What does your green thumb have to do with Canada’s water? Plenty. The fertilizers and pesticides you use in your garden to make your violets thrive find their way into our waterways. What will you pledge to do to save Canada’s lakes, rivers and oceans?
Don’t douse your English roses in pesticides to ward off pests. The chemicals you use to protect your favourite annual will eventually drain into our rivers and oceans. If you really want to keep pests in check, why not choose native plants that naturally resist the little buggers? Don’t be afraid to chat up your local nursery to find out which plants would work best for your garden.
People use 10 to 50 times more fertilizer on their lawns and gardens than they need to! And all that extra fertilizer runs off into storm drains, which then flows into streams and lakes, causing havoc in watery habitats. If you do use fertilizers, opt for organic or slow-releasing fertilizers to minimize nutrient run-off. Better yet, compost your yard trimmings and use it to give your soil a boost!
Or at least take care of the trees you’ve got. Both trees and shrubs will soak up and purify the water and can seriously slow runoff. And that’s a good thing for our waterways!
Nevermind the garden tap. Collect water from your downspout in a big rain barrel and you’ll have plenty of water to keep your lilies blooming. You’ll be saving on your water bill and you’ll also be saving our oceans - all that downspout water would have gone directly into the sewers.
After Fido has done his business in your backyard, make it your business to stoop and scoop. When pet droppings gets into storm water, it eventually leads to our waterways, bringing with them bacterial pollution.
Use a rake to tidy up fallen leaves in the fall instead of a leaf blower. Why? Gasoline and electricity are both non-reusable sources of energy and that, my friend, leads to ocean acidification. So use good ol’ fashioned muscle power to tidy your lawn in the autumn!
Is there anything more annoying than cozying up in your hammock with a good book in hand and one of your neighbours starts up his lawn mower? Ugh. Using a gas-powered lawn mower for an hour create nearly the same amount of pollution as driving a car 100 miles. Buy a push mower and get your workout on instead! Your neighbours, your body and your neighbouring bodies of water will thank you.
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So you’re ready to take the Water Challenge! Great!