National Water Quality Month: How Can You Contribute?
If there’s one thing we all love, it’s the water. Whether you’re out on your boat, taking a shower, drinking from a water bottle, or watering your plants, water plays a vital role in our lives and we certainly would be in trouble without access to this necessary resource.
August is National Water Quality Month, so we wanted to write a post focusing on ways you can help conserve water and keep water as clean as possible while boating and partaking in everyday activities.
In our green boating piece, we named a few ways to employ green practices when it comes to boating. First, it helps to use certified green and organic products that won’t pollute the environment if they come into contact with land or get into the water supply. Look for the Earth Smart logo, EcoLogo, and other LEED-appoved certifications when shopping for cleaning products.
Another topic covered in the green boating article was washing a boat; when doing this, it is best to keep the boat on grass and try to keep contaminated runoff from entering the water supply. Washing a boat on grass also helps water the lawn at the same time. Using a Gutter Critter or other filtering device is a good way to keep oil from entering storm drains. In addition, sources recommended being careful not to spill oil when refilling oil tanks and staying away from lead and copper-based bottom paints.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, used oil from a single oil change can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of fresh water – the equivalent of a year’s supply for 50 people. Instead of trying to reuse oil, the EPA advocates taking it to a recycling facility where it can be re-refined.
When you’re not on the boat, what else can you do? If you’re a gardener, using organic fertilizers is a great way to help the environment. Instead, if you’re willing to start something new, why not start a compost bucket? Just as you can find eco-friendly boat wash products, you also can find green car wash products.
Apart from that, you’ve probably heard the typical recommendations: turn the water off when brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, etc. Above all, it helps to be conscientious of what you dump down the drain. Gasoline, pool chemicals, glues, pesticides, paints (especially latex), stains, and medications are some of the items that are potentially hazardous and thus should not be flushed down the toilet or dumped down the drain.
Now is time to fix that leaky faucet, only run the dishwasher/washing machine when it is full, and upgrade your appliances. If rain is in store for your area, collect rain water and use it to water plants. Some recommend installing a water-saving shower head. All of these practices might even help you save money off your water bill.
What are other things you do to conserve and protect water?
Finally, as a side note, look for another post about the contest on Friday!