Cars and trucks create many environmental impacts- not only to air quality, but also to water quality. They often leak oil, antifreeze, or other fluids, while vehicle brake pads leave harmful copper dust on the pavement. When it rains, these toxins get washed into storm drains, then flow right into our waterways without being treated. Stormwater runoff containing just a pint of oil can create a slick larger than a football field! Consequently, vehicle use contributes a heavy load of pollutants to our streams and rivers, not to mention to the poor fish. Utilizing public transportation or sharing a ride to work are viable ways to help reduce this dirty road runoff, with the added benefit of also reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in our valley!
Here’s what you can do to be Stream Smart about your vehicle:
Aspire to drive just a little bit less. Consider carpooling, public transportation, biking, or telecommuting. Plan your trips so that you can accomplish all your errands in one efficient trip, rather than several different trips.
Deal with dirty oil
Minimize your car’s impact with regular maintenance; check for fluid leaks often, and recycle or dispose of waste oil properly. If you change your own oil store it in gallon jugs and place at the curb with your other recycling. If you don’t have curbside collection, just take it to Rogue Disposal or Ashland Recology to be recycled.
Maintain your vehicle
If your vehicle has leaks, do not wash them off your driveway and into the storm drain where they’ll end up in a stream. Antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid and pretty much any fluid used by cars & trucks should never end up in a waterway! Use an absorbent material, such as kitty litter, and dispose of it in your household garbage. Better yet, instead of putting off getting your vehicle fixed, take it into an eco-biz certified mechanic, who will finally fix those nasty leaks and properly dispose of all that harmful waste.
Be Stream Smart when you wash your vehicle
When you wash your vehicle soap, oils, and copper brake dust could be washed off your vehicle and into a storm drain that will flow directly to a creek. Visit our Wash your vehicle Stream Smart page to find many ways to keep your vehicle sparkling while being Stream Smart!
“Eco Biz” certified auto shops in Southern Oregon – Find an EcoBiz – Automotive
Recycling motor oil in Ashland – Recology Ashland Sanitary Service
Jackson County directory to Recycle, Reuse, Repair anything – Jackson County SmartWorks ReDirectory
Rogue Disposal – Commingle Recycling Services
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