Few people are aware that washing cars on the driveway and using chemical detergents can have profound impact on our waterways and wildlife. Many of the ingredients in standard car washing detergents and solvents can be toxic to aquatic animal and plant life, not to mention your own health, and can promote algal and weed growth. It also reduces the diversity of life in the waterways.
Not only are car washing chemicals running down the driveway causing havoc, but also the dirt and grime removed from vehicle surfaces containing pollutants such as oil, grease, heavy metals (eg. lead, cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc), rubber and sediment.
Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, the water that runs off from your car goes directly into storm drains -- and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands.
HOW TO WASH YOUR CAR WITHOUT HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT
- Wash your vehicle on the lawn if possible so that the grass gets a watering at the same time and the run off doesn’t go straight to storm water drains
- Use a bucket and not a hose – with Ha-Ra you only need 1/2 bucket of water for a standard car! This prevents water running down the driveway as it is all held in the glove and bucket.
- Use Ha-Ra fibres so that no chemicals are required. You can also wash your gloves and cloths in the washing machine so that most of the dirt and grime goes through the proper sewage treatment systems before entering the environment.
Sources and Resources on water saving tips and car washing statistics: