What does the prized possession sitting in your driveway have to do with Canada’s water? Plenty. Did you know that oil spilled by ol’ Betsy finds its way into our waterways. What will you pledge to do to save Canada’s lakes, rivers and oceans?
You might save a few pennies washing ol’ Betsy at home, but all the soap goes directly into the storm drain which leads to our lakes and rivers. Instead, head to a car wash that filters and reuses waste water.
Did you know, one drop of oil can pollute 25 litres of water? Yuck! What’s more disgusting is the fact that the amount of discarded, used motor oil that comes from our cars every year is seven times more than the amount of oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. If your engine’s leaking, get to a mechanic, stat!
It’s estimated that five million tonnes of road salt is used on Canadian roads every year. And all that salt can damage our lakes and rivers harming fish, insects, plants and all the other organisms that live in these water bodies. You can get the same traction by sprinkling a little sand or fine gravel on your driveway instead.
Got leftover antifreeze in your garage? Don’t dump it! Service stations and recycling centres will take both oil and antifreeze for you and dispose it properly.
A toxic potion of brake fluid, oil, grease and antifreeze can cause havoc on a watery ecosystem. When you hose down your driveway, this chemical concoction eventually leads to our lakes and rivers. It might be a little extra work, but cleaning up spills properly is well worth the effort. For dry spills, simply get out your broom and dry sweep the area; for wet spills, clean it up with kitty litter and an absorbent cloth.
Older models require changing your oil every 5,000 kilometres, but with many modern cars, you can get away with waiting longer between visits to the shop. Some manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 8,000 or 16,000 kilometres. So if you’re still driving around an old clunker, you’ve officially got permission to go car shopping! Because fewer oil changes means using and spilling less oil.
Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients in your antifreeze? Do! The usual ethylene glycol based coolants are tough on the environment and any critters that come into contact with it. Propylene glycol on the other hand is biodegradable and is less of a risk to wildlife.
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So you’re ready to take the Water Challenge! Great!