Did you know you can help to reduce pollution in your own home—and it’s easy? We’ve collected a number of ideas below to get you started.
In The House
- Take a Clear Choices Clean Water action pledge — Make a difference!
- Purchase household and garden products that are the least toxic to the environment.
- When using chemicals, detergents, and pesticides, use only the amount recommended by the manufacturer and use them according to the directions. Avoid overruns onto hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways.
- Properly dispose of Household Hazardous Waste.
- Rinse out water-based (latex) paint brushes in the sink or dispose of them in the trash.
- Don’t wash paint brushes, paint buckets, rollers or roller trays outside where paint can run to the storm drain.
- Avoid using oil-based paint if possible. If you do use oil-based paint, properly dispose of the unused portion.
- Learn about mercury pollution and how to prevent it.
- Properly dispose of unused medication.
- Keep oil and grease out of the drain.
- Take proper precautions when cleaning your carpet and disposing of the waste water.
On Your Lawn and In Your Garden
- Use native plants in a rain garden, shoreline planting, or your general landscaping. Learn more about stormwater-friendly landscaping.
- Water your lawn only when necessary, check your hoses for leaks, and make other choices to reduce outdoor water use.
- Set lawn mower blades at a higher level and leave clippings on the lawn. The practice of grass-cycling can improve water quality and the health of your lawn.
- Use a phosphorus-free fertilizer or no fertilizer at all on your lawn. Unnecessary fertilizer can quickly run off into storm drains and cause algae blooms among other harmful effects. Learn more about lawn fertilizer and use it responsibly.
- Responsibly maintain your swimming pool and use best practices when draining it.
- Purchase household and garden products that are least toxic to the environment.
- Sweep sidewalks and patios rather than hosing debris into street gutters or drains.
- Avoid using pesticides or herbicides on your yard and garden. If you do use them, use them properly. The EPA’s website contains information about specific types. You may also want to download a copy of the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety (a very large PDF file). For local assistance in learning more about integrated pest management and the proper use of pesticides, contact City Utilities.
- Garden organically or use alternatives to chemicals when possible.
- Do not over-water lawns and gardens. Over-watering can flush large quantities of pesticides and fertilizer directly into storm drains. Learn more about “green” landscaping practices.
- Practice composting.
- Pick up pet poo. Pet waste contains bacteria, nutrients, and parasites that can be harmful to aquatic life and public health. Picking up and properly disposing of pet waste is an easy way to improve water quality.
- Disconnect your downspout.
- Know more about cleaning your pool and spa.
In Your Garage
- Have your car tuned up regularly to make sure it is operating as cleanly as possible with no leaks of oil or other fluids. Fix car leaks right away. Use dry methods to clean up any fluids that have leaked.
- Find a location near you to recycle motor oil, antifreeze, and other automotive fluids.
- Use a car wash to take precautions when washing your car at home.