Monday, July 6, 2009

Camp Soap

For those who don't know, and I meet more and more people who don't, biodegradable soap or "camp soap" only biodegrades on land. If you've always lathered up then jumped in the lake thinking it's okay because it's camp soap, think again. Camp soap will disrupt the plants and fish in the lake - even in a running river. Camp soap should be used at least 200' from a water source.

I think nothing is more important right now than keeping our water clean. Some say, if you wouldn't drink it, don't put it in a lake, river, or down the storm drains. But really, don't add anything to a water source but water.

I'm still debating how best to talk to people about things like this. At my cabin, some of the residents there still think it's okay to use camp soap in the lake - and it's a very small lake. How do we speak up without shutting people down. I tend to say nothing, then kick myself later. Just the other day a friend tossed a cigarette butt in a storm drain. I was aghast, but when's a good time to get on an environmental soapbox (200' from the lake) without putting people off?

And I get into arguments sometimes about storm drains. People object that all the stuff dripping off cars when it rains, and all the stuff that leaks from cars otherwise, it all goes into storm drains, so what's the big deal about a gum wrapper? That's right that car pollutants often end up in the storm drains, and it's unfortunate because the storm drains all lead to lakes and rivers. So why on earth would we want to add to that travesty by dumping extra concrete on the street, or washing a car on the driveway (instead of on the lawn or at a car-wash), or tossing butts directly into the drains??

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