Don't get overwhelmed by everything you would like to do! Start with something you feel passionate about and if it saves you money as well...that's fabulous.
I started thinking about water. Not just the water that is falling onto my property which I was not collecting, but the stormwater that is hitting the oceans. In Sydney, people don't like to swim after storms because of the pollution. And we can all help reduce this.
Over 2 million Australians have rainwater tanks, that's roughly 10% of the population. Which means that over 20 million of us are sourcing our water from dams. So having a rainwater tank reduces that. But what about all of those downpipes on our property?
The vast majority of us in urban areas are using downpipes that take water that lands on our roofs to the streets and then to the oceans and creeks. Rubbish on the street that isn't cleaned up ends up in stormwater, which is part of the reason so much plastic ends up inside the stomachs of our sea life. Stormwater includes tree waste and dog droppings left in gutters or on the street as well as oil and dirt from people hosing their pavements or cleaning their cars.
If you want to start with something simple that will have an impact straight away, divert the water from your downpipes into your front or back yard (or pool!). I've included an image of the very simple water diverter I put into my backyard a couple of years back. It took the water from the downpipe and via a buried hose in my garden, distributed that water into my yard. I buried the hose as deeply as I could so that the water reached the roots quickly.
In the front yard, I cut the downpipe and let the water flow into my small garden there.
Here's a tip! Get someone who is handier than me to install the water diverter! I eventually got it working but the second photo below shows what happened in the first rainfall. :)
With my renovation, all of the water falling from the roof will now go into my water tanks, but if you don't have a tank or even if you do, and there are still downpipes on your property that don't connect to your rainwater tank, this is a great way to stop that water ending up in stormwater.
There are some beaut products out there. I've listed a couple below.
The Lenny - which is designed to capture rainwater and put into your pool and when that is full it diverts it to the garden http://waterdiverters.com.au/
Enovee - also designed to capture rainwater for use in pools, gardens, ponds and rainwater tanks.