March 14th is International Day of Action for Rivers. With the devastation we've witnessed here in Australia recently it’s become increasingly apparent that we are in a climate crisis. Floods, droughts and growing water scarcity is something we can no longer ignore.

We all know that water is life! Without it, we aren’t going to last long. Humanity is dependent on rivers for survival and yet the majority of rivers across the globe are highly polluted. In an effort to raise awareness around river pollution, here are 7 small ways we can all help to protect our rivers and treat our waterways better.

  • 1. Use Biodegradable Cleaning Products

    Cleaning products will run through the plumbing so be mindful of what washes down your drain. Always check the labels to be sure you aren't responsible for putting harmful chemicals into our waterways.

  • 2. Fix Leaky Taps!

    A leaky tap can contribute several litres a month to the amount of water your household wastes. Pay attention to any taps & pipes, both inside and out to make sure yours aren't leaking.

  • 3. Get Planting!

    The root systems of a plant create stability by clinging to the surrounding soil. This reduces the amount of soil running into rivers. If you can, plant a tree. Trees have the widest and deepest roots of all flora. And they help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions too.

  • 4. Shop Ethically

    Industrial waste is the leading cause of global water pollution so be mindful of where you are spending your money. Agriculture and fast fashion are some of the worst offenders. If you can, shop local and try to reduce your ecological footprint.

  • 5. Keep It Clean

    In Australia, it’s unlikely you’ll see people dumping rubbish into the river - unlike less developed countries. That said, cigarette butts, bottle tops & plastic bags are the most common items that choke and kill our wildlife. Take your rubbish home and dispose of it responsibly.

  • 6. Speak Up

    A great way to help protect our rivers is by reporting any flood debris you see. Managing waste and debris is a huge responsibility and one that our governments need help with. Call the Environmental Line on 131 555 to report potentially hazardous items like metal parts, agricultural waste and cars.

  • 7. Volunteer

    Across Australia, millions of people donate their time to help clean up communities in an effort to benefit the environment. On an individual level, you can simply grab some gloves and a bag then fill it with rubbish. You will likely be surprised at how much you find, no matter where you live.

Water pollution is a huge issue that obviously can’t be fixed in a short space of time. But we can all do our bit. In the words of Helen Keller, “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

What will you do today to help protect the planet?

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