What does your spring cleaning have to do with Canada’s water? Plenty. The heavy duty cleaners you use to make your bathroom sparkle find their way into our waterways. What will you pledge to do to save Canada’s lakes, rivers and oceans?
Sure chemical cleaners take the work out of cleaning the oven, but many degreasers and disinfectants are wreaking havoc on aquatic organisms. Not only do they pollute aquatic habitats – studies have found 70 per cent of American streams contain traces of the surfactants that make chemical cleaners suds up - but they also toy with the hormones in fish. So roll up your sleeves and clean soap scum in your shower with some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease.
Not only does bacteria boost your immune system, but some bacteria can actually benefit the environment. Antibacterial ingredients, such as triclosan, have been found in 58 per cent of our steams. Mix your own cleaning potion with one part vinegar to one part water. Can’t stand your home smelling like vinegar? A few of drops of lavender or rosehip essential oil should mask the scent!
Your thick head of hair might be great for styling, but it’s awfully gross when it plugs up the drain in the bathtub. Still - there’s no need to rely on industrial lye and acids to unclog your shower drain of hair and debris. A simple plunger or plumber’s snake will do the trick.
Get your dishes squeaky clean with dishwashing detergents that are chemical free. Although most laundry detergents and dish soaps no longer contain harmful phosphates in their list of ingredients, some detergents still contain the ecosystem disturbing chemicals. Once phosphates get into lakes and streams, they can spark a boom in algae and weed growth.
Did you know Canadians use 3.4 billion rolls of toilet paper every year? It’s true! The average person uses 100 rolls of toilet paper annually. So how can we make a difference? Swap your virgin bleached variety for recycled. If we all switched out just one roll, we’d be able to save 48,000 trees and nix 4,500 kilograms of air and water pollution that goes into creating it.
Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine. Using less water really means treating less water.
You don’t need chlorine or bleach to keep your thrown sparkling! Just pour half a cup of vinegar into your toilet, let it work its magic for 30 minutes, and sprinkle a bit of baking soda on a toilet brush to work on tougher stains. Flush, and voila!
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So you’re ready to take the Water Challenge! Great!