Knowing about environmental issues and doing something are two different things.We may not all have time to go out into a boat in the ocean and save a whale, but we do have time to email our representatives and tell them what we think and want. I am a firm believer in the idea that if you are not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem. I also believe that you are responsible for what you know. There is no doubt about it, we all know the environment is ruined.
So I offer you this easy option to help. This organization will keep you alerted to what is happening in the government and give you an easy email to make your concerns known.You simply pick the issues you feel are right and email it. I think that is pretty cool considering how Congress gets by with passing things without us ever knowing anything about it!
Even if this organization is not right for you, I implore you to think about the future and what we are offering the children of tomorrow. From where I am standing, it does not look good.
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Yes, Spring is on the way and we can do a lot to help the planet by the choices we make every day. I will be one of the first to admit I am a bleach user. I love the thought of killing germs. However, this is not a good thing and it is really bad for the environment. Good news is there are healthy practical alternatives!
Please check out the following web site for some really great ideas !
"Cleaning one's home and property is not generally considered hazardous duty. (Sure, there’s that overflowing closet you are afraid to open, but beyond that...) Unfortunately, many common cleaning products are hazardous—to your health if you ingest or touch them, to the environment when flushed down the drain or otherwise disposed of. They can even foul the air in your home. According to the EPA, fumes from household cleansers, paints, varnishes, etc. in the typical home make the indoor air 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. Not exactly the breath of fresh air you want to associate with spring.
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways for you to do your spring cleaning and we've got all the tips and tricks you'll need. We've got a list of alternative cleaners out there and even ways to make your own. We'll also tell you where you can recycle all the stuff in that overflowing closet and why it's important. Finally, we've got some ideas on how to clean out that messy old yard. We can't stop spring cleaning from being a chore but we can help you make it healthier for you and the environment.
Is There Such a Thing as TOO Clean?
Cleaning product ads try to convince us that if you use the latest new and powerful formula, your sparkling toilet bowl will become the pride of the neighborhood. Food dropped on your immaculate kitchen tiles will never again by subject to the tyranny of the “three second rule.” Just shoo the dog away and eat it right off the floor at your leisure! We are told to be ruthless in the war with germs, to eradicate all bacteria and bleach everything. After all, sterile is safe, right?
Well, maybe not. Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem—especially when you are dealing with harsh chemicals. Chlorine, one of the most common sterilizing agents is also one of the most toxic. Known for making whites white and sinks germ-free, chlorine is a dangerous toxin. Chlorine that has been flushed into the water supply has been associated with health problems such as hormonal disruption, infertility and lowered sperm counts, immune system suppression, learning disabilities, behavioral changes and damage to the skin, liver and kidneys. And because chlorine compounds can build up in human and animal body fat over time, someone can carry the toxin in his or her body for a long time before he or she accumulates enough to experience adverse symptoms.
Even relatively benign substances can become a problem when overused. Anti-bacterial soaps, detergents and lotions are a prime example. In small amounts they aren’t considered particularly toxic, but too much of them can be a bad thing. The trouble with anti-bacterial agents is that they are a little too effective—killing the good with the bad. There are actually around 200 million beneficial bacteria on our hands alone that help us stay healthy, and anti-bacterials eliminate these away as well.
Recent studies show that a little exposure to germs now and then can actually prepare you to ward off more serious exposures in the long run. This is especially true for children, whose systems are still developing immunities. "If we over-clean and sterilize, children's immune systems will not mature," says Dr. Stuart Levy, director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistence at the Tufts University School of Medicine. He asserts that recent studies have identified an increase in asthma and allergies in homes that are overly clean.
Worse, overzealous use of anti-bacterial agents can actually strengthen the competition, in effect “culling the herd” of the weaker strains of bacteria and giving more resistant strains a chance to multiply with greater ferocity. Triclosan, a popular ingredient in many antibacterial cleansers, is an antibiotic against which bad bacteria can eventually mutate to become resistant. “Triclosan itself doesn’t cause a mutation, but by killing normal bacteria, it creates an environment where the resistant, mutated bacteria are more likely to survive,” urges Dr. Levy. "And when antibiotic resistant bacteria proliferate, it eventually becomes more difficult to treat infections in humans, as well as in plants and animals."
When these antibacterial agents are washed into our water supply, they often evade sewage treatment screens, once again increasing the likelihood that milder forms of bacteria will be killed and replaced by more resistant strains. Scientists from the United States Geological Survey who sampled 139 rivers and streams last summer found hundreds of antibacterial agents lurking in the nation's water supply. These agents also end up back in people's drinking water, a small but undesirable dose of antibiotics.
An Informed Consumer is a Safer Consumer
Unfortunately, avoiding chemicals you don't want isn't as easy as picking up a bottle and reading the label. Cleaning product companies are not required to list all the ingredients in their products. Yet, thanks to consumer demand for safer cleaning alternatives, some manufacturers have begun to provide cleaning products that clearly list all ingredients. Read the list carefully, though. Don't be misled by products that claim they are "environmentally friendly" or "organic". No established system of standards is yet in place to validate these claims. Your best approach is simply to know what chemicals to avoid and to know what's in the product.
And don't forget that regular soap and hot water remain a reliable all-purpose cleaner. They remove the dirt and grease that attract bad bacteria without turning your home into a hospital.
Get better cleaning products Make your own cleaning solutions Learn about the health and environmental effects of cleaning products Recycle your old stuff Outdoor Cleaning"