Cleaning the Rivers: How You Can Contribute
These days, the world is becoming more conscious of how to help the earth and its inhabitants. Although that is great, humans, on average, only recycle about 1% of the trash we use! Trash in our water ecosystems is very common. There are many businesses that have been created to bring awareness to this issue, but we don’t have to stop there. Our purchases of items from these businesses may help provide the funds to clean the waters in our area, but our actions also make a large impact.
Littering is one of the largest causes of trash in our water ecosystems. Many people litter from day to day. Whether it is on the side of the highway or your community parks, try to be conscious and pick up any trash you see. One way to help the community is picking up the trash in your neighborhood.
Most debris that resides in our lakes and rivers is made of plastic. We use plastic in many of our day to day items. Even though it may seem easier to grab a plastic water bottle and just throw it away once empty, those bottles will most likely end up in the lakes and rivers that you visit. If this does happen, be sure to throw it away in a nearby recycle bin. A better option is reusable bottles. Although some are made of plastic, they can be reused many times and for a long time. Metal water bottles and straws are highly recommended if you want to carry your beverage around with you.
Use plastic-free alternatives.
Be careful with cleaners.
One common mistake we make is pouring old cleaning products down the sink or flushing chemicals. The mistake we make when doing this is quite large. When done, the cleaners end up in our water ecosystems. These chemicals harm the organisms that reside in the lakes and rivers we love. With that, we must be careful on how we dispose of our cleaning products. One option is buying non-toxic alternatives to cleaning chemicals. This will be better all around. While you are helping keep dangerous chemicals out of the rivers in your area, you are also keeping the toxic fumes of those products out of the air of your home.
Pre-cycling is fairly common. It is when you reduce waste by buying more products that are reusable and can be repackaged. This is a way to reduce your waste all together so not as much ends up in the waters. One way you can start is using a reusable bag when grocery shopping. The plastic bags that we use to transport our groceries can easily be tossed to the side and never used again. This makes it pointless waste and something potentially harmful. When using reusable bags, this will help you use less waste and also help fund businesses who want to clean the rivers in your area.
Through these steps, our surrounding lakes and rivers can be one step closer to being clean and healthy! We must always remember that these water ecosystems are the home of many beautiful species. So next time you are about to throw a water bottle way, think about how you can do it the green way!