Tag Archives | reuse

Disposal Of Household Hazardous Waste & Medicine

An article in my local news inspired this article, as I felt such a strong reaction to what I was reading.  Talk about feeling the consequences of your actions!  A person decided to dump litres of latex paint into their storm drain which flowed into a local creek which happens to be a high volume fish-bearing waterway.  What caused me to gasp is my 4 year old was releasing coho fry into this very creek only weeks ago on his first preschool field trip.  Because of this action, about 44,000 fry and eggs narrowly escaped death,  because the quick acting creek’s president shut off the creek intake and switched to the back-up well water.  They won’t know if the thousands of fish will be affected, but it makes you stop and scratch your head.  Even if the storm drain isn’t marked, come on!

So I did some digging on the disposal of hazardous household waste… paints, antifreeze, antibiotics, etc.  The culprit in the above crime (latex paint) is one of the easiest types to dispose of, along with water based paint, as it’s less harmful to simply ‘dry up’ this paint.  If you buy cat litter or sawdust, fill up a paper bag with it, and then pour the remaining paint into the bag.  Wait for the paint to be absorbed and dispose of the bag with your household trash.

You cannot do this for oil-based paints as they post potential environmental and public health risks.  You need to contact your local hazardous materials resource centre for information on proper disposal.  OR you can give away or donate leftover paint to a local theater group or non-profit organization.  Or even more fun, you can also locate a user for your paint through freecycle.org, an online swap shop.  I’ve never heard of this website before, but it’s a nonprofit movement of people who are giving away stuff.  It’s all about reuse and keeping good things out of landfills.  I logged onto this site and found local communities with groups setup, close enough by to drive to and this is a worldwide site!  Very cool find.

Something that is piling up in my cupboard after a bad flu and strep throat season is old antibiotics.  You know that last little bit of medicine that never gets used up?  I’ve been collecting my bottles of old antibiotics in a safe place and when it’s worth the trip for me, I can bring it to my local pharmacy.  My pharmacist told me to take a marker and black out my personal information on the label, then bring them in and they’ll look after proper disposal of what would be a harmful substance to the environment. Continue Reading →

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What Will Your Eco Footprint Look Like?

Don’t get me wrong…until very recently, the shade of my eco footprint would be gray and the size of an NBA basketball player! I’m ashamed to admit that my previous lifestyle was nothing close to the color green. There wasn’t much conversation regarding the 3 r’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) when I was living alone in my 20s. I would ‘reuse’ my store bought water bottle at work (one bottle would last me months… think of the BPA chemicals leaching through that thing!), ‘reduce’ my food intake because I was always too busy to eat (I miss those skinny days)….oh, but wait! I did always ‘recycle’ my empty wine bottles (I’ll have to check the resin code of a wine bottle before I brag about this). But as I’m approaching my mid-30s, everything has changed!

Thinking about the kind of world and the lessons I want to teach my children is a big thing in my life. It’s so cliche to say, but once you have kids, you want everything to be better, including the environment and your lifestyle. That is the magic of children. You stop and realize that the world you leave them is very important and as a parent, it’s your responsibility to educate yourself and raise your kids with a ‘green’ mentality. So lookout Ray (the hubby)….ready or not I’m going to make you one of the colors of your native Italian flag….and it ain’t the red one!

Check out this quiz and see what your ecological footprint looks like! It humbles you to learn how many earth planets would need to exist to sustain your current lifestyle.

http://www.ecofoot.org/

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