Plastics, microplastics, and other pollution in our oceans and lakes are an imminent problem. But there are many simple things you can do at home to help our waterbodies. By making small changes to the products you use and taking simple steps to control what goes from your home into the waters can have huge impacts on the health of our waterbodies.
Here’s what you can do at home to keep our waterbodies cleaner:
Going plastic-free is not only lake and ocean friendly, it’s also easy and economical. Replacing single-use plastics with reusable alternatives can save you money by eliminating your need to keep re-buying plastic items after you throw them away.
The microplastics in our waters are ingested by the same fish and shellfish that may wind up on our dinner tables. Although research into the effects of microplastics on human health is only beginning, what we do know is that microplastics can accumulate in the bodies of living things.
If you have clothes that are for ‘dirty jobs’ like painting or doing hobbies that may soil your clothes, consider not washing them at all. If you think about it, it’s really not necessary to do dirty jobs in perfectly clean clothes. Keep your working clothes in a separate bag until you are ready to work again. This way, paint from paint stains won’t go down the drain and into our waterbodies.
Every time that you do your laundry, tiny microplastic fibres come off of your clothes and enter the wastewater that will eventually flow into our waterways. Clothing made from synthetic materials, like fleece, are the worst offenders. By getting a lint strainer, you can minimize the waste from your laundry machine.
The chemical products you use at home, such as detergents and disinfectants, can enter waterbodies through wastewater. These chemicals can enter food chains and take a very long time to degrade. There are lots of greener cleaning products you can use when cleaning your house.
Many cleaning products are safe to use individually, but they all drain into the same pipe eventually, where they can mix and become dangerous. There are a few ways to reduce these undesirable concoctions.
Consider using one brand as an all cleaner, or better yet switch to vinegar. In many cases simple vinegar and baking soda will do the trick. Plus, they are natural and pretty much harmless when dissolved in water.
Reducing your consumption of plastic and reusing the plastic that you do have is a key part of keeping it out of our oceans. But when you do need to discard plastic, make sure you recycle it. Most of the plastic that is produced isn’t recycled, and it can end up in waterbodies.
Make these small changes and show our waterbodies some love. It won’t be difficult, and if enough of us do these 5 simple things, we can make a big difference together.
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