Tuesday, July 2, 2013

KIDS! Stop Pointless Personal Pollution! Part Two

It’s a beautiful Saturday—a perfect day to make some extra spending money washing cars for family and neighbors, gassing up and oiling the lawn mower, laying down some fertilizer on those yellow patches in the yard, walking the dog, and spraying your mom’s rosebushes for pesky 
bugs. Work hard and maybe you can make enough money to spring for movie tickets for you and your date. The health of your nearby stream is probably one of the last things on your mind as you tackle your tasks. But guess what! Each of your jobs could harm a nearby stream, lake, or wetland.
 How? Well, consider.... 

Fertilizing the Lawn
Green lawns need lots of fertilizer, right? Wrong! Too much fertilizer applied at the wrong time can be very harmful to grass. It can cause disease, weeds, and poor root growth and make your lawn less able to withstand periods of heavy rain or dry weather.
In addition, the same rains that pick up oil, gas, and other hazardous chemicals can also pick up excess fertilizer lying around and carry it to a lake or stream. Instead of making grass grow in your front yard, this fertilizer can make algae and weeds grow in the water.
You can have a nice-looking lawn and still keep streams and ponds healthy if you:
• Use native grasses that do not have high fertilizer requirements.
• Test your soil to find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs.
• Apply fertilizer only when it is needed, during the right season, and in proper amounts.
• Do not leave fertilizer on driveways and sidewalks where it can be picked up and washed away by runoff from the next storm.
• Do not fertilize if a heavy storm is predicted.

Controlling Insect Pests
Pests are a pain, but getting rid of them can be a greater pain if you do it wrong. Using harsh pesticides can be harmful for people and the environment.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control, 82 percent of Americans already have the widely used insecticide Dursban in their bodies.
A technique known as integrated pest management is usually the best approach to controlling pests and protecting  water-ways from pollution.  Chemical insecticides are used very sparingly, if at all. The
focus is on early identification of pests and planting plants that are naturally resistant to pests.
You can reduce the use of pesticides at your house if you:
• Learn about integrated pest management and practice it.

Walking the Dog
Don’t be embarrassed to say it—pet poop is potential pollution. Pet feces contain a lot of bacteria that can contaminate streams, lakes, and ponds. One study found that a single gram of dog feces contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. In a densely populated watershed in Arlington, Virginia (Four Mile Run),
scientists estimate that dogs deposit more than 5,000 pounds of poop each day. You can help reduce the amount of pet waste entering local streams if you:
• Pick up after your pet and throw the poop in the trash can.

• Ask your town to set up pet waste stations that provide dog walkers with free plastic bags for picking up poop.

No comments:

Post a Comment