This Saturday, Sept. 26, earth lovers and beer lovers (and those who are both) will pair up to work on areas near and around the Chicago River. MillerCoors will send volunteers to partner with Friends of the Chicago River to plant gardens, test water quality and remove invasive plants from around the river.

This is part of the first annual Water Stewardship Month sponsored by MillerCoors. The beer giant has been working with waterway nonprofit organizations near their brewery locations and corporate facilities during the month of September. Over the past few weekends, MillerCoors workers have volunteered in nine different states and prepared walking paths, cleaned debris and trash, collected trash and recyclables from beaches, helped restore wetlands and much more.

Like the idea of water stewardship? You don’t have to be a MillerCoors employee to help take care of our nation’s waterways. Did you know that some of the things you do around your own home that may be miles away from a waterway can affect rivers, lakes, streams and oceans?

Here are a few tips to minimize your impact:

  • Don’t use chemical pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn or garden. Those chemicals seep into the groundwater and eventually make their way into our waterways. Planting plants that are native to your region will help reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Don’t dump used motor oil or cleaning fluids on the ground. It, too, will eventually make its ways into our waterways.
  • Don’t sweep yard debris into the street where it can wash into storm sewers. Bag it (in compostable bags) for your town to take away or compost it yourself.
  • Conserve water in your home. Take shorter showers, don’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth, and don’t over water lawns and gardens.
  • Instead of washing your car in your driveway and allowing the chemicals in the cleaning products to seep into the ground, take it to a carwash that recycles its water and disposes of cleaning products properly.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Cleaning up our waterways
MillerCoors is partnering with non-profits to help clean up waterways. What can you do to help?