Healthy Household Habits

Media stories about environmental pollution are usually focused on high profile targets such as leaking oil tankers, toxic waste dumps or the industries on the edge of town. These are classified as “point source” polluters because the problems can be traced back to the original source. However, while we are pointing our finger elsewhere, a bigger culprit goes unnoticed. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that nonpoint source pollution (NPS), pollution generated by each and every one of us is the leading cause of water quality degradation in the nation. Granted, an individual household contributes only minor amounts of NPS pollution, but the combined effect of entire neighborhoods, communities and cities can become quite serious.

The choices we make in our homes, garages and yards can have an impact on our local streams and lakes.

Repair leaky faucets as quickly as possible. Fixing a silent toilet leak can save as much as 500 gallons of water a day. That is 500 gallons of water that is paid for and sent down the drain unused.

Never dispose of leftover paints, stains or varnishes down a storm drain or in the trash. Donate them to local youth homes or women’s shelters. The City of Moberly now has a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program.

Use the least amount possible of chemical cleaners. Read and follow the directions completely and look for less toxic alternatives whenever possible.

Never throw cigarette butts out of the car window or leave them outdoors. Always dispose of them in the trash or a proper receptacle. These synthetic nuisances can hang around in the outdoor environment for hundreds of years.

The smallest of changes in our daily household habits will produce significant changes in our environment. Take a look around your home and see where you can make a difference.