made from recycled plastic, Dublin City Council [their page is a little more informative] are selling them too. I dont know about the rest of the country. Sorry!

How much? I paid €40 by bin tags [which is tax deductable] and collected myself. Thats really good value by the way. I thought they’d be sold out – but – the guy in Swords Estuary Recycling Centre said the uptake hadn’t been so great. That’s a bit of a shame and a little surprising. Maybe water charges should come in after all?

HOW TO FIT YOUR HARVESTER[what the instructions don’t tell you]

Anyhow – the fitting is a little tricky. Partly, because my instructions were wet! remember – take your time – measure twice & cut once

peter donegan - rain water butt install 1] place the butt where you want it near the down pipe from your gutters. Hold the pipe in place [as it will sit]; mark where you will cut; make sure it reaches. Cut the down pipe with a hand saw and again removing about 1cm of pipe. You may need a little more – but a good ‘wallop’ [careful and easy! measure twice – cut once!!] should knock it back into place. The section supplied should now be in place & the black hose should now protrude.

rain water harvesting - peter donegan landscaping 2] With the butt sitting on its stand, you now need to drill into the side of the butt – again careful measure twice and cut once – to fit the connection so as the pipe from the downpipe will connect to the harvester and don’t forget gravity!

water butts - peter donegan landscaping ltd3] you’ll need a decent screwdriver to knock the lid into place

That is pretty much it! Careful when cutting – or you’ll take most of the paint off the walls [and your fingers too…!] and make sure and leave the tap in the off position… I don’t need to explain that one…. ? All one needs to do now is wait for it to rain.

We really should allow fixtures like this more readily into our garden designs…

Tree leaves may have a bio-cycle


go make a difference - book review peter donegan

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Among the many books in my library I have a little gem called Go make a Difference – over 500 daily ways to save the planet. Whilst the book relates mainly to mainland UK it is still quite a fine journal crammed with useful links and thins that can be so easily done to help our planet.


One genius little junket was to do with a company who sells products made from from recycled tyres! Remarkable Technologies Ltd however have a website which is brilliant and whilst diddling through it over the weekend I found this page/ paper called Tree leaves: A free source of energy, literally falling from the sky where the author Eric Knight believes that ‘A new, renewable energy source, tree leaves, maybe the ideal earth-friendly bio fuel feedstock for the production of ethanol and/ or as a secondary fuel source for power plants.’

That one may not be so relevant to the general populus… but for apartment dwellers and bedsitters to those in country mansions – if you only did one of these per month in your life… As one of the reviews on the back by John Vidal, environment editor with The Guardian says, ‘How many people does it take to change the world? One to buy this book and six billion to act on it’.


lifting trees at sunset…

lifting trees at sunset

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just a beautiful image –  It was also for an amazing project for an amazing gentleman who wanted to introduce more mature trees into an already native irish landscape. How considerate is that…. Makes me smile everytime! Brilliant.

going green – is it a waste?

skips...

skips...

I made a conscious decision some time ago that if the earth, landscaping to be precise, was my work then I as best as possible and the donegan landscaping team should work to a little more for the earth. It sounds like a fair deal and it is. It wasn’t that I/we did nothing green from the outset, but more a company strategy of sorts needed to be put into practice to create an ethos that could be improved upon.

When selecting trees out of season we try [it’s not always possible] to use trees from ‘air grown pots’ [like the ones above] as they’re reusable.

The green waste from garden is, naturally, recycled. The large wood heats the office and the softer, smaller wood goes to mulch.

When we buy compost and bark that we cannot generate ourselves it comes from recycled materials – rather than from bogs.

When we do, we also only use mulching mowers – a big carbon saver!

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One would assume it stops there…. ? There is the usual recycling of cloth material, electric appliances, glass, cans and also when shopping giving back all packaging; energy saving bulbs and a very well insulated building; we also located ourselves within a four mile radius of four main suppliers – more than that? the coffee grinds, tea bags and fruit peels etc. go to the green waste heap.

To reduce paper we recycle envelopes; we’re decommissioning our facsimile machine and moving to emailing company documents; waste paper is also turned over & used for note paper and then made into a máche type fire log to heat the office via our wood stove.

We buy Irish products, locally when possible – I know that’s got something to do with carbon footprints somewhere.

Is there more I/ we do? Is there more we can do? Since starting almost eight years ago now we kind of figured through our monthly meetings ourselves to this point – surely we can do a little more?! can we?

no! i said borax

borax

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I was out with Jane Hall of ecoshop a while ago. A nice day out to Glen of the Downs if your looking for some inspiration. I bartered some of my time for hers and we had a natter and some coffee whilst discussing some projects where intelligent landscaping would benefit. As a thank you for my brain converting thoughts into speek… Jane sent me a big box of borax. I’d read so many greener books and unusual for a man with four sister, a woman in my life was listening!

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral, soluble in water. What can it do? Just about everything cleaning wise the books say. Now I’ve just got to give it the test… If you’re out the farside of Dublin, Janes shop is a shrine to an ethic every Irish man should live by.

Happy Sunday and as always, enjoy!