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Green Tips & Water Conservation

 

12 tips to clean up our water and/or  Poison Water - Frontline

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                                                                    Earth Day -  April 22, 2018
 Join billions people around the world, participate in an event in your community being green & 44rd anniversary. 
                                   

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Rain Water

Use rain barrels, kids pools, wheel barrels to catch Rain water. Tree and shrubs that have in the ground for more than 2 years only need watering during extended dry spells.

Hand Watering

Reduces run-off, puts water at the root system or root ball were the plant needs it and saves water. Overwatered lawns frequently fall prey to grubs

Salt

Use salt to kill your weeds instead of putting harmful chemicals into the water supply and environment.

Bugs

Sprinkle unbleached wheat flour on your tomato and cucumber plants to keep the bugs from eating your plants.

Bay leaves really do deter cockroaches. Australian tea tree oil works well against ants, mites, and roaches. Crushed citronella, catnip, lemon thyme and wild marigolds all have some mosquito-repelling properties.

Pest-eaters include some birds such as bluebirds, chickadees hummingbirds and bats, lizards, ladybugs, praying mantises, dragonflies, spiders, green lacewings, hoverflies, parasitic wasps and predatory mites. They will flock to a healthy, balanced ecosystem to fight the bug battle for you.

Choose a varied mix of plants, with edibles alongside flowering plants like clovers, marigolds, and members of the mustard, sunflower, celery and carrot family, whose nectar helps feed beneficial bugs and birds. Keep these plants healthy year-round if you can, so beneficial insects have supplementary food and dependable shelter as they control bugs throughout the year.


Mulch

Mulch helps soil retain water. It keeps the temperatures in the root zone of plants and there is less stress. Do not pack mulch up around the stems of plant as this can cause stem rot and kill or harm the plant.

Composting

Managing organic material at your home can not only decrease the amount of material you send to the landfill; it can also help turn your organic waste into a landscape asset.

Composting will reduce the amount of food waste in your garbage can, while creating nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. Try putting coffee grounds and lettuce scrapes in your flower garden or beds under ground. They will love it.

Some of the benefits of using compost include:

Improves the soil structure, porosity, and density, creating a better plant root environment.

Increases moisture infiltration of heavy soils, reducing erosion and runoff.

Improves water-holding capacity, reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils.

Supplies a variety of macro and micronutrients.

Supplies significant quantities of organic matter.

Improves exchange capacity of soils and growing media, improving their ability to hold nutrients for plant use.

Supplies beneficial micro-organisms to soils. Improves and stabilizes soil pH.  Can degrade specific pollutants. Recycling

Recycling is the third R of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recycling means taking a product or material at the end of its useful life and turning it into a usable raw material to make another product.

This section provides information about 

The Earth 911 green recycling locator  can also help you find where you can recycle by entering a product and your location. Go to
http://earth911.org

A more recent issue is how our old electronics should be disposed of, because they often contain dangerous elements such as

lead and mercury that can contaminate our soil and water supply. The proper disposal is key to water conservation because water is easily contaminated.

Batteries

The battery store in Huntersville is listed as a drop off point for recycling batteries. Lowes & Home Depot are now a recycle point too.

Garage - Motor Oil

Did you know that used motor oil can be recycled? How about paint? It turns out many of the items in your garage are recyclable. The proper disposal is key to water conservation because water is easily contaminated. One gallon of improperly disposed motor oil can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water.

Learn what to do with your garbage and help the planet while you’re at it.

Find more tips below.

http://www.freecycle.org/group/US/North%20Carolina

                                                                   Tips to clean up our water
1. Correctly dispose of hazardous household products.
Keep paints, used oil, cleaning solvents, polishes, pool chemicals, insecticides, and other hazardous household chemicals out of drains, sinks, and toilets. Many of these products contain harmful substances -- such as sodium hypochlorite, petroleum distillates, phenol and cresol, ammonia and formaldehyde -- that can end up in nearby water bodies. Contact your local sanitation, public works, or environmental health department to find out about hazardous waste collection days and sites.
* If a local program isn't available, request one. http://earth911.org

2. Use nontoxic household products whenever possible. Discarding toxic products correctly is important, but not buying them in the first place is better. Ask local stores to carry nontoxic products if they don't already. For examples of safe substitutes for toxic household products, check
EPA's EnviroSense website.

