- Don’t fertilize lawn June 1- Sept 30th
- Do not pour chemicals into storm drains
- Do not use or limit use of pesticides
- Pick up plastics on shorelines
- Plant native plants (less thirsty for water)
- Install rain barrels for watering plants
- Wash car with bucket and soap, not a hose
- Leave grass clippings on lawns
- Use a brush to sweep driveways, not a hose
- Provide containers with sand for cigarette butts
The results are in. After three days of Boston’s GreenFest, participants have arranged yard actions according to their personal priorities. First we told people the tale of 16 striped bass dead on a Falmouth shore that led the town to ban fertilizing lawns in the summer, to spread only one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet and not five pounds. Don’t fertilize when day light longest, water warmest, algal blooms the worst was fixed to the top of our list as number one.
When the numbers were tallied we were surprised to see Leave grass clippings on the lawn come in as number 8. We expected a much higher posting. Some people told us they put it low saying that they spend time raking it up and were unaware of being to able to leave cuttings on lawns. Others said they knew that, so put they it low. One said her son will be happy to hear he does not have to rake grass cuttings anymore.
Wash car with bucket and soap and use a brush to sweep driveways tended to be placed near the bottom especially by individuals who do not wash or sweep. It was correctly pointed out that a car wash is better than washing with a bucket because the car wash manages its waste water.
We are asking people to modify their behaviors, not to change. One who likes to wash the car is more likely to use a bucket instead of a hose, than is to change behavior and bring car to the car-wash.
People put much thought into ordering their yard actions. Our goal was to educate about the ten best practices, and we brought blanks ready for new ideas. Regardless of the order, they are all worthy actions. Clearly learning how to minimize dirty water coming off of properties happened at GreenFest. What is done on private properties can affect us all, and every modification you make helps.
Note: No fish were hurt at Boston’s GreenFest. We made dead fish out of paper, pipe cleaner, straws and beads – googly eye optional.
Got clean water practices?
What are you doing to prevent dirty water run-off from your place?