Making the change to natural home products can seem like a daunting task. What is toxic? What is considered “safe” or even “green”? And how do you properly dispose of any hazardous materials you may have?
The below article features some safe & simple tips to make it happen:
Your Home and Finances
Create a non-toxic, safe home for your family and pets. Gather up all products in your house or garage that contain unsafe chemicals and drop off at your local hazardous waste facility. Switch to alternatives containing nontoxic and biodegradable ingredients (some products labeled ‘green’ aren’t really safe – look for green certification labels).
- Hazardous Waste: Dispose of the following products at a hazardous waste facility:
- Building Materials – paint , varnish, paint thinner, solvents, rust remover, wood preservatives and driveway sealer
- Automotive products – gasoline, transmission oil, brake fluid, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, power steering fluid, used motor oil, used oil filters, used antifreeze
- Household cleaners – spot removers, rug cleaners, metal cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaner, drain cleaner
- Pesticides – insect killers, weed killers, flea products, moth crystals, fertilizers with weed killer
- Miscellaneous – photographic chemicals, acids and corrosive chemicals, pool chemicals, compact fluorescent light bulbs (mercury), mercury thermometers, Ni-Cd batteries
- Home-Made Products: Suggested recipes for home-made cleaning products:
- Green Certified Products: Two eco-label programs that can help you find environmentally-friendly products are the GoodGuide and GREEN SEAL.
- Responsible Shopping: Whenever possible, shop at socially and environmentally responsible stores (ideally local businesses) (research tools for chains: better world shopper, responsible shopper, good guide)
- Dry Cleaning: If available, clean your “dry clean only” clothes at a dry cleaning facility that uses wet cleaning techniques. Or, safer yet, avoid purchasing clothes that require dry cleaning.
- Clothing: Whenever possible, buy clothing made from organic cotton and/or hemp. Locate a store that sells organic cotton products through the International Organic Cotton Directory.
- Soap Nuts: Check out environmentally-friendly soap nuts (Sapindus) to replace your laundry detergent. It can also be used as a general cleaning soap.
- PVC: Avoid purchasing plastic #3, PVC/vinyl. Information: PVC Alternatives Database and waste crisis from disposal of PVC.
- Plants: Learn about the top plants for removing toxins from the air in your home in the article: Using Plants to Clean Indoor Air Pollutants.
Eco tip information found on: http://globalstewards.org/ecotips.htm#garden