A major source of stormwater pollution is also preventable: it’s litter.
Why is litter such a problem? When litter hits the ground it’s more than just an eyesore. Litter is easily washed into storm drains by rain. Stormwater goes directly to local creeks and the Bay without any filtration. Once there, it disrupts delicate ecosystems, harming fish and wildlife. Eventually, our local litter adds to the floating garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes litter can clog stormdrains, causing flooding.
Make the switch to reusable items when on the go. Here are some tips:
- Use a reusable cup to keep your morning fuel hot while you’re on the go, and pass on paper or Styrofoam cups. Some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own cup.
- Treat yourself to a re-usable water bottle. They reduce waste and are a better alternative to disposable plastic bottles.
- Pack your lunch in a canvas tote or buy a reusable lunch bag instead of brown paper bags.
- Getting take-out? Avoid single-use containers and instead ask your favorite deli to fill your reusable container.
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper.
- Take reusable bags to the supermarket. Some markets with bulk food bins will allow you to fill your reusable containers instead of single-use plastic bags.
- And, of course, whenever you see litter, pick it up and put it in the trash before it blows into the storm-drain!