This winter is already testing the endurance of us all. Whether human or canine, it is hard to feel positive when everything is cold and grey, the streets turn brown, and simply walking outside to get the mail becomes a big adventure.
Here are a few things that are easy to do (even in the cold) but which can make a big difference for our streams and rivers:
-If you have a driveway or sidewalk that you are in charge of shoveling, take care to not use too much salt and sand! The extras may seem to disappear but they are disappearing into our storm drains that lead directly to our rivers and lake.
- This is the time of year that extra complications with your car can be a really big deal. No one wants to deal with car trouble when it's below zero. The best way to keep us from getting to work or school (or the dog park) without extra stress is to take your car in for a winter checkup. Having your car looked over by a professional means that they can stop fluid and oil leaks (which can run off into our rivers and lakes) before they start. They can also make sure that your tires are ready for winter. When you have good tires, not only are you safer on the roads but you don't need as much salt and sand to keep you from slipping on your driveway!
-Take extra care to not dump chemicals or trash outside or into the snow along the curbs. Again, it may seem that these simply disappear with the snow melt, but they actually get carried with the melting water directly through our storm drains and out into our streams and rivers. This kind of runoff is especially dangerous because it can carry very concentrated levels of pollutants. This is also a great way keep our streets and sidewalks clean through the many freezes and melts to come.
Keep in mind to be safe this winter and to not forget about all the ways your behavior impacts our waters (even when they are covered in layers of ice and snow).
Remember your training!