Over a period of only a few months, a local man has managed to collect more than 10kF rain water – one drip at a time.And doing so is helping him to live a better, healthier lifestyle.Noroodien Solomons from Westridge first started his quest when water restrictions were introduced. A gardening course he completed earlier this year had him even more motivated.“We have always been conscious about saving water,” says Solomons.He says it has not required a lot of effort on his part.“I have not really put anything into place to catch water because I will not be able to keep up. I only have one big drum and a few buckets on a drip system. With the rain we had [last week] I collected 100F and if each person can do that we can really assist ourselves and our children’s futures,” he says.His home is completely enclosed and he collects water via a gutter and down the sheeting. He stores the water in 2 and 5F bottles to use.“Water is life. I would encourage everyone to at least catch water when it rains because people can’t afford boreholes but here is natural water and all you need to do is put a bucket down and collect it,” he says.Solomons used the rainwater in the cistern to clean his floors, do washing and clean his dog. He also uses the water in his garden.He completed a gardening course in March with organisation Soil for Life.And Solomons says the valuable lessons have not only been good for his wallet but on his waistline and the environment too.“What got me interested was the sustainability. Planting your own vegetables. You can live healthier because it is all organic,” says Solomons.“I put a plan in action last year to start eating healthier and losing weight. I weighed 120kg and I am now down to 104kg 10 months later.”The course also encourages recycling, which Solomons says has made him see everything in a new light.“When I walk or drive around now, anything I see I will fetch it. It has made me more aware of my environment and I am helping to keep my environment clean by recycling,” says Solomons.He is now also attending the Soil for Life health course.“First they teach you how to plant the veggies and now we learn how to use the veggies,” he says.“This might be the answer to hunger and the answer for the unemployed to sustain themselves.”He attributes his success to the “passion and guidance” of the facilitators at Soil for Life.“I never considered myself someone with green fingers, but with the right mentor and teacher it makes all the difference,” he says.He has very little space, but has successfully grown a variety of vegetables, using old bathtubs, TV shells, crates and even a shopping basket. Some of the vegetables include tomatoes, onions, Chinese cabbage, beetroot and celery which he cooks with.“This is all organic and you can really smell how fresh it is,” he says.He also uses scraps to make his own compost, compost tea and some of the plant mater to create organic pesticides. His entire garden has cost him less than R200, he estimates, but has saved him much more.“Anyone can do it and you don’t need a lot of space. You can use anything to start,” he says. V For more information on Soil for Life visit www.soilforlife.co.za.