Dump No Waste-Drains to River

>> Wednesday, August 8, 2007

In my neighborhood, some county volunteers spray painted the words, "Dump no waste, drains to river", near storm drains. I thought about the fact that there is no river anywhere near us. But I realized the message was sound: whatever goes down the drain will eventually reach fish and other wildlife. But, I thought, what's the big deal? Just don't dump.

But people do dump. They dump all kinds of toxic substances: used motor oil, pesticides, sewage, antifreeze, and paint thinner. They do this because it's easier to just dump these things in the drain rather than dispose of them properly.

Let's face it, it is inconvenient to do things to help the environment. It's inconvenient to recycle, to fill up with ethanol, to use
non-toxic cleaners, to buy organic food, to use solar or wind power, to use cloth diapers, to conserve energy, and to use earth friendly products. It's easier to just keep doing what we're doing. We all know where that will get us.

So, how can we get more people to do the right thing when it's so hard? I've said this before,
start small. Change things gradually. Look at how you waste and prioritize. Keep the inconvenient, yet powerfully effective changes your goals and really work on them.

Once old, toxic habits are broken and replaced with new, albeit inconvenient habits, the earth will be on its way to its own nontoxic life.