In cities, we have altered the natural waterways to include the grated drains on the street–called storm drains or catch basins. These drains usually flow directly to our local waterways and carry oil, grease, dirt, metals, pesticides, litter and bits of plastic, without any treatment. This is bad news for enjoying water bodies that we recreate on. This is also really bad for the fish and other wildlife that need clean, cold water in order to thrive. Imagine how you would feel if someone started dumping dirty water into your bathtub while you were using it! We can all help by doing everyday actions that add up!
Choose a clean water action from A. B. or C. below:
A. Lowering Transportation Impacts
Make a video showcasing walking, biking, bussing, scootering, skateboarding, or rollerblading, etc. to reduce your car trips each week.
Brakes and tires are sources of metals and other toxic compounds that wash onto roads and leach out of used tires piled outside. These pollutants cause harm to salmon and other wildlife. Ask for low or copper free brake pads at your next brake replacement. Example car care video.
Watch this video demonstrating safe car washing techniques and make your own fun version. Car washes are also a great alternative because they clean and recycle water. #fishfriendlycarwash #onelesstrip #copperfreebrakes #buswalkbike
B. Plastic Is Pollution
Avoid disposable items, especially plastic. So much of our waste is making it to our oceans and very few plastics are actually recyclable and only break down into microplastics that harm wildlife. If we bring reusable coffee mugs, water bottles and even durable straws each time we go out, imagine how much plastic we can avoid! #plasticispollution #godurable #goreusable
C. Leave No Trace
Demonstrate the concepts for safe and healthy recreation. #leavenotrace #getoutside #recreateresponsibly #petwasteispollution #buryyourwaste #bagyourwipes
- Stay on designated trails to limit impacts to wildlife and always control your pet.
- Pack water and food in durable, reusable containers to avoid having trash (leave as much packaging at home as you can). Bring durable bowls, cups, towels instead of paper plates and napkins.
- Put your fruit peels and snack wrappers back in your pack (bring a small bag to hold them).
- Pick up after your pet in parks, playgrounds, at the beach, near waterways.
- Bring a bag from home for trash and recycling and take it back with you.
- Plan for bathroom needs. Bring a trowel to dig an 8” cathole to bury your poop at least 50’ from water bodies. Bring a ziploc labeled for each camper and put your used toilet paper, cotton wipes, and feminine products in it to throw away later. Some people go even more hard core and use smooth rocks or leaves as toilet paper and bring an extra sock to capture drips! Backcountry hiking in many places now requires GO Anywhere waste kits or WAG bags.