Today’s Solutions: December 03, 2023

We all have one big thing in common these days: the changing climate. We are all united by this because it will affect all of us, be it in the form of winter storms, drought, or sea-level rise. The good news is that we can all affect the climate too, in a positive way. Even living in the Midwest, you can have a positive effect on the climate and on the ocean in particular.  Here are three ways you can help the ocean from wherever you live. 

Lower sprinkler water use

How can water taken from the ground and other irrigation sources affect the ocean? Sadly, the more forever chemicals we let seep into the ground, the more get into our underground water sources. This affects the water we drink, and it also affects the water we use to feed our plants and lawns. Run-off and the long path of water we use in our day-to-day lives winds up in the ocean along with the harmful chemicals that got into the ground. These chemicals are harmful to marine life and ecosystems. You can actually help the ocean by reducing your sprinkler water use. You can do this by letting natural rainfall sustain your plants if you live in a wetter part of the world, or you can plant local flora that does well with the natural level of moisture in your region. 

Don’t rake up your leaves

Speaking of chemicals that get into the ground, mulch is full of chemicals and toxins that get into the groundwater. Mulch is used as fertilizer around plants and trees in many communities. Instead of using this harmful fertilizer substitute, try letting the leaves that fall from your trees in Autumn decompose and fertilize your garden. This is actually a natural way that plants enrich the soil every year, creating a healthy biome, and reducing the number of chemicals that wind up in the groundwater and later, in the ocean. 

Reconsider pesticides

Yet another harmful chemical that could wind up in the water table is pesticides. You may use these to rid your garden of harmful pests. On top of killing what might be very helpful pests with the harmful ones, pesticides will also get into the ground and into the water supply. Once again, the same process will take these chemicals all the way, so consider alternative methods to pest control for your garden.

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