Friday, October 20, 2017

Household Waste

Water is the foundation for everything we do throughout life.  It is used for recreation, economic development and of course human existence.  However, not much of the water on the Earth is fit for consumption.  Ninety seven percent of the Earth’s water is salt water, while the rest is frozen in glaciers or polluted.  In fact, 780 million people or one in nine, lack access to clean water.

We are fortunate to live near the Great Lakes, which is the largest group of fresh water lakes on the planet and represent 84% of North America’s surface fresh water.  Therefore, we all need to do our part to improve the water quality of our creeks and streams which are the capillaries to these great bodies of water.  One in particular, The Salt Creek Tributary starts mostly in Palatine Township and covers approximately 150 square miles. This watershed eventually makes its way into the DesPlaines River, then into the Illinois River which ends in the Mississippi River.  If you want to protect the Mississippi estuary and eventually the Gulf of Mexico, start in your own back yard.  Please find more information at www.elpc.org/category/natural-places/great-lakes-protection or www.inillinoiswater.org/

Proper maintenance, responsible use of fertilizers and correct waste disposal are just a few solutions to keep our creeks and streams clean.  Household waste is not only home cleaning products but also personal care products and pharmaceutical medications.  A growing concern in our country and throughout the entire world is the impact pharmaceutical drug waste is having on the environment.  It is crucial for the medical community, government agencies and the general public to combine efforts to reduce and possibly eliminate the release of pharmaceutical waste into the environment. Exercise proper disposal of all medications. Do not flush unused medications down the drain nor toss expired drugs in the garbage.  Instead visit one of the many drop off centers listed here or visit http://swancc.org/index.php/programs/pharmaceuticalsharps-disposal