Prevent Water Pollution

Water is a fundamental human need. Each person on Earth requires at least 20 to 50 liters of clean, safe water a day for drinking, cooking, and simply keeping themselves clean. Since water is obviously essential for hydration and for food production, water sanitation is equally important. A lack of proper sanitation services breeds disease and makes drinking water, a basic human right, non potable––clearly making its contamination and pollution a case of human injustice.

And our oceans are not a dump for all of our used plastics, hazardous waste, and toxic and unwanted municipal and industrial outputs. We need to protect them and the rich biodiversity they provide from these detrimental ramifications of human activity. We can do this by following the four R’s of sustainable use: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and you can help by implementing the following actions in your daily life.


  • Buy beverages in refillable glass containers
  • Use a reusable glass or metal water bottle
  • Store refrigerated food in reusable food containers
  • Use rechargeable batteries and recycle them when their useful life is over
  • When eating out, bring your own reusable container for leftovers
  • Carry groceries and other items in a reusable basket or cloth bag

Reducing Solid Waste (Especially Plastics)

  • Something to go by: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in that order
  • Ask yourself whether you really need what you’re buying and refuse packaging whenever possible
  • Rent, borrow, or barter goods and services when you can, buy secondhand, and donate or sell unused items
  • Buy things that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and be sure to reuse, recycle, and compost them
  • Buy products with little or no packaging and recycle any packaging as much as possible
  • Avoid disposables such as paper and plastic bags, plates, cups and utensils, disposable diapers, and disposable razors whenever reusable versions are available
  • Cook with whole, fresh foods, avoid heavily packaged processed foods, and buy products in bulk whenever possible
  • Discontinue junk mail as much as possible and real online newspapers and magazines and e-books

Hazardous Waste

  • Avoid using pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, or use them in the smallest amounts possible
  • Use less harmful substances instead of commercial household cleaners. For example, use vinegar to polish metals, clean surfaces, and remove stains and mildew, and baking soda to clean utensils and deodorize and remove stains
  • Do not dump pesticides, paints, solvents, oil, antifreeze, or other hazardous chemicals down the toilet, down the drain, into the ground, into the garbage, or down storm drains.

Free hazardous waste disposal services are available in many cities.

Reducing Water Pollution

  • Fertilize garden and yard plants with manure or compost instead of commercial inorganic fertilizer
  • Minimize use of pesticides, especially near bodies of water
  • Prevent yard wastes from entering storm drains
  • Do not use water fresheners in toilets
  • Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet
  • Do not pour pesticides, paints, solvents, oil, antifreeze, or other harmful chemicals down the drain or onto the ground