One of the most popular Star Wars characters has been in the news lately, but not for any movie-related reason.
Knoxville, Tennessee, artist Curtis Glover has turned the pint-sized droid known as R2-D2 into a rain barrel in hopes of raising awareness for water conservation. Glover has used his creativity to make the downtown Knoxville area a visual playground. He has designed murals, parking signs and restaurant menus, and now hopes this rain barrel will encourage more people to practice water conservation.
A rain barrel is a device placed below storm drains to collect and harvest rainwater. The water can then be used for everyday household activities, such as watering a garden, washing a car or doing laundry, which can help lower high water bills. Through the use of rain barrels, individuals will be able to help stop water runoff, which can be harmful to local waterways if the water comes in contact with ground chemicals.
A number of community members and organizations across the nation have started to educate their friends and fellow community members on the benefits of using rain barrels. The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, Tennessee, started its annual series of monthly rain barrel workshops in April. The water conservation workshops, which will continue through August, are intended to instruct attendees how to build rain barrels as well as set up the system in their homes.