As cottagers we all share a deep love of our peaceful lakes. There are many things that you can do as a cottager to protect our beloved waterways and wildlife!
Here are just a couple of quick tips:
One way you can help is by avoiding phosphates and synthetic chemicals in toiletries, soaps, detergents & lawn maintenance. Phosphates remain in wastewater and end up in our lakes, causing nutrient pollution which can lead to harmful algae blooms. Phosphates commonly get into our water through lawn fertilizers/pesticides. Products containing synthetic chemicals and antibacterial chemicals also harm our natural system.
What you can do: try switching conventional soaps for a natural castile soap, from synthetic, chemical-filled detergents for washing soda and plant-based options, and switching out antibacterial cleaners for simple vinegar and baking soda. You can swap synthetic beauty products for food grade, natural alternatives. This will not only make the lakes and environment healthier, but it will make your family healthier too!
A wonderful way to protect our lakes is to naturalize your shoreline. This is a beautiful project for anyone who loves gardening. There should be a natural buffer of plant life between the lake and your lawn and there are many advantages to naturalizing, including helping with natural flood protection. Dogwood and other native shrubs will help with soil erosion. Consider native milkweeds and Joe-pye weed, which help our butterflies and pollinators. Black eyed Susan, wild bergamot, and foxglove beardtongue are great options in the Kawartha Lakes as well. Blue Flag Iris do well right at the shore line. You can also maintain natural structure of the underwater environment. Bass need rock outcroppings and vegetation to hide in and forage in for example.
What you can do: Join a Native Plant Distribution Program!
To learn more about safe natural products for the cottage you can visit my blog to learn how to make my homemade cleaners or grab one of my safe product PDFs.
By: Ally Boothroyd
Yoga & Meditation Educator & Yoga Retreat Curator
Sarovara Yoga, Bobcaygeon, Ontario