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This week marked three independent yet intertwined events: National Pollution Prevention Week, International Coastal Cleanup Day, and World Cleanup Day. For those of us who are unfamiliar with these events, exploring how we can incorporate them and their missions in our homes and classrooms to draw attention to the issues surrounding pollution that affect not only ourselves but future generations is an easy way to teach our kids about their responsibility for keeping our planet healthy.
National Pollution Prevention Week, celebrated from September 19–25 this year, encourages us all to work to eradicate the effects of pollution by doing our part to prevent its accumulation. National Pollution Prevention Week encourages engaging in any activity that “reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal,” according to the EPA website.
The EPA website is also a great resource for simple ways you can contribute to pollution reduction and prevention, both at home and at work. Whether you’d like to find safer products for your family and your community, reduce the amount of garbage you generate, make your home more sustainable, or prevent pollution through maintenance of your vehicle, these websites offer concrete approaches toward pollution reduction and prevention.
International Coastal Cleanup Day was commemorated last Sunday, September 17; the goal of Coastal Cleanup Day is to draw attention to the ways in which we can help clean up and enhance the health of our waterways on a daily basis.
The International Coastal Cleanup Day first began as a simple partnership with the Ocean Conservancy and has since developed to include volunteers from states and territories throughout the United States and more than 150 countries each year who participate in a cleanup event near them. Click here to discover how to coordinate a cleanup in the waterways nearest to you or to find cleanups already being planned!
Finally, World Cleanup Day, also recognized this year on September 17, unites millions of volunteers to tackle the global waste problem (including that of the world’s waterways) and develop a more sustainable lifestyle for us and our future generations.
The United States’ own National Cleanup Day coincides with its international counterpart. Their website offers the following steps toward cleaner cities, trails, mountains, beaches, lakes, neighborhoods, and rivers:
Purchase circular products, which are better designed for durability for more than one use
Use less packaging
Purchase and use products and packaging that biodegrade naturally
Pick up litter when you see it
Join an organized cleanup event
Act and think globally
Check out our blog post on Earth Day, which offers even more reasons to support our planet by getting connected locally to your community. And if you’re one of those concerned inhabitants of Earth lacking formal scientific training wanting to support the efforts of those directly working to stymie and reverse climate change, check out our post on citizen science, which is research conducted by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. Or read more about the importance of conserving our oceans in our post on World Oceans Day. Through increased awareness, education, and opportunities to help, we can take the actions needed to address and reverse the damage we’re currently doing.
And get your cleanup efforts started with these hBARSCI products:
This Innovating Science Oil Spill Cleanup Kit has students—or your kids at home!—compare biological and physical methods of oil spill cleanup. This hands-on learning kit includes an oil degrading microbe blend, simulated crude oil, nutrient solution, hydrocarbon encapsulating powder, plastic vials and cups, and cotton balls and is suitable for ages 13 and older with adult supervision.
This Coliform Test Powder Kit from Innovating Science allows your to test water samples using coliform testing powder. Just add 3mL of your water sample to our pre-filled tube, wait 24 hours, and observe through color change if there are coliforms detected in your sample—results are qualitative and colorimetric. And disposing is easy! Just add a splash of household bleach to the tube, shake for about 30 seconds, and pour down the sink or toilet.