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Monthly Tip: December

Giving gifts that give back

December is a busy month for many people, and these days, a lot of that busy-ness centers on gift-giving. Towns across Rhode Island are working hard to reduce the effects of polluted stormwater runoff. So we thought this might be an appropriate time to provide a list of unusual but thoughtful gifts that can benefit us all.

For the person who likes to garden, or for a new home owner, why not give them a rain barrel? Diverting rooftop runoff to a rain barrel not only reduces the amount of water that flows to the street, but it also can be used for irrigation. It’s estimated that a rain barrel can save 1,300 gallons of water during the summer season.

For the car enthusiast, try a gift certificate for an oil change at a local garage, or a nice clean and wax at the local car wash, one that recycles its dirty water. Keeping oil and soapy water out of storm drains benefits us all.

For the dog lover, a gift of a portable bag dispenser (such as Bags on Board®) that attaches to a dog’s leash will ensure that Fido’s waste is kept off the sidewalks and out of local waters. That’s something we all can enjoy.

And for any children who enjoy feeding local waterfowl, buy them a disposable camera for those trips to the pond instead of edibles. Feeding geese and ducks causes them to concentrate in higher numbers than they would if they had to rely solely on natural food supplies, and results in large quantities of their waste polluting those local waters.