Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another "green" activity for Black Friday

Yesterday, I wrote a post called Turn Black Friday Green, which suggested that purchasing locally grown Christmas trees is a great activity for Black Friday.

Another popular activity that is often carried out on Black Friday is hanging up holiday lights and decorations. Perhaps it is just an excuse to escape the hectic after Thanksgiving shopping, but many men will be pulling out the ladders and untangling strings of lights to adorn their homes for the season.

This is a perfect time for another "green" outdoor activity - cleaning the rain gutters.

Why is keeping rain gutters clean important to the environment? Because it helps to prevent non-point source pollution, one of the country's leading causes of water pollution.

During a rainstorm, gutters route runoff from a very large surface—a home’s roof—to where it can drain away from the house. Raingutters and downspouts allow us to direct that rain runoff where we want it -- to rain barrels, gardens, or permeable surfaces that allow the water to soak into and remain on our property. If we don't keep our gutters clean, water can overflow into the street, adding to polluted waterways and even flooding.

If you are going to have the ladder out for the "hanging of the lights", why not take the opportunity to clean your gutters.

1) When cleaning out your gutters, wear heavy gloves to protect your hands since gutters often have sharp metal edges or screws.

2) If you have rain barrels, you may want to disconnect them from the downspouts before you begin cleaning.

3) Choose a sturdy ladder, and place it on a firm, level base.

4) Scoop out loose debris using a small garden trowel or your gloved hands.

5) After removing all of the loose debris from the gutters, use a hose to wash the remaining debris and any clogs through the downspouts.

Extra green hint! Leaves that are removed from your gutters can be added to your compost!

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