21 New Ways to Think Green

    Cut Down and Clean Up Your Runoff

  1. Sniff out a sick septic system.  Inspect for odours or puddling and pump out every 3 to 5 years.
  2. Kick the lawn habit. Plant with native plants instead.
  3. Don’t soap in the lake, ever. Even if a soap says its phosphate free and biodegradable, it can hurt aquatic life.
  4. Replace hard, paved surfaces with more porous ones - wood chips, small pebbles, turf.
  5. Stock up on green cleaners. Avoid using household chemical cleaners which destroy the beneficial bacteria that break down waste in your septic system. Use baking soda and vinegar, etc.
  6. Hook a rain barrel up to your eaves troughs - so easy - reduces erosion all year.
  7. Pick up after pooch. It pollutes by carrying coliform bacteria with the run off into the lake.
  8. Refuel away from the water - boats, as well as chain saws, pumps and generators, over a tray in a shelter with a hard floor and a rag for mopping up spills
  9. Shrink Your Cottage Energy Bill

  10. Plant a tree or two, they are great insulators.  Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the cottage to provide shade in summer and conifers on the north and north-west sides to block cold winds.
  11. Hang curtains or blinds and keep them closed as much as is practical to moderate the heat/cold from outside.
  12. Switch the cottage wattage. Compact fluorescent bullbs last up to 10 times longer and use about ¼ the electricity of incandescent ones.
  13. Hold the heat in hot water tanks by wrapping the tank in an insulating blanket. Turn the setting down or switch to an on-demand system.
  14. Retire that old beer fridge. It could be costing you up to $130 a year by using more than 4 times the energy of a newer energy efficient model.
  15. Replace outdoor lights with low wattage ones and only turn them on the few times they are needed.
  16. Keep a Healthy Shoreline

  17. Rebuild the buffer zone at the shoreline and leave driftwood, fallen trees and water weeds in the water.  Resist the urge to “tidy up” except for a small swimming area.
  18. Opt for a low impact dock - a floater or cantilever - which causes less disturbance to the lakebed.
  19. Protect Our Wildlife

  20. Drive your boat at “no-wake” speed near shores to guard aquatic babies from wave and prop action and to minimize erosion.
  21. Keep aliens away by draining bilge and buckets before launching in a new lake to avoid transferring exotic species.
  22. Get the lead out of the tackle box. Switch to non-lead substitutes.
  23. Let dead trees stand for woodpeckers and other birds, mammals, and insects.
  24. Create a wildlife corridor full of native shrubs, grasses and flowers to allow animals and birds access to the water without going out in the open.

Adapted from article by Steve Stockton, Cottage Life Magazine, 2007

Kahshe Lake Ratepayers' Association (1994) Inc. (KLRA)
PO Box 1318, Gravenhurst, ON, Canada, P1P 1V5
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