Earn community service hours needed for high school graduation

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1 Storm Water Tips Here are ten simple things every homeowner can do to help reduce the amount of pollutants that are carried into Ohio's streams, lakes and rivers. 1. Never dump anything down a storm drain or drainage ditch. The storm drain system conveys storm water directly to a creek or stream, without any treatment. 2. Properly dispose of all trash, rubbish and garbage. Trash that is left in your yard, or on the street will eventually end up in the closest creek or stream. 3. Place your cigarette butts in the proper receptacle. Don't throw them on the ground. 4. Recycle used motor oil. Find out if your local community or gas station will accept used motor oil and take it there. Whatever you do, never dump motor oil, gasoline, or solvents down a storm drain! 5. Wash your car in the grass, or take to a commercial car wash. Your car has oils and greases that wash off and then flow into the storm drains, polluting the nearby water body. Commercial car washes have special procedures for treating the water that washes off your car. 6. Clean up after your pet. Place pet waste in a trash receptacle or flush down the toilet. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that will wash into our streams and rivers when it rains. 7. Use fertilizers and pesticides only when needed. Fertilizers promote algae growth in our waterways. When using fertilizers, follow application instructions and do not apply if rain is forecasted. 8. Compost yard & grass clippings. Don't allow your grass clippings to blow into the street, or curb. 9. Check your vehicles for leaks and repair them! 10. Tell a friend or neighbor about how to prevent storm water pollution. Get involved in a local community watershed organization.

2 Middle/High Schoolers Why should I care? Because unlike wastewater, stormwater doesn't get treated and cleaned before it empties into creeks, lakes and rivers. So if water goes into the storm drain dirty, it stays that way. So? All that trash you can see and the pollutants you can't see like toxic chemicals, pesticides, soap, and germs end up in your neighborhood creeks, rivers and lakes. This means that the water is unsafe not only for fish and frogs, but also humans. What can I do? You can actively participate - Earn community service hours needed for high school graduation Earn merit badges, Silver Awards for Scouting Programs Add an important community service effort to your high school resume Make a difference in your neighborhood and in our city s creeks, rivers and lakes

3 In one day, the average Ohioan generates almost 10 lbs. of garbage including packaging, bottles, cans, yard waste, food scraps, clothing and other items. Do you want to reduce this? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Reuse: Practice the three R's: first reduce how much you use, then reuse what you can and recycle the rest. Next, dispose of what's left in the most environmentally friendly way. Read the tips below and explore the Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste. Reduce: Buy durable items instead of disposables. Buy and use only what you need. Buy products with less packaging. Buy products that use less toxic chemicals. Repair items instead of throwing them away. Use durable coffee mugs. Use cloth napkins or towels. Clean and reuse drink containers. Use empty jars to hold leftover food. Reuse boxes. Purchase refillable pens and pencils. Participate in a paint collection and reuse program. Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away. Recycle: Recycle paper (printer paper, newspapers, mail, etc.), plastic, glass bottles, cardboard and aluminum cans. If your community doesn't collect at the curb, take them to a collection center. Recycle electronics. Recycle used motor oil. Compost food scraps, grass and other yard clippings, and dead plants. Close the loop - buy recycled products and products that use recycled packaging. That's what makes recycling economically possible.

4 Use Less Toxic Products Using safer cleaning products can help protect your family s health and the environment. U.S. EPA s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program allows safer products to carry the DfE label, through its Safer Product Labeling Program. The DfE mark helps consumers quickly identify and choose products that can help protect the environment and are safer for families. Find DfElabeled products. pesticide. Protecting Pets - Learn how to protect your pets from pests and potential pesticide risks by following product label directions and understanding the precautions. What is a Pesticide? - This document explains what is and what is not a National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) - This website provides pesticide-related information and a toll-free number for more information. Controlling Pests - Learn how to reduce the need for pesticides and how to use pesticides safely

5 Conserve Energy More steps you can take: Find Energy Star products for your home - Choosing energyefficient products can save families about 30 percent or $400 a year. ENERGY STAR is the government's backed symbol for energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR label makes it easy to know which products to buy without sacrificing features, style or comfort that you expect. Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room. Use the microwave to cook small meals. (It uses less power than an oven.) Purchase "green power" for your home's electricity. (Contact your power supplier to see where and if it is available.) Repair leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Cut back on air conditioning and heating use. Install a programmable thermostat in your home.

6 Conserve Water Insulate your home, water heater and pipes. Complete an energy audit if offered by your local energy company. Choose Water-Efficient Products and Test Your WaterSense - A family of four uses 400 gallons of water every day. U.S. EPA's WaterSense program helps conserve water for future generations by providing information about products and programs that save water without sacrificing performance. More steps you can take: Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Take short showers instead of tub baths. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads. Wash only full loads of laundry and use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine. Buy high-efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances. Repair all leaks (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day). Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Water plants according to what they need. Check with your local extension service or nurseries for advice. Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk. Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs. Keep your yard healthy - dethatch, use mulch, etc. Sweep outside instead of using a hose. Landscape using "rain garden" techniques to save water and reduce storm water runoff. Video: "Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In"

7 Lawn and Garden Care Your Yard and Clean Air - This document provides tips on how you can prevent pollution in your own backyard by adopting practices that will help protect the environment now and in the future. Lawn and Garden and Tips for a Waste-Free Lawn and Garden - Learn about many things you can do to reduce waste and conserve resources from caring for your lawn and garden equipment, to greenscaping. Green Landscaping with Native Plants - This site provides a wizard that answers commonly asked questions about landscaping with native wild flowers and grasses in the Great Lakes region. Natural Landscaping - Online publication explaining natural landscaping ideas. Greenscaping U.S. EPA's GreenScapes Program can show you how to reduce the environmental impacts of landscaping your lawn and property by grasscycling, mulching and composting. Composting - Discusses what composting is, what compost can be used for and other related topics. Compost Yard Trimmings and Some Food Scraps - Food scraps and yard trimmings can be turned into natural additives for lawns and gardens, and can significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes in a landfill.

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