Three Kinds of Garbage in Our Water

The kind that floats: The stuff you can see.

  1. Plastic containers:
    1. Can be reused as water bottles.
    2. Water filled bumpers
  2. Styrofoam:
    1. Avoid buying it in any form when possible.
    2. Styrofoam in some parts of the world is being recycled for use in road beds.
    3. When buying products that contain Styrofoam as protective packaging you can remove it and the other packaging in the store and have the staff recycle it.
    4. Some shipping companies will accept foam for reuse in packaging.
  3. Garbage bags: If possible use biodegradable garbage bags for use in landfills. Their decomposing bags will allow for the items inside to be exposed to the elements and decompose themselves.
  4. Fishing nets:
    1. Use them for as long as possible.
    2. Use them for repairing other nets.
    3. In your garden for helping vines, tomato plants, etc to grow.

The kind that sinks: The stuff you can’t see.

  1. Tin cans, metal drums, barrels, any scrap, and discarded metal:
    1. Recycle all metal. You can sell it for a profit. Use cleaned out drums for planters, fire pits, or garbage cans.
    2. Turn them into outdoor furniture.
  2. Glass:
    1. Most glass bottles are refundable.
    2. Use jars as planters, a place to put nails, screws, or as drinking mugs.

The kind that mixes in with the water: The stuff you can’t see most of the time.

  1. Oil:
    1. Always change your oil on-shore to avoid water contamination.
    2. Clean up all spills quickly.
    3. Recycle all of your old oil.
  2. Chemicals, Detergents:
    1. Do your best to never use them.
    2. If you have to use these substances, do it sparingly, and always on land.
    3. Clean up all spills quickly.
  3. Sewage:
    1. Treat and process all sewage properly.
    2. Dispose of it only in the proper receptacles.
  4. Various Toxins and Carcinogens:
    1. Don’t use them at all.
    2. Follow the above rules with extra caution if you are around or come in contact with these substances.

All of these waste products disrupt the ecosystem in ways that are never good.


In order to protect that Ecosystem lets have:

  1. No littering, make sure your garbage arrives home with you.
  2. Or dispose of it (the garbage) in the proper receptacles at your moorage.
  3. If it somehow gets into the water, retrieve it with a fishing net, an oar.
  4. Always reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Compost all biological waste at home or in your local community gardens or public compost sites.


A question about biodegradable littering.. I heard this recently,

“I call myself a biodegradable litterer. That means I throw apple cores out my window when I drive up the Coquihalla. Is this bad? Why? I thought I was feeding birds.”


There are many ways you can look at this situation.

  1. Yes you are feeding the birds, also any other organism that lives by the side of the road.
  2. The other side of it is you are putting smaller animals in the food chain onto the menu for the larger predators that will attack the smaller creatures as they dine on your discarded apple core.
  3. Either way these creatures are in the food chain regardless of what happens by the side of the road.
  4. If it isn’t you dropping food it is someone else.
  5. If one particular organism doesn’t feed on the apple core another will.
  6. The apple could easily drop from a tree in an orchard and cause the same situation to occur.
  7. In a case like this it is us or Mother Nature, there is no real right or wrong.