Designing a Green Home

Youth Rain Action Storyboard

Post 13: Designing a Green Home

During their presentation, the City of Mississauga used a model showing how people could make greener homes.

Back view of the stormwater model from the City of MississaugaFront view of the stormwater model from the City of Mississauga

Front view - stormwater model City of Mississauga


In the pictures above, one house sends less stormwater to the sewers and is a more sustainable home. Compare the two homes and then scroll below to see the differences.

Back view -stormwater model City of MississaugaFront view - stormwater model City of Mississauga

  1. House A has a large car that uses a lot of gas, but House B has a small car. Gas used in cars contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Some of that pollution ends up in our water
  2. House A has a typical paved driveway, but house B has an interlocking driveway. The interlocking driveway lets water seep through and into the ground below. Normal driveways send all of their water directly into the storm sewers. By letting water seep into the ground the water enters rivers systems at a more natural pace, groundwater is replenished, and chemicals from the car like salt or oil are stored in the ground.
  3. House A has a lawn with only grass, but House B planted lots of gardens. The plants in the gardens will use rainwater that drains into the lawn from the roof, decreasing the amount reaching our storm sewers
  4. Someone at House A is pouring a hazardous liquid down the stormwater sewer. Unlike the sewers inside our homes, stormwater sewers dump directly into our rivers or Lake Ontario without any cleaning. That means dumping dangerous liquids down the stormwater sewers is just like dumping it directly into the river!
  5. The downspout of a house collects all the water from the roof. On House A, the downspout is attached directly into the stormwater sewer. In House B, the downspout has been disconnected from the sewer, and instead the water goes into their front lawn and gardens. The water can now get used to water their plants. Not only is this a better use of stormwater, the plants will be happier with rain water than tap water, and it is cheaper.
  6. Just like in the front, the downspout on House A goes directly into the stormwater sewer system. On House B, they have a rain barrel to collect the water. This water can then be used to water their plants or other non-drinking purposes. Mississauga recently made downspout regulation mandatory for many homes.
  7. In House A they built a back patio. This limits the amount of permeable surfaces on their property and increases rainwater runoff. House B kept grass, which retains more water.
  8. House A has a pool filled with chlorine water that they are dumping right into the stormwater sewer. All of this chlorine ends up in Lake Ontario. House B has used their backyard for vegetable gardens instead. This does not add to stormwater pollution, and provides the home with fresh, local produce!
  9. To reduce electricity use, House B hangs their clothes outside to dry instead of using a machine dryer. Not only does this save electricity, it saves money as well.
  10. House B has a backyard composter. They can use it to turn food scraps into fertilizer for their garden.

Visit the Youth Rain Action project page to learn more or contact Emily Dutton at

The Youth Rain Action Project is led by Ecosource in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Burnhamthorpe Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), and Sheridan Nurseries, and is generously supported by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.