Simple Steps to Prevent Water Pollution
Preventing Water Pollution Begins At Home
Preventing pollution of our waterways is everyone's responsibility. Our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are suffering from industrial waste and unhealthy farming methods.
"But," you say, "I don't contribute to industrial waste and I don't farm. Why is this my problem?"
On this page I'll show why it's everyone's problem and suggest ways that everyone, no matter where they live, can help save our natural waterways.
This photo is used with permission through Creative Commons. It's by Flickr photographer Steven.Buss.
How Much Water Are We Using? - Source: United States EPA
These examples of the amount of water we use for our various daily needs are astounding if you think of them in terms of a gallon of milk.
The average American uses 140 to 150 gallons of water per day!
- To flush a toilet - 5 to 7 gallons
- To run a dishwasher - 15 to 25 gallons
- To wash dishes by hand - 20 gallons
- To water a small lawn - 35 gallons
- To take a shower - 25 to 50 gallons
- To take a bath - 50 gallons
- To wash a small load of clothes in a washing machine - 35 gallons
- To brush teeth with the water running continuously - 2 to 5 gallons
Not So Beautiful Art...
...from polluted rivers in Minnesota
This is a sculpture that was created using junk collected from rivers in Minnesota in 2009. I think it's an amazing illustration of the amount of junk we throw away.
Can you believe that all of this was collected from Minnesota Rivers? Astonishing! Artists from around the area volunteer their time to create these pieces for the Save Our Rivers organization.
Beauty From Recycled Materials - Makes sense to me...
Broken glass is one of the most washed up items on our beaches. If you're going to buy jewelry or home décor, anyway, why not find something beautiful that's been created from recycled glass? You'll feel really good about yourself. I promise.
This cool photo is courtesy of Flickr photographer Mark Kimple, through Creative Commons.
Amazing Creations Using Recycled Glass
There are so many artists working with recycled products and the popularity of these beautiful creations is growing by leaps and bounds!
Here's one example:
Beautiful Jewelry Creations from Recycled Glass
Here's just one example of the way an artist with a love of the environment creates beauty from recycled materials.
Simple Things You Can You Do If You Live In A City? - You can help, even if you are an apartment dweller.
Here are a few important things you can do to help save our natural waterways, even if you don't own or live in a home with a yard or garden.
- Never dump anything into city street drains.
- Check your vehicle for any leaks that could pollute waterways when flushed down city drains.
- Recycle your motor oil.
- Pick up after your pets.
- Wash your vehicle at a car wash, not in your driveway.
- Consider planting a Rain Garden. They can be any size you like - small or large - and they help stop pollution from stormwater runoff. Check them out!
- Be sure to use cleaning products that are certified biodegradable. Read the labels and don't use anything that has chlorine or ammonia in it (or any ingredient that starts with chlor).
All those ingredients get washed down the drain and guess where they end up? Yup - rivers, lakes, streams, oceans...not good.
Simple Steps To Take Around The House - Low Cost, Big Impact!
These ideas are easy to do and inexpensive but they will help tremendously toward a cleaner and safer water supply for everyone.
Please try these suggestions and encourage your friends and family to, as well.
- Replace shower heads with water-saving models.
- Don't let water run while you are washing or brushing your teeth and you'll save up to five gallons of water.
- Only run your dishwashing and washing machine with full loads. Try using the quick cycle on your dishwasher.
- If you can't replace your toilet with a low-flow model (the best idea but more expensive), place a water-filled plastic bottle in your toilet tank. It will displace the water in the tank, thereby using less water per flush.
- Invest in a water filtration system instead of buying bottled drinking water. I use the Pur brand but I've had Brita, as well. Both are inexpensive and work well.
Learn More - Great Reading - Books all about water pollution
These books are excellent sources for learning the sometimes nasty truths about water pollution.
Water Pollution - An Inheritance For Our Children
Wouldn't you agree that it's our obligation to keep our natural waterways clear and pollution free for future generations?
So that their connection with pure water isn't just through art.
Still More Simple Tips
These tips are really just new habits that we all should form. Easy, inexpensive, but the impact will be felt for generations.
- Use a sink strainer to keep food scraps from going down the sink drain.
- Put cooking fats and oils in the trash, not down the drain.
- Use biodegradable and phosphate free cleaners or try natural cleaners like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemon instead. There are many recipes for cleaners using these natural products. They're much less expensive, as well.
- Help clean up litter when you see it on the beaches or in parks and other public places.
- Recycle the oil from your vehicles. Many car repair businesses will accept your used oil for recycling.
- Don't dump unwanted prescriptions down the toilet or the drain. Most pharmacies will accept your unwanted medicines.
Reusable Water Bottles - Eco-friendly water bottles, that is...
Plastic water bottles are a huge source of pollution. Even though many plastics are recycle friendly, most of them are simply thrown away.
Eco-friendly water bottles. Once you get used to using them you'll wonder what took you so long! Besides, most bottled water is no better than the water from your kitchen faucet. That's a fact!
Be sure to check whether or not your reusable plastic water bottle is BPA free. BPA is Bisphenol A is a substance used in making plastics and there is great concern that it can harm a fetuses, infants, and young children. Most responsible companies will put a label on their bottles declaring that they are BPA free.
Water Conservation Websites - Easy to read - Useful Ideas
These sites are filled with helpful and painless ways of dealing with water pollution in our everyday lives. Bookmark them for future reference.
- Water Conservation Facts and Tips - National Geographic
Get tips to cut down your water footprint from National Geographic's Water Footprint Calculator
- US EPA Office of Water Website
Information about water including a collection of water sites with information to raise public awareness and encourage involvement in water quality issues.
Although this is a very serious subject, I hope you enjoyed the lens. Very likely you are already using many of these suggestions
Maybe you've learned something new. If so, would you mind scrolling back up to the top and clicking on the "like" button? Thanks much!!