Several of our everyday activities, such as working with lawn chemicals, paints and cleaners or maintaining our cars, can be a source of pollution. Become a "Green Neighbor" by practicing safe habits with these items:
- When applied or stored improperly, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and other lawn chemicals run off into streams. These chemicals harm fish and other animals and contaminating our drinking water. Store your chemicals in a safe, dry, covered location and follow all labels.
- Pet Waste: Picking up after your pet in your yard or when out for a walk will prevent pollution. Since pet waste is not fertilizer, the best location to dispose of pet waste is in the toilet or trash can.
- Washing your car at home, in a driveway or street, can lead to pollution of area waterways. The soap used in washing your car is harmful to local aquatic life and the chemicals and excess dirt that drain into the storm sewers make their way into local streams, rivers and lakes.
- Litter on stream banks is unsightly, unsanitary and unsafe for humans and wildlife. Often trash is thrown on the ground or gets blow out of trash containers and finds its way to streams. Simply picking up trash and recyclables and disposing of them properly keeps stream habitats healthy.
- Used motor oil contains concentrations of toxic heavy metals such as zinc, lead and cadmium. When it enters a body of water, a film develops on the surface that blocks out sunlight that plants and other organisms need to live. Requesting re-refined motor oil when getting your oil changed, checking your car for oil and other automotive leaks and recycling your used motor oil at a local collection center will reduce oil pollution.
- Even "natural" materials like leaves and grass clippings should not be placed in or around creeks, ditches or storm drains. Very little breakdown of leaves occurs in storm drains, leading to large accumulations of organic material in rivers and creeks. Consider grass cycling or composting your lawn clippings.