March is waterways cleanup month! Clean waterways are vital to human and environmental health, but they remain one of the most polluted parts of our world. Most of the litter found in waterways, not only those in Texas but those around the world, are a result of single-use plastics (things like plastic bottles, bags, food wrappers, etc.). Besides the litter we are able to clearly see and pick up ourselves, waterways are also contaminated with oils, fertilizers, and other dangerous liquids. This means that the litter in our waterways is not only dangerous for the wildlife that makes the waterway their home, but also for humans since so much of this pollution is hard to remove and ends up contaminating our drinking water. Since this is such a human-made problem, here a few small changes we can make to our daily lives that will make a huge difference.
Instead of always grabbing a new plastic bottle, buy a reusable bottle. Not only will this help to reduce your waste, it will also help save you money since it cuts the expense of water bottles out of a grocery budget.
2. Bring your own bag to the grocery store
Say goodbye to plastic and paper bags by bringing your own fabric bag. You can bring these to grocery stores and to clothing stores and significantly reduce the amount of waste you create in a year.
3. Bring your own cup
Consistently stopping by a coffee shop increases waste due to the paper, plastic, or styrofoam cup the shop uses. So, to reduce this bring a cup of your own. A great way to remember is to keep a clean one in your car, this way you always have one, even for those unplanned coffee stops. Some places will even give a discount for using reusable cups, so not only is this environmentally friendly it’s also cost-effective!
4. Never pour oil, fat, or grease down the drain
The grease, fat, and oils used for cooking should never be poured down the drain because they may cause sewage overflows. These overflows can then get transported into local waterways. Instead of pouring them down the drain, wait for it to cool and solidify then scoop it into a container that you can properly dispose of.
Having clean water is super important for all aspects of our lives. There are many more small changes we can make to our daily lives that will help to make a huge difference. Interested in cleaning up a waterway? Visit our Keep Texas Waterways Clean page to learn more!