Back in September, I blogged about “rain man” Jerry Block, a California retiree who’s taking residential rainwater collection to the limit with an intricate backyard rainwater harvesting system that’s capable of collecting around $20,000 gallons of rainwater a year. Block’s set-up is commendable, yes, but it’s also a rather extreme case. For those interested in rainwater harvesting at home but looking to scale it way, way back here’s a solution: a PetalDrops rainwater-collecting flower.

Conceived by Pieter Laga over at unique online product development community Quirky, PetalDrops are small, flower-shaped funnel doodads made from 100 percent recycled HDPE that screw into the top of old plastic of glass bottles. Place ‘em outside and the flower design captures rainwater and funnels it straight into the bottle. They’re absolutely perfect for urbanites who don’t have the physical space for large-scale water harvesting systems let alone a single rain barrel. Place a few out on your fire escape or balcony during a big rain and then bring them inside to water your houseplants.

The design behind PetalDrops isn’t completely foolproof (check out the user comments over at Quirky to see what I mean) but I think the idea of combining creative bottle reuse and rainwater collection into a single, inexpensive (only $4.50, pre-sale) gizmo is pretty nifty. And as TreeHugger points out, these are perfect holiday stocking stuffers. For a similar product idea that gives new life to throwaway objects, check out my post on Jack Brehnahan's design concept for biodegradable 'Tin Can Lids.'

Via [TreeHugger]

Photos: Quirky

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Flower power
Want to practice rainwater harvesting on a micro scale? Check out PetalDrops, tiny, rain-collecting funnels that encourage creative recycling.