Water is life! Canada is known for its pristine drinking water so let’s keep it that way. In honour of #worldwaterday, here are 4 ways to keep water clean at home so you can help protect your local waterways and ecosystems.
Use the trash can, not the drain
Why? If you recall the nightmarish story and images of London’s 130-tonne “fatberg” clogging the Whitechapel area’s sewer system, that’s really all you need to know. This rock-solid mass of cooking fat and wet wipes was longer than two football fields and weighed more than 11 city buses.
These kinds of disgusting disasters are easy to avoid. Here’s a list of items that cause a myriad of environment issues and should never go down the drain:
- Hygiene products
- Beauty products
- Auto fluids
- Lawn care products
Top tip: Deal with grease by draining it off into a jar or glass. Put it in the fridge to form a solid substance, and then scoop it out into the garbage can.
Combat mud spots
Bare spots on your lawn are more than an eyesore – they don’t do our waterways any favours either. Bare or exposed soil gets washed down storm drains during rainfalls, entering local streams and rivers. Heavy flows of stormwater into these ecosystems can cause fish to suffocate and damage their habitat.
The easy fix is to cover exposed soil with mulch or plant grass or ground cover to capture more rainfall and stop soil erosion.
Make a rain garden
Depending on where you live (looking at you, West Coast and even Ontario), dealing with rain water is definitely an issue for homeowners, and for the environment. Storm water running off rooftops, sidewalks, driveways and streets washes pollutants into local rivers and streams. And as it rushes into these waterways with speed and force, it causes even more erosion.
Enter: A lush rain garden filled with plants that don’t mind short periods of “wet feet”. These gardens capture run-off and rainfall so water can slowly seep into the ground, rather than flood into storm drains. It’s also one of the more aesthetic ways to keep water clean at home!
Rain gardens are also useful on patios and balconies of condos or apartments, and are perfectly fine to be planted in a container on a non-porous surface. It still does its job, capturing rain that would otherwise funnel into your patio or deck drainage system and into the main storm drain.
Extra perk? Rain gardens mean less standing water on your property, which means less mosquito breeding. If you’re convinced a rain garden is your new Spring project, head to this post by Better Homes and Gardens for a simple how-to guide.
Use eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products
You really can’t avoid cleaning products going down the drain. But you can do your part by using eco-friendly and non-toxic products. You can find green products anywhere you buy any kind of cleaning products, or you can make your own if you have the time and energy.
If you’re sourcing a home cleaning service, make sure to ask them what kind of products they use to clean, or if they use products you provide. Scrubbi home cleaning services, for example, exclusively uses eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products, which they bring with them in their own personal cleaning kit.
Do you have any more tips on ways to keep water clean at home? Tell us about them in the comments!
Happy World Water Day!