Pollution Prevention Tips
The smallest things add up and have a much bigger effect than we often realize. That's why San Diego Coastkeeper encourages you to re-evaluate and change your habits. You can use a few of the following to get started and reduce pollution in your every day life.
- Don't over water yards or landscaping. This is one of the primary activities leading to stormwater pollution. Excess water carries yard wastes, dirt and pesticides into gutters, down storm drains and into the ocean.
- Watch the weather. Don't use pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers just before it rains. Storms will wash your efforts away and poison aquatic animals.
- Limit or eliminate garden toxics. Pesticides and herbicides not only kill pesky insects and weeds, they make swimmers ill and can kill birds and fish, as well as beneficial insects. Talk to your local nursery about nontoxic alternatives.
- Avoid chemical fertilizers. Use nutrients from your compost pile or soil amendments such as peat moss, blood or bone meal, fish emulsion, manure or seaweed.
- Compost your yard trimmings. Yard waste clogs storm drains and causes flooding. Once it reaches the ocean, the decaying waste absorbs oxygen fish need to survive.
- Conserve water. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and save hundreds of gallons of water each year. You will also lower your water and sewer bills.
- Clean up after your pets. Animal feces washed into storm drains account for an alarming level of harmful bacteria in polluted runoff.
- Cover excavated materials. During the rainy season, use plastic tarps to cover excavated materials, stockpiles of asphalt, sand and yard clippings and dumpsters. Prevent wind from blowing contaminants into gutters. Schedule grading and excavating projects for dry weather.
- Use natural kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Our household cleaning products often have harsh irritants that pollute the air in our homes. Try more natural alternatives to make the air you breathe toxic-free.
- Tie your trash bags. When you bring the trash or recycling out, make sure your bags aren't overflowing or are tied shut to prevent objects falling out, spilling into the road and eventually ending up on our beaches or in our waters.