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    Stewardship Tips: Spilled Anti-Freeze

    By Anna | July 21, 2014

    antifreeze

     

    Sometimes, Stewardship Tips write themselves. I don’t know if that is a good thing.

    I stopped on Saturday at the local convenience store to fill up the truck and pick up a few things. There it was.

    A pool of automotive anti-freeze, eerily luminescent, sat, stagnant, in the curb leading up to the store’s entrance.

    I hold no illusions about life. It does not always go as planned. We all have accidents. Spills will always take place. Liquids, whether toxic or benign, will always find their level. When liquids are spilled on concrete or asphalt, they will seep through the cracks and into the soil or, worse yet, will make their way to the storm sewer and into the local stream, river, or lake.

    A single spill, such as the one I saw at the convenience store, may not have any affect whatsoever. The converse argument could be true as well. That pool of anti-freeze could seep into the local waterway and kill the fish that would spawn the trophy I might catch in five years.

    Anti-freeze is made of ethylene glycol, a known toxin. Fortunately, a less toxic alternative, made of propylene glycol, is available. Propylene glycol is as effective as ethylene glycol in preventing freezing and overheating of your car’s engine. It is, in contrast, one-third as hazardous.

    When changing any fluids in your car or truck, be prepared for spills. When you buy anti-freeze, make sure to purchase a spill clean up kit. If you plan ahead and contain all of the spent anti-freeze, you will have the clean up kit on hand for the next time you change your anti-freeze. Remember, every spill that you contain helps to keep toxins out of our waterways and off of our fish.

     

    (photo by http://www.austintexas.gov/content/1361/FAQ/2546)

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