Three Home Hazards to Avoid for Watershed Health

Did you know that you can negatively affect the watersheds from your home? Some basic household products we use can do more harm than good if not managed properly. Here are three household items that you probably didn’t realize can damage our watersheds:

  1. Pesticides

Weeds and harmful insects can damage lawns and gardens so the home gardener often reaches for pesticides as a solution. Unfortunately, through rainfall or irrigation runoff, pesticides flow into storm drains and aren’t treated before emptying into the watershed. A better solution is choosing natural products such as cayenne pepper to deter pests and using mulch to combat weeds.

  1. Batteries

Batteries power our clocks, smoke alarms, tv remotes, flashlights and other useful household items. When it’s time to replace them, whether it’s AA or 9 volt, don’t just toss them! Batteries that end up in the landfill leach toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the ground over time, which contaminates the watershed. Collect used batteries in a shoe box or other non-metal container, store in a well-ventilated closet or cupboard, then recycle at your favorite home improvement store.

  1. Water Bottles

Drinking water is a healthy habit but how you choose to drink that water could be unhealthy for the watershed. Disposable plastic bottles from the market are quick, convenient and inexpensive when purchased in bulk. Unfortunately, the average person ends up throwing away 21 lbs of plastic this way. Not only does this discarded plastic consume space in a landfill, where more than 400 years will pass before it biodegrades, but this approach requires that more plastic bottles be made. A good answer is to recycle all your plastic bottles so they can be reused in other products. The best solution, however, is to use a reusable water bottle to quench your thirst and skip the plastic altogether!

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