Green tip of the week: Where do your chemicals go?

My city has reopened their Hazardous Waste station, and we can now drop off items like batteries, used cooking oil, paint, medications and other items, keeping them out of our waterways (where they can harm wildlife and also people) and our landfills (where they can leach and cause similar harm). I like to gather items for my elderly neighbors and help them out by dropping off these items for them. While I’m there, I check out the Reuse Zone, where items are left for reusing – if we need paint or chemicals for a project, we can borrow it instead of buying more than we need.

If you’re throwing away hazardous chemicals, it’s worth taking a look at what you are tossing. As you go through the items you are throwing away, take a look – why did you purchase it? Do you think you might need or want it again in the future? What alternatives could you use – perhaps a Green seal certified product instead, or VOC-free paint? Can you use less of the item, like buying medicines in smaller quantities before they expire, buy rechargeable batteries, or use less oil for frying? Or can you forgo them altogether, like baking instead of frying, not using pesticides, and avoiding harsh cleaners by making your own?

In the future, you can try to buy just what you need, and use them fully so they don’t need to be disposed of with difficulty.

What are some switches you can make in your household waste?

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