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Spring cleaning for the Great Lakes

Posted by on Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today is world water day and with three bordering oceans, four out five of the Great Lakes and seven percent of the world’s renewable freshwater supply, the wet stuff is Canada’s lifeblood. 

Perhaps some of the most disputed water resources in our country, the Great Lakes have been “polluted”, “cleaned up” and “polluted” again more times than you can shake a stick at. Need proof? Here’s a Great Lakes clean-up story from the December/January 1990-91 issue of Canadian Geographic

There are 42 Areas of Concern designated within the Great Lakes (Canada and the U.S.) by the International Joint Commission calling attention to locations that have experienced environmental degradation. Fourteen of these areas are within Canada’s share of the lakes.

In honour of World Water Day, it looks like another Great Lakes clean-up is surfacing. The Canadian government highlighted 46 projects that have received funding under the Great Lakes Action Plan and announced that it will contribute approximately $3.3 million from Environment Canada’s Great Lakes Sustainability Fund to clean up 12 of the 14 Areas of Concern, according to Canada Newswire.

To do your part on this special day, you don’t need millions of dollars from an Environment Canada fund. Here are some of our favourite water-saving tricks that can easily be put to work in your home and community:

Quick tips: 

- Instead of dumping a half empty (or full, depending on how you see it!) glass of water down the drain, use it to water your plants.
- Cut your shower time by a minute or two per day until you can get down to the five-minute shower. All it takes is a little planning.
- Now’s the time for good old fashioned car washes. Save up to 300 litres of water by filling a bucket up with water, instead of running the hose.
- I’m sure we’re all guilty of this one: don’t use the toilet as a garbage can and flush items that you could easily throw in the trash.

Want more water-saving tips, information and how to get involved in a water-saving/protection organization in your area? We have a map for that! 

Happy World Water Day!

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