Water is, in the simplest terms, our source of life. It gives all living things the ability to live - from plants to animals to humans. As the years have gone on, our source of drinking, cooking, and bathing has become increasingly polluted.
But there’s good news: it doesn’t make life-altering changes to help reduce water pollution.
But first, what are the overall effects of water pollution? Contaminated water contributes to the destruction of aquatic ecosystems and the fish within them, which eventually makes its way up the food chain to the food we’re eating. And in many parts of the world, billions of people are forced to drink contaminated water since it’s their only source, increasing the likelihood of illness.
Some of the main causes of water pollution are simple daily habits of us humans that can be easily changed to support the health of our water ecosystems. These are some small changes you can make in your daily life to help reduce water pollution:
Be Wary of What You Put Down Your Sink Drain
Many of the toxins and garbage that end up in the ocean and other water ecosystems come from our households. Anything we put in our garbage disposal or down our sink drains has the possibility of ending up in our precious water sources.
Toxic chemicals like paint, bleach, and ammonia should be disposed of properly. Search for local recycling centers in your community that can take leftover paint and other used chemicals.
Avoid putting fat or grease down the drain, as it contaminates local bodies of water. Instead, keep your fat in a jar or dispose of it in the trash.
Buy phosphate-free dish soap and limit your use while cleaning. Phosphates kill fish in local bodies of water and seep into other water sources, killing more aquatic wildlife.
Don’t wash medicines down the drain, as those pills end up in the water with fish, causing lots of health problems that trickle to us through livestock and other ways.
Help Keep the Earth Clean
You’ve probably heard it once or twice in your life already, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to not litter and to recycle. Single-use plastics and other garbage always find their way into our oceans. Simply recycling and picking up trash is one easy way that, if we all did it, would greatly help reduce water pollution.
Avoid Letting Chemicals Run Into Storm Drains
Washing your car, cleaning your outdoor grill, or spilling chemicals outside are all potential causes of storm drain pollution. Letting those toxins run down into the sewers is bad for the local water supply and bad for the local bodies of water they could potentially seep into. Instead, wash your car or other outdoor equipment where the water can run into your grass.
Avoid Using the Toilet for Garbage Disposal
The only thing we should really be throwing in the toilet is toilet paper. Even this we should limit our use of, however. Other paper materials, medicines, and the like aren’t meant to be disposed of in the toilet. Each of those pieces of garbage can enter the water ecosystems the toilet water eventually drains to. Help reduce water pollution by properly disposing of trash and limiting toilet paper waste.
Avoid Using the Garbage Disposal, For Real
Anything that goes down our sink drain has the potential to come back somewhere in the form of contaminated water. Keeping your food waste solid and disposing of it in the trash or using a compost bucket is the best way to ensure food particles and bacteria don’t enter our bodies of water.
There are so many groups of people and organizations out there fighting for change. You can always contribute your time by volunteering at these organizations, and you can donate to fund clean water initiatives. But you don’t have to even leave your home or drastically change your daily routine to help the world reduce water pollution. Make a small change in your life and it could affect another life and another life in the future. To learn more about how you can help change the world, check out our ongoing programs and take a look at our other news and stories!