In Your Home
When you are at home you can prevent pollution in drain water systems and do your bit for the ocean by taking a few easy actions.
Some of these are:
– Recycle plastics, glass and paper/cardboard waste appropriately. Read more here www.recycleright.cairns.qld.gov.au
– Put other rubbish in bins. Take oils and large, non-recyclable items to a transfer station. Read more here www.cairns.qld.gov.au/environment/waste/facilities
– Compost vegetable waste if possible – your garden will thank you for it. Read more here www.compostinghome.com.au/how-to-compost
– Use cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. More info here www.earthfirst.net.au/eco-cleaning-products.html
– Avoid products such as exfoliants that contain microbeads in them, as these will also end up in the ocean.
Image with permission from Steve Greenberg
In Your Garden
There are a number of actions you can take when you are outside your home that can prevent pollution being washed down your stormwater drains.
Some of these are:
– Picking up after your pet, and placing the animal faeces into a rubbish bin, instead of letting it wash down the drain. For more information – www.cairns.qld.gov.au/regulations-and-forms/pets-and-domestic-animals/dogs/responsible-dog-ownership
– Washing your car or boat on the grass instead of in the driveway and limiting your use of cleaning products. Read more here – www.cairns.qld.gov.au/environment/environmental-protection/water-guidelines/car-wash-event
– Fixing your car in the garage instead of on the street to prevent oil leaks onto the road.
– Sweeping and collecting leaves and dirt from pathways rather than hosing them down the drain.
– Keeping streets and gutters litter-free. Picking up any discarded litter and placing in the appropriate bin.
– If possible, avoid using fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. If you do need to use them, reduce the chance of run-off into the stormwater system by taking care not to use too much and do not apply them before rain is expected- you waste money and pollute the sea water.
– Don’t pour excess paint down the drain. Let it dry and then put it in a rubbish bin. Wash paint brushes over grass, not down the drain.
In Your Community
There are a number of ways you can positively contribute to ocean health within your community. The most important thing you can do is share your awareness with your family and friends. Talk to them about water quality, waste, litter and pollution, and how we can all do our bit to improve the water quality of our Great Barrier Reef.
Other things you can do are:
– Register to participate in the Cairns Drain Stencil Project here
– Take your own reusable bags when you go shopping
– Get involved in a beach clean up. Find out more here www.tangaroablue.org
– Carry your own water bottle. Do you really need to buy drinking water in plastic bottles anyway? Maybe you can just refill yours from a tap, and save yourself some money too!
– When you buy food or a drink, think about how it is packaged. Can you make a better choice to avoid or minimise the use of packaging and containers? Maybe when buying coffee you can bring your own mug?