A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!

Monday, January 28, 2013

13 River Resolutions for 2013

Here are 13 great ways that you can give back to the river you love in 2013! Please feel free to share ideas with friends and colleagues, and Happy New Year!


#1: Turn Parking Lots into Paradise


Depave2 2 The folks at Depave in Portland, Oregon hold regular work parties where community volunteers can come and help turn unneeded pavement into rain gardens and other community assets.


#2: Get the Junk Out!

A.Pitzer.Clean_.Up_-e1341337118317Rivers are not dumping grounds. But some people think so. Fortunately, many watershed groups organize regular community cleanups. Participate in a cleanup. If none are happening, round up 5 friends, some trash bags, and make a Saturday morning out of it!


#3: Throw a Party on the River

-        barbeque You may think about rivers often but you'd be surprised how many people forget about them entirely. So if you are hosting a social gathering – a picnic, kids’ play dates, family reunion… propose to do it at a riverside park. Our rivers need more people to know them and to love them. Spread the word.


#4: Know Thy River

WQ_volunteers2 2Become a citizen water quality monitor! All over the U.S., hundreds of local watershed groups operate volunteer monitoring programs and anyone is welcome to join! Find a local group near you!


#5: Send Your Legislator Down the River

Our Partners at the Rock River Coalition in Wisconsin have an annual tradition of a float trip especially for elected officials that gives lawmakers a firsthand look at -- and greater appreciation for -- our most important natural resource!


#6: Eat Less Water

A hamburger has a high water footprint
(roughly 1800 gallons per pound of beef), but if the water used to raise the cow is mostly rain water and the water used to grow soy is all irrigated, veggie burgers may not be a better option. Fortunately, there's a "Water Footprint" website that can help you start to make the right choices

#7: Put Your Money Where Your Passion Is

river and dollarsTalk is cheap. If you love rivers and are not supporting at least one river conservation group, please do so. You can donate to River Network and/or any one of several hundred local Partner organizations near you! There's still time for a 2012 tax deduction too. Every donation helps!


#8: Turn Out the Lights!

coalplantbyUSGSFor every gallon of water used in an average household, five times more water (40,000 gallons each month) is used to provide that home with electricity via hydropower turbines and fossil fuel power plants. You can get a conservation Three-fer -- healthier rivers, fewer greenhouse emissions and cleaner air -- by redoubling your energy conservation efforts!

#9: Treasure Your Trees!

A two-foot diameter big leaf maple prevents nearly 2,000 gallons of stormwater and reduces CO2 by 600 pounds every year! Check out the benefits of your own backyard trees at    i-Tree Design and plant more if you can!
 

#10: Spout Off!

rain barrelDisconnect the downspouts from your gutter and let the rainwater filter naturally into the ground. If drainage is an issue hook them back up to a rain barrel (see photo at left) that will store the water for you to reuse later! A couple of handy resources: “how to install your rain barrel” video and a flyer on painting your barrel.




#11: Check Your Brakes!

When you have to replace your brake pads, request ones without copper. (Copper dust comes out when you stop and flows into nearby streams, raising levels too toxic for fish) More info here.

#12: Meet Us in St. Louis!

If rivers are your passion and you've never been to River Rally, make this the year! We'll be in St. Louis May 17-20. You'll get to hobnob with hundreds of other river lovers, learn about rivers and how to protect them, and enjoy some quality river time via one or more field trips. Registration opens in January! 


#13: Make Your Own River Resolution!

There are many other ways you can help protect and restore rivers! Make your own resolution and if you want to share it with others, post it on our Facebook page!


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