Part of ‘being green' is understanding the facts that affect our environment. Let's get real here. The following phenomenons, from www.epa.gov/enviroed, actually are caused by the everyday choices we make. So get the facts - and then do something about them.
• Water pollution fact No. 1: Rainwater flows into storm drains and ditches and, eventually, into streams and waterways with little or no treatment.
• Water pollution fact No. 2: We all live in a watershed. What you do on your property does affect streams, even if you don't live by a stream.
• Water pollution fact No. 3: Small amounts of contaminants from all over the land add up to cause pollution in our water. Yes, even the little things matter. You will make a difference - no matter how small - if you change the way you do some habits.
• Water pollution fact No. 4: Failing septic systems pollute. Untreated wastewater from failing septic systems can contaminate nearby streams, rivers and even the ocean.
• Water pollution fact No. 5: Soap from washing your car at home pollutes. Soap and dirt from washing your car on concrete can flow through our storm drains and ditches and end up in our streams untreated.
• Water pollution fact No. 7: Oil and antifreeze from leaking cars pollutes. When it rains, water runs over the ground and picks up oil, antifreeze and other pollutants and carries them to our waters.
• Water pollution fact No. 8: Garden and lawn chemicals pollute. Common pesticides and fertilizers can be found in local streams and canals.
• Water pollution fact No. 9: Household cleaners and chemicals can pollute. Cleaners and chemicals used or disposed of outside can end up in our waterways.
• Water pollution fact No. 10: Pet waste pollutes our water.
• Water pollution fact No. 11: Lawn clippings and yard waste can become unwanted fertilizer for streams. Too much plant growth in streams can use up all the oxygen and kill fish and aquatic life.
• Water pollution fact No. 12: Too much soil in runoff can pollute and cause negative consequences in waterways, too.
• Water pollution fact No. 13: Sewage from boating can pollute. Untreated sewage is a significant risk to human health and wildlife.
• Water pollution fact No. 14: Boat and engine maintenance can pollute. Toxic chemicals, oils, cleaners and paint scrapings from boat maintenance can make their way into local waters.
• Water pollution fact No. 15: Oil and antifreeze pollute our water when disposed of improperly.
And the one we all have the most control over:
• Water pollution fact No. 16: Littering pollutes. Litter thrown on the ground or blown out of vehicles can end up in our storm drains, canals and streams.
Be proactive. Don't just get the facts - do something about them. Make a difference this spring by participating in the upcoming citywide cleanups:
March 24: Midway, Allenhurst, Gum Branch
April 14: Flemington, Riceboro
April 28: Hinesville, Walthourville
To volunteer your group or to participate as an individual in one of this year's Great American Cleanup events, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All cleanup supplies will be provided at each event.
There will be a picnic provided for all volunteers after each event. All volunteers will receive KLB T-shirts.
Make a difference where you live. Green starts here. It starts with you.