“Hello, my name is Neil and I’m hooked on rain barrels.”
By Neil Falconer, WWF-Canada supporter
I’m not sure when this “illness” began. All I know for sure is when my wife Bonnie and I moved into our semi-rural home three years ago, we didn’t have any rain barrels. By the next spring I had to get one ASAP and after that I was convinced that one wasn’t enough!
It isn’t like thinking green or recycling was a foreign concept to me. People of my age group grew up with reusable pop, beer and milk bottles. Our groceries came home in cardboard boxes (already being recycled, because the grocer didn’t want them) or paper bags. We didn’t view recycling as hippie tree-hugger crap (I think maybe my parents did). On the other hand, everyone had a burn barrel out back and we probably carpeted Mother Earth in styrofoam and tin foil chip bags. Not exactly a plus. Maybe getting rain barrels was a way to compensate and do more.
I broached the subject of at least one more barrel a few times. I got that all too familiar look from my wife that said it all without words. Anyone who has been with their significant other for a time knows what I mean. It’s that look that says “Just how crazy are you?” I had to come up with a new approach, and fast.
I did a calculation and determined our puny rain barrel only held around 26 gallons. There were some out there that held 40+. My wife countered with “Yes, but they’re ugly”. Not the grand endorsement I sought, but a chink in the armour? Maybe so. I had to find larger ones that would please cosmetically.
I began scouring the catalogues but there was nothing of excitement there. I was losing my “perceived advantage”. And then I scoured the internet… and there they were! With a nice urn shape, 55 gallons of capacity and even the right colour! I showed Bonnie and she was in total agreement that these barrels were the Holy Grail of rain barrels.
Long story short, we now have 2 aesthetically pleasing rain barrels, holding 55 gallons each instead of 1 puny barrel holding 26 gallons. I am now cured of my illness, and satisfied.
“Hello, my name is Neil and I’m hooked on rain barrels”.
The weekend I seriously went looking to purchase my barrels I became convinced that Customer Service was a lost art.
Then one day, while walking in Clinton, Ontario, my wife said “There are your rain barrels in front of that store!
We met Tom, a staff member at the Outdoor Décor Emporium store and he really knew his stuff. After making arrangements to pick up the barrels the following weekend, we returned home to receive a voicemail from the store. They offered to drive 130 kilometres to our home deliver the barrels to me on Thanksgiving Monday at no extra charge!
Just goes to show you that customer service still exists in small town Ontario.