It all starts at home! When you buy products for your home consider their use? Are you an "Enviro-Shopper"? Can you buy an alternative? Use water-based or latex adhesives. Buy rechargeable batteries and mercury free batteries when possible. Choose soap or detergent based cleaners avoid non-water-soluble and corrosive cleaners when others are just as effective .
Look for ways to reduce your use of household pesticides through appropriate cleaning, sealing of cracks and crevices along with maintenance. Use a detergent or water based floor & wood strippers. For paint strippers try a scraper, heat gun or sand paper for small jobs. Use water based sealers and coatings for wood preservation. Check the label on various cleaning products or any product you use around the home and garden do they have labels that state" Warning" "Danger" " Vapor Harmful" "Poison" They may have ingredients that could cause environmental damage as well as health problems if used, stored or disposed of improperly. Buy only what you can use and use what you buy! Clean out containers thoroughly and triple rinse to insure nothing is left in them when they are recycled. Also when rinsing detergent containers, rinse it into your machine instead of down the drain. When purchasing items that you know you will be using a lot of, such as Laundry detergent, buy it in bigger packages to save on packaging material. One big container uses less material to make than a lot of small containers! Over half of the land fill space is used up by Paper/Paperboard and yard waste! Easily recycled items. Do you buy items that can be easily recycled and are they made from recycled raw materials? Check the labels to see. Preventing and minimizing waste starts with you! Buy only what you need and avoid accumulating unused products. Select products based on their durability, ease of repair, and potential for reuse. Only purchase containers and packaging that can be recycled locally. Also select packaging that minimizes waste.
Reuse items, used furniture and cloths can be shared with family and friends or given to a Goodwill or food, clothing pantry. Paint, building materials, plastic buckets and other items can be used by neighbors or sold at yard sales, Reusing an item is a great way to save natural resources especially if recycling is not available in your area.
Kitchen and garden waste can be composted for an excellent garden or yard soil-conditioner. Do you throw away food scraps, coffee grounds, fruit peelings, salads etc… these can all be easily composted. Keep a small colorful container on your counter to throw kitchen waste so you remember to not throw it in the trash.
Are you like many home owners that have their yards sprayed with herbicides and fertilizers? Water runoff from your yard & garden can carry large amounts of pollutants to streams, wetlands, lakes & oceans. Try to reduce the amount used (ask your yard specialist what they are spraying and find out if there is a better alternative) or reduce the amount of times sprayed. Check around your yard and driveway for other sources of stormwater pollution, oil stains on your driveway and outdoor spills of anti-freeze, brake fluid, and other automotive fluids are easily carried away by a rainstorm. Never dump used motor oil, anti-freeze or gasoline down a storm drain or in a ditch were it can easily be carried away to pollute drinking water. When washing your car try to do it on the lawn instead of a paved surface were water can carry soap and other pollutants directly to storm drains, better yet, take it to a commercial car wash where the water is sent to a wastewater treatment plant. When using de-icing products (Road salt) in the winter, consider using less toxic alternatives such as sand or kitty litter. Also try scraping or shoveling being careful not to chip sidewalks & pavement surfaces.
Small changes in your daily habits can make a big difference in helping the environment and preserving resources for future generations! Become an enviro-shopper in your community and share these ideas with others to "Help save the Planet!"
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