Top Ten: Tips to Make Your Neighborhood Pollution Free

reduce pollution neighborhoodNeighborhood pollution comes in all forms – cigarette butts on street corners, dog remnants on the grass, food wrappers and bags blowing by and pesticides and fertilizers in our yards. Luckily, a few easy adjustments in habits can snowball into a community effort to make your neighborhood cleaner and healthier for everyone. Try out these ten suggested steps to make your neighborhood pollution free.

  1. Lead by example. The number one thing you can do to keep your neighborhood clean is set a litter-free example for others. Pick up after your dog, don’t flick cigarette butts onto the ground and if you see litter lying around, grab it.
  2. Tie your trash bags. When you put your trash in the cans for pickup, take a moment to tie your bags and secure your lids. This prevents stray pieces of trash from falling out and blowing around your neighborhood.
  3. Give back. Become involved in a community cleanup, or better yet, organize one yourself. Everyone wants to live in a clean neighborhood and we love getting involved in group cleanups. Get your family and friends together, bring some music and snacks and spend an hour or two tidying up the place you call home. Check Coastkeeper’s beach cleanup schedule for your next monthly opportunity to pick up trash in your coastal neighborhood – the beach.
  4. Landscape responsibly. Try this top ten list to reduce your fertilizer and pesticide use. 
  5. Go to a carwash. Another way to prevent urban runoff is to take your car to a carwash where it recycles water. When you wash your car in your driveway, the water carries toxins from your yard and the cleaning chemicals into storm drains, which flow directly to our waters. Plus, a car wash that recycles water conserves water, too!
  6. Ride your bike. By riding your bike, taking public transit and carpooling, you reduce your contribution to air and water pollution in your neighborhood and the region. 
  7. Reuse. Reuse wrapping paper, gift bags, plastic containers and anything else as much as you can. Recycling is important, but reusing is even better and saves you money, too.
  8. Stay away from StyrofoamTM. StyrofoamTM is one single-use material that cannot be recycled. Styrofoam is harsh on the environment and is often found at beach cleanups and in our waters. Choose alternatives to Styrofoam cups, egg cartons and miscellaneous other supplies that will inevitably end up on your street or in a landfill.
  9. Find your voice. Learn how you can join friends and have a voice in the decision-making in your community to support clean, healthy neighborhoods on a legislative level.
  10. Get outside. The only way to want to keep your neighborhood clean is to love and appreciate it, and the only way you will love your neighborhood is if you spend time in it. Get up and take a stroll around your community to remind yourself what you love and why you want to keep it clean.