3. Recycle and dispose of all trash properly. Never flush non-degradable products -- such as disposable diapers or plastic tampon applicators -- down the toilet. They can damage the sewage treatment process and end up littering beaches and waters.

4. Conserve water. Use the most efficient plumbing fixtures. A whopping 73 percent of the water you use in your home is either flushed down the toilet or washed down the shower drain. Toilet dams or bricks placed in your toilet tank can save four gallons of water per flush, or up to 13,000 gallons a year for the average family of four. Low-flow toilets and showerheads also yield major water savings. Repair drips promptly; a dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons a day, a leaking toilet 200 gallons. Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them down.

In Your Yard:
5. Use natural fertilizers. Apply natural fertilizer such as compost, manure, bone meal or peat whenever possible. Ask your local hardware and garden supply stores to stock these natural fertilizers. You can also buy a composting setup at a garden supply or hardware store, or by mail. Composting decreases the need for fertilizer and helps soil retain moisture. If you don't know how to compost, visit
The Compost Resource Page or the EPA's composting pages.


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6. Avoid over-watering lawns and gardens. Use slow-watering techniques on lawns and gardens. Over-watering lawns can increase the leaching of fertilizers into groundwater. Trickle or "drip" irrigation systems and soaker hoses are 20 percent more efficient than sprinklers.

7. Decrease impervious surfaces around your home. Having fewer hard surfaces of concrete and asphalt will improve drainage around your home and in your yard. Do your landscaping with vegetation, gravel or other porous materials instead of cement; install wood decking instead of concrete, and interlocking bricks and paver stones for walkways. Redirect rain gutters and downspouts to soil, grass or gravel areas. Planting vegetation at lower elevations than nearby hard surfaces allows runoff to seep into soil.

8. Maintain septic systems properly. Have the septic tank cleaned out every three to five years. Effluent from failed or poorly maintained septic systems can contaminate groundwater. Monitoring and cleaning your system regularly also saves money by prolonging the life of the system.

Maintaining Your Car:
9. Recycle used motor oil. Avoid pouring waste oil into gutters or down storm drains, and resist the temptation to dump wastes onto the ground. A single quart of motor oil that seeps into groundwater can pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. If you don't have a place to recycle used motor oil in your community, ask your local sanitation or public works department to create one.
  When you buy motor oil, ask if the store or service station has a program to buy back waste oil and dispose of it properly. Keep up with car maintenance to reduce leaking of oil, coolant, antifreeze and other hazardous fluids.

10. Be "green" when washing your car. Hand-wash your car on the lawn with a bucket of soapy water, rags and a hose. Just turning off the hose between rinsings can save up to 150 gallons. Or, if you don't want to do it yourself, choose a car wash that recycles its water.

In Your Community:
11. Help identify, report and stop polluters. Join a local clean water or environmental group that monitors industries and sewage treatment plants that are discharging wastes. Local groups can be effective working together with state environmental agencies, EPA and national groups like NRDC to ensure that industries comply with regulations.

12. Be an activist and be the positive change you seek. Contact your public officials and attend hearings to encourage them to support laws and programs to protect our water. Ask officials to control polluted runoff, increase protection for wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems, reduce the flow of toxics into our waterways, and strengthen enforcement. Volunteer for a beach or stream clean up, tree planting, water quality sampling, or stream pollution monitoring project sponsored by a local environmental group or watershed council. Visit NRDC's
Earth Action Center to get government contact information and learn about urgent issues you can get in involved in. http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/landing.asp
Join Robert Redford in proctecting our wildlife ocean & public lands.   www.nrdcactionfund.org



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