RESEARCH, READ, AND SHOP SMART
Read the labels on all cleaning products. If it seems complicated or has a danger or warning sticker on it, avoid using this product. Many cleaning products do not contain a list of ingredients on the label. However, many manufacturers are voluntarily providing this information on the web, or by phone.
See http://www.cleaninginstitute.org, or if this seems too overwhelming, visit www.kabntr.org/green to see our favorite products that are readily available.
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO BE NON TOXIC
Work together with your family, friends and roommates... anybody! Sit down and talk to your parents about your concerns, offering them suggestions for phasing out toxins in your home. Not everyone will be able to adapt to change. Being patient, armed with the facts and making the changes small at first are important. Click here to get your own campaign poster outlining the facts and simple steps you can green your home.
VENTILATE YOUR HOME
Ventilate your home by keeping windows open when you can or buy a HEPA air-filter. Air-conditioning can circulate air-borne toxins. They can also make you more susceptible to colds, flu and other minor ailments. They also use a ton of energy that pollutes our environment. If you have to use one, make sure the filter is replaced as needed and use it sparingly. Ventilating also reduces the need for air fresheners that pump tons of chemicals into the air to disguise odors.
ORGANIC WHENEVER POSSIBLE
This is the easiest step. Choosing organic or natural choices over toxic is as simple as making it a priority in your mind. Start using organic laundry detergent and instead of air-fresheners use organic materials such as using a couple of drops of essential oils. There are many natural non chemicals ways to deal with ants, bugs instead of pesticides and personal bug repellant. That includes flea medicine and collars for your pets.
Choose organic when it comes to your family's clothing, bed sheets, towels and anywhere else you desire the touch and feel of cotton. Cotton accounts for 50% of the world's textile market, taking some of the harshest chemicals to grow conventionally. It takes 1/3 pound of agricultural chemicals to produce one cotton t-shirt, including herbicides that are linked to breast cancer. (Lauresn, S. E., Hansen, J., Knudsen, H. H., Wenzel, H., Larsen, H. F., & Kristensen, F. M. (2007). EDIPTEX: Environmental assessment of textiles. Danish Environmental Protection Agency, working report 24.)
LEARN WHERE TO RECYCLE IN YOUR AREA
It is a well-known fact that recycling is good for the environment, and whatever is good for the environment is good for us. However, did you know that proper recycling can also lower your risk for cancer? Metals can emit toxic chemicals. Fluids can seep into our ground water and soil. Batteries sitting in drawers can leak cadmium, a chemical that has been linked to the deterioration of the mammary tissue structure.
Properly store substances that contain hazardous materials, keep them safely out of reach of children, or dispose of them properly. Facilities and services continue to pop-up around the country to make it easy to safely dispose of hazardous waste as well as plastics, metals, glass, paper, and more. But before you ditch it, try to repurpose or fix what you're tossing out.
Check out this link for recycling centers and drop-off points in your neighborhood. http://earth911.com/
USE COMPANIES THAT CARE
You have the choice to spend your money where it matters. If you use a gardener or your housing complex does, find out what type of pesticides they may be using. Encourage the company to use safer non toxic products or seek out another local company that only use safe chemicals.
Avoid dry-cleaning, but if you choose to dry clean make sure to choose a facility that doesn't use a toxic process. You can also bring your own organic cotton/hemp/bamboo dry cleaning bag instead of taking that plastic wrapper that ends up in the landfill. Learn more about why Plastic Sucks at www.kabntr.org/plastic-sucks.
TAKE SMART SHOWERS
Get a showerhead filter. Many municipalities use chlorine to purify water for drinking and bathing. Chlorine is very dangerous to health and might be linked to breast cancer. It also causes fatigue, so your morning shower may not feel so refreshing after all.
IMAGINE GREENING YOUR LIFE
Start a Revolution in your school by greening your school or workplace! Change your school's food supply, switch to organic cleaning supplies or start a recycling or compost program. You have the power to drastically improve the health of students and co-workers.
Although California is on it with banning toxic pesticides in schools, there are many states that have yet to address this problem with a law or mandate. Although the EPA recommends that schools use integrated pest management (IPM), not all schools are on board.
Visit www.kabntr.org/school-revolution for tips on how to start a NTR Club in your school.
NON CHLORINE PRODUCTS ARE BEST
Clorox Regular bleach states: "DANGER: CORROSIVE. May cause severe irritation or damage to eyes and skin. Vapor or mist may irritate. Harmful if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children." Still need a reason not to use it? The sodium hypochlorite in bleach can bond with other chemicals to form cancer-causing organochlorines in the wastewater system.
Still need your whites white? Try a natural oxygen safe bleach such as Seventh Generations' Non-Chlorine Bleach-Free & Clear.
Still need more reason? Have you ever wondered why a swimmer's hair turns green? Chlorine is in our drinking water, swimming pools, Jacuzzis and more. We recommend that if you own your own pool, change the treatment process to a safer saline cleaning system. Drink filtered water and invest in a shower filter as well.