Housewares Design Awards

2010 Best in Category: Lighting & Home Décor and Outdoor Living

View Winner Video


NextLife RainStore Rainwater Collection System

Eco-friendly design is first and foremost in the development of the products that Next-Life brings to the marketplace, according to Sean Kerrigan, svp/marketing and corporate development for the company. It is through this attention to sustainable detail that NextLife’s latest product, the RainStore Rain Barrel, garnered not only a Greenhouse Award for eco-conscious design, but a Housewares Design Awards Best in Category as well for the Home Organization, Lighting and Outdoor Living segment.

The objective of the RainStore’s function alone qualified it for a Greenhouse nod, as the product is designed to collect rain water off the house and recycle it for watering plants and lawns, washing cars or other water-related activities without tapping limited water resources. In addition, the RainStore is constructed from 40% to 45% post-consumer recycled resins, tapping throw-aways such as plastic bags and stretch wraps that would otherwise end up in a landfill, to create this product. It is NextLife’s mission, according to Kerrigan, that everything the company makes be comprised of at least 25% post-consumer resin materials.

NextLife worked with Mountain Valley Recycling to develop the material from which the RainStore is manufactured. The company also worked with Cascade Engineering, a sustainable manufacturer that had been contemplating a rain barrel for municipalities as a way to help conserve water. “This is a great essential NextLife product,” Kerrigan said, adding that as the company designed the RainStore to be sustainable, it also made sure it was well-engineered.

NextLife proudly touts the “green” properties of the RainStore, which has been lifecycle-certified by CIBA Expert assessments, with proprietary eco-labels that provide details such as the product’s carbon footprint and how much water and recycled materials were used it its production. Kerrigan hopes these labels will help to explain why the RainStore is better for the environment.

Between NextLife and Cascade Engineering, and with the vision of Catherine Del Spina, chief visionary at CDS, the RainStore was devised not only to be an eco-conscious product, but something homeowners would be proud to have as part of their landscaping. A great deal of effort went into the design of the RainStore to give it that curb appeal, commented Kerrigan, because “Eco doesn’t have to be ugly.”

With visual appeal in mind, the RainStore Rain Barrel resembles a boxed off picket fence, sports a functional pedestal and even has a self-watering mechanism on top. In addition, the unit sits flush against the side of the house for an attached appearance, while aligning with a downspout to collect rainwater. The brass spigot can be turned on to fill a bucket or attached to a hose, making the RainStore convenient for the consumer to use.

—By Diane Falvey

« Go Back