Keeping Our Waters a Paddling Paradise – Part 2

If you missed the first part of this article you can catch up by reading Keeping Our Waters a Paddling Paradise – Part 1.

The pollution running into our streams, lakes and oceans is a direct result of our poor habits. It is not too late to be proactive and to follow some simple guidelines that can make a massive difference in keeping  pollution out of the water.

This will will help protect all aquatic life as well as swimmers, and as an added benefit it will also help keep the water beautiful for kayaking.

In the first part of this article we discussed simple proactive steps that can be done at home. In this article we will look at car care as well as shopping habits and disposal.

How Proper Car Care can Protect our Waters

We all know that vehicles are a major source of pollution. I believe more and more people are making an effort to use their car less frequently, car pool, use public transport and ride their bike.

However the fact is that most of us are simply not willing to give them up completely. If you have a vehicle, learning proper car care can really help to protect our waters.

Below are some simple guidelines to follow.

  • Oil is one of the biggest polluters of waterways. Use recycled motor oil. Production of recycled motor oil only requires 2.4% of the oil as well as only 50% of the energy of new production.
  • If you do spill or leak any oil, clean it up otherwise rain will wash it into the storm drains. Try to avoid spills by using a drip pan when changing your cars fluids.
  • Keep your car maintained regularly.
  • When you wash your car use a bucket of water as opposed to running a hose and use a biodegradable soap. Also remove any black dust from your hubcaps with a damp paper towel and dispose of it in the trash. The dust can contain copper and zinc.
  • If you take your car to a car wash try and find one that recycles and reuses its water.
  • Of course if you can limit the use of your car this will be a very big help to the quality of the water as well as the air. Try and plan so that all of your errands can be done in one shot. Also look into carpooling and ridesharing… many communities have something like this set up.
Change your Shopping Habits to Keep Pollutants out of the Water

Shopping for groceries and household products can become a very habitual event. We tend to buy what we know and have already used. By changing a few key things in your shopping habits you can help keep pollution from making its way to the rivers, lakes or oceans in your area.

  • Learn what is toxic and harmful. Start reading labels and watch for “warnings”. Warning labels should be avoided as these are usually very toxic and dangerous. When you clean your house with toxic products they are not only being breathed by you and your family but they are also being absorbed into your skin as well as washed into your drains.
  • Look for alternatives. Once you have become an expert at reading labels you can then start searching for safer alternatives. Get into the habit of knowing where the all natural products are at your grocery store. Sometimes they have a separate section and sometimes they are mixed in with all of the rest of the products. Avoid harsh chemicals, aerosol products, bleach, dye’s, ammonia, and other toxic ingredients. There is always a safe alternative that can be used instead.
  • When you are shopping be careful not to overbuy. If you absolutely feel you need to buy a toxic product, only purchase what you need.
  • If you have any hazardous waste products in your home be sure you dispose of it properly. It is illegal to dispose of these items in the drains or trash. Your community will have a local hazardous waste hotline that you can call to find out exactly where you can safely dispose of these items.

It is possible for every single person to make a very big difference in keeping our water clean. If you can implement many of these guidelines into your daily life then you will not only be helping to keep pollution out of the water but you will also inspire others to do the same.

There is no reason for our waters to be as polluted as they are and it is simply a matter of changing a few habits and being conscious and aware. We are so fortunate to have such amazing waterways in this world to explore and to kayak on and it is extremely important that we keep them as clean and safe as possible.

If you have any other suggestions or guidelines that we could all implement into our daily lives to help keep pollution out of the water please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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