Being nature-friendly is something many of us rarely think about, or we worry it is complicated and a lot of work. But, actually it takes just a few simple actions every once in a while. Just a few extra steps can help protect wildlife, clean up our community, and keep our water safe. Take a look at these easy tips and try a few for yourself.
Water (and everything else) runs downhill. Stormwater carries trash, bacteria, and toxic chemical pollution from our yards and streets into Lake Erie.
Plastic and trash. Tons of litter and trash pile up every year on land and in the water. It lasts for hundreds of years.
* Pick up litter and teach your children the importance of not littering.
* Take reusable grocery bags when you shop, and return plastic bags to be recycled.
* Cut handles of bags before throwing away to prevent animal injury and bags in the trees.
* Cut all the links in plastic beverage holders to save animals from entanglement.
* Avoid microfiber materials. They contain tiny flakes of plastic that get into the water and into the fish.
* Reduce the amount of non-recyclables used such as straws and picnic ware. Encourage the use of recyclable-only items at meetings and events.
* Use your city-provided recycle bin. The list of recyclables is on the lid in some communities.
Bees and food. Bees, butterflies (and other insects) carry pollen from plant to plant. Without pollination, one-third of the world’s fruits and vegetables (including tomatoes) cannot produce food.
* Reduce or eliminate fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that harm pollinators, animals, and our drinking water.
* Plant pollinator-friendly flowers. The best ones are local native plants. For information, contact the OSU Master Gardeners, 216-429-8200 or Cuyahoga SWCD, 216-524-6580.
Around the home and yard.
* Pick up pet waste to reduce bacteria in the lake.
* Use low-phosphate cleaners and detergents such as Seventh Generation to prevent algae blooms in Lake Erie.
* Use non-toxic cleaners such as soap & water, baking soda, vinegar, and borax. For more information contact cuyahogaswcd.org, 216-524-6480.
* Take unwanted prescriptions to a community drop-off.
For the environment.
* Never throw unwanted aquarium pets - turtles, fish or other aquatic animals - into a waterway. They can push out the native species. The greenery sold with them can fill a pond quickly and is almost impossible to eradicate. For advice, contact a pet store or Cleveland Metroparks, 440-473-3370.
* Put fishing line pieces away in a container with a lid, not in the water or on the ground. It doesn’t degrade and harms wildlife and fish.
* Join or donate to an environmental organization or your local watershed group.
To learn more contact:
Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District - http://www.cuyahogaswcd.org - 216-524-6580
Friends of Euclid Creek - http://www.euclidcreekwatershed.org - FriendsofEuclidCreek@gmail.com
Northeast Ohio Sewer District - http://www.neorsd.org/stormwater-watersheds.php
Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center - firstname.lastname@example.org - 440-887-1968
Cuyahoga County Recycle Information - http://www.cuyahogarecycles.org - 216-443-3749
Bee and Native Plant Information - http://u.osu.edu/beelab/gardening-for-bees/
Blog Author: Kelly Butauski, Friends of Euclid Creek and Watershed Volunteer