Personal action can help stop eutrophication of the Baltic Sea

You can have an impact on the state of the Baltic Sea by modifying and being aware of your daily choices and consumption patterns. Here are some practical tips for environmentally friendly behaviour.

Consumption

  • Use biodegradable and non-phosphate detergents.
  • Never dump waste water directly into rivers, lakes or the sea.

Food

  • Where possible, eat food produced locally. Shorter transportation distances mean less air-borne nitrogen emissions which contribute to eutrophication.
  • Reduce your consumption of meat.  Meat production produces large amounts of manure, a primary source of nutrients that cause eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Large amounts of animal products can also raise nitrogen levels in human urine, which puts a strain on the Baltic Sea even after purification.

Waste

  • Minimise the amount of waste you create and compost all organic material.
  • Don’t dump waste water or rubbish into lakes, rivers or the sea.
  • Don’t release waste water from your boat into the sea, empty your boat’s septic tank into the waste water treatment systems in harbours.

Dishwashing

  • Don’t release dishwater directly to the water system. Instead, allow the soil to absorb it. If you have running water in your summer house, make sure the waste water treatment system is of the best available technology.
  • Use phosphate-free detergents.

Waste water discharge outside municipal wastewater treatment systems

  • Install effective waste water treatment systems in your summer house. As summer houses are increasingly evolving from ascetic cottages into round-year leisure residences, water treatment must be carefully considered.
  • Replace modern lavatories at your summer house with composting ones. This saves water and energy and more effectively reduces nutrients.

Outside recreation

  • Avoid excess cruising on motor boats and jet skis to reduce pollution, noise and emissions of nitrous oxides.
  • Don’t make bonfires close to the water where the nutritious ash can get to the water and eutrophicate it.
  • Eliminate the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides in your garden as they can end up in water systems.

Managing the shore

  • Don’t alter the coast line at your summer cottage. Natural coast lines prevent nutrients from leaking into the water.
  • Avoid dredging as it may release nutrients and toxics stored in the sediment and foster eutrophication.
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