Household Hazards Hurt Wildlife
The average Canadian household uses from 20 to 40 litres of hazardous products every year. If they are poured down drains or put out for garbage pickup, they poison surface and ground water. Burn or bury them, and they foul the air, earth, or water.
Did you know that one drop of oil can make up to 25 litres of water unfit for drinking—and one gram of 2,4-D (a common household herbicide) can contaminate ten million litres of drinking water?
Think Wildlife When You Clean
We also spoil water for wildlife with our zest for clean bodies, homes, offices, and schools. The average Canadian home uses about 45 aerosol sprays, plus 24 cleansers, solvents, spot removers, deodorants, and polishes.
Once they've passed through our kitchens and bathrooms, our sewer systems or garbage dumps, these chemicals disrupt our waterways and wildlife. Then they find their way, all too quickly, back into our kitchen taps. Most homes can be kept spic and span using just four ingredients: baking soda, borax, soap, and vinegar—oh yes, and elbow grease! Why not make life a little easier for a turtle or a teal by trying out some safe cleaning recipes?
Explain to your family what a difference it will make for wildlife. Ask for a test period, when all cleaning chores are done using "wildlife-friendly" alternatives. Don't forget to offer your muscle power for those cleaning chores.
Here's a recipe for an all-purpose cleaner that will work well on most surfaces, such as bathroom fixtures, floors, tiles, and painted walls.
*There are many books and guides now available with non-polluting recipes for almost every cleaning chore you can think of. Why not check some of them out? If each family agrees to use only one safe alternative for one small chore, it will all add up for wildlife.
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