Clean fresh water is vital to our lives and many of the plants and animals we depend on. Most people think water pollution comes directly from a factory or other known source, a type of pollution known as “point source pollution.” Because of laws passed in the 1970s, most of those sources of pollution have cleaned up their act. Today, the biggest source of pollution is us – you and me. This type of pollution is known as “nonpoint source pollution” because it can’t be traced to one single source; we can’t tell how much pollution is coming from where.
Types of nonpoint pollution that ultimately end up in our waterways include used oil poured into storm drains, soil washed from construction sites, grease from restaurants, paint brushes cleaned in the street, or fertilizer and pesticides washed off farm fields and city lawns. That’s why it is so important for all of us to clean up our act and learn how to prevent such pollution.
The Foundation’s “No-Know Game” can help you learn about bad pollution practices and how to prevent pollution. Consider these two examples from Your Garage:
“Henry dumps the oil he drains from his car onto the ground in the backyard, which drains into the Dirty Old River. The oil from 1 engine can produce an oil slick of 8 acres on the river! That’s a No-Know. Go back 2 squares.”
“Henrietta recycles the oil and antifreeze by placing them separately in clean plastic containers and taking them to the recycling center and local gas station. Put-’er-there, Pard!”
Once you play this game, you’ll never be able to say, “Oh no! I didn’t know,” again.