There are multiple ways you can protect the environment in your yard. On this page, you will learn about some of the problems you may face as well as some of the solutions.
There are many pollutants that make their way into urban lakes, streams, and ponds from people's yards. Some of these pollutants are pet waste, oil and anti-freeze, sediment, toxic chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. Some bacteria that are carried are campylobacterlosis, cryptosporidium, toxocarlasis, and toxoplasmosis.
Campylobacterlosis: a bacterial infection carried by dogs and cats that often causes diarrhea in people.
Cryptosporidium: a small-celled parasite carried by dogs, cats, mice, and other mammals. Some symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and dehydration, and it is sometimes fatal to people with weak immune systems.
Toxocarlasis: round worms usually transmitted between dogs to humans and may go without noticeable symptoms.
Toxoplasmosis: a parasite carried by cats that can cause birth defects like mental retardation and blindness if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy.
This stuff, if caught in the storm drains, could end up in streams, lakes, and other bodies of water that people swim in and could directly cause health problems.
Here's what homeowners and kids should do to stop pollution!
- Throw doggy and kitty waste in the garbage.
- Chemicals found around the garage are harmful too. If you keep paint, oil, or solvents in your garage and need to get rid of them, don't throw them away. Keep them out of the storm sewers and take them to a household hazardous waste collection site in your town. You can call your local city or county office to find out the location of the closest site. Sometimes local gas stations will take used motor oil.
- Gardening is a very popular hobby in many countries. Another way to stop pollution is for gardeners to stop using pesticides on their lawns and gardens. Many people keep their plants healthy by using organic products. In fact, natural fertilizers can be better for your garden because they release nutrients over a longer period of time. These fertilizers use organic matter. You can also use compost such as dried leaves as a natural fertilizer. Make sure you do not fertilize your garden with fresh manure because it may contain harmful organisms that cause disease.
Here's what homeowners and kids should do to save water!
- Here's another great project for kids and homeowners. You can create a rain garden in your yard. Rain gardens are gardens that soak up rainwater from your roof, driveway, and lawn. Rain gardens let more water soak into the ground than letting it run into the storm sewers. Rain gardens are placed so that roof water leaving the downspout will flow over them. The rain garden should be planted with native species. More flowers are used than native grasses. Compared to a regular lawn, a rain garden lets 30% more water soak into the ground. Holding back the run-off prevents pollutants such as fertilizers from washing off your yard into the storm drains and into nearby streams and lakes. By reducing the amount of water that enters the local storm drain system, rain gardens can reduce the chance for local flooding as well as bank and shoreline damage where storm drains empty into streams and lakes.
- Catching and saving rainwater isn’t new. A long time ago families saved water in barrels for use in watering plants, washing clothes, and even drinking. This water saving is common in many places in the world. Using native and other drought tolerant plants can also reduce your garden’s water consumption. Cutting the amount of space for thirsty grass can also reduce water demand. When collecting water in barrels, there are some simple plans that will prevent common problems. You should use a lid on the barrel to keep unwanted pests out of the water and add a screen to keep leaves and other stuff out of the barrel. You'll also need to monitor the rain barrel to make sure the intake and overflow pipes are not blocked. Take note that water stored in the barrel is not drinkable and should not be used for drinking. It’s good for putting on your plants and for other non-drinkable uses.
|Using the 3R's At Home| |Stopping Global Warming At Home|
|Saving Water At Home| |Saving Electricity At Home| |Using Solar Energy At Home| |Saving Trees At Home | |Bathroom| |Bedroom| |Living Room| |Kitchen| |Yard|
Ogden, Shepherd. "Gardening." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007.
22 March 2007 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar217080>.
“Pet Waste and Water Quality.” Clean-water.uwex.edu, 11 March 2007 <http//clean-water.uwex.edu/pubs/pdf/home.pet.pdf>.
Sullivan, Jo. “Water Saving in the Garden.” dnr.metrokc.gov/, 11 March 2007 <http//dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/PI/pdf/cistern-water-saving.pdf>.
“What to do with Harmful Wastes.” Tosa C.A.R.E.S. 2007 Guide. Spring, 2007: Page 3.
Dan Egan. “Are we Barking Up the Wrong Tree?” The Journal Sentinel. 11 March 2007, page 1.
Permission to use all of the photographs on this page is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License or images are in the public domain from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> (March, 2007).
Return to top of page