The Great Lakes. The water we drink. The waves we surf. The fish we eat on Friday Night Fish Frys. Endless inspiration comes from these waters. The Great Lakes are also a critical resource and ecosystem, one that is constantly in jeopardy based on our actions.
5% of all site sales here on lakeeffectco.com benefit these waters and always have, because they are something we all must rally around if we want to enjoy them and the high quality of life. But even more powerful than giving 5% is for us to each make it our personal responsibility to step up and change the way we live. It doesn’t have to be hard, but even if it’s not easy, the water depends on our taking steps to support them, and here are five things you can start doing NOW:
Pick up trash by the beach & reduce your personal waste
We’ve all seen it; a bottle cap, a plastic scrap, cigarette butts (yuck!) by the water or IN the water. Next time you take your best friend (dogs included) for a trip along the lakeshore, we challenge you to pay it forward to your planet by picking up at least 10 pieces of trash along your way.
Avoid using harmful chemicals or pesticides on your lawn (and food!)
Fertilizer runoff is a serious environmental concern, especially with large farms but also your average home gardener. There a many ways the fertilizer can harm not only the water we use but also the fish and wildlife too! Knowing when and how to spray your lawn can help the Great Lakes stay healthy. Also, knowing where your food comes from is beneficial. Buying local decreases carbon emissions during transport and is less likely to be treated with chemicals.
Single Use Plastic (less washing, less waste)
This one is a no-brainer. Especially if you’re on the go a lot. I always make sure I have my canvas shopping bags in my trunk and a spare reusable water bottle/coffee tumbler in my car at all times, in case I forget to bring one with me as I rush out the door. Not only does reusing your cup reduce your single-use plastic cups, it can also save water washing dishes.
Shorter showers & turning off water while brushing your teeth
Speaking of saving water, I like a long hot shower as much as the next person, but reducing your time in the shower and reducing the water temp is another way to help the Great Lakes. Many people swear by the health benefits too, from using cooler water, from increased energy and metabolism to healthier skin and hair.
BONUS: your water bill will thank you.
Spreading awareness to others and supporting organizations at a local level
Doing your research and taking steps towards a less wasteful life will not only bring self-satisfaction but the lakes we swim, play and jump in will also be happier. There are many organizations out there doing INCREDIBLE things to preserve the lakes. One of them beingThe Surfrider Foundation - Milwaukee Chapter, which consists of everyday people protecting the waves and shores that are their playground in our backyard. You can make a donationhere or shop Lake Effect Co!5% of all site sales go to Surfrider Foundation - Milwaukee, which means we’re injecting funds into a highly impactful organization that all lake-lovers can feel good about.
“When people connect with the beauty and adventure they find in and on the water, they fall in love with the lake; once they love the lake, it's easy to ask them to help save it.” - Surfrider Foundation Milwaukee Chair Eric Gietzen
Additionally, an extra $5 from the sale of each HOME poem shirt by Mae Stier’s Letters to Lake Michigan will go to FLOW - For the Love of Water, an organization rooted in supporting the lakes.