Activities in our homes can contribute to water pollution. Cleaning products, paint, medicine, and trash can make their way downstream to our lakes and streams if we aren’t careful in how we use and dispose of these products. There are small changes that you can make to help:
Never dispose of cleaning products in the sink drain or storm drain! For disposal, look for household hazardous waste drop-off locations in your area. Try non-toxic, non-hazardous cleaning products or alternative cleaning supplies that you can make from simple household items like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. Many alternative cleaning product recipes use supplies already in your kitchen closet.
Never clean paint brushes in an area where paint can flow into the street, storm drain or stream. For unused paint, try donating it to a home reuse center. Dry any empty paint cans before disposal in the trash.
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products
In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has found pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) such as medicines, shampoos, cosmetics, sunscreen and vitamins in treated wastewater, streams and lakes. At this time, further studies and solutions to address this issue are in the early phases. To dispose of unused PPCPs, follow the product label. Alternatively, deposit at a household hazardous waste collection or place in a dry plastic bag and into the garbage.
Garbage Disposal and Recycling
Recycling conserves landfill space, natural resources and energy. Take the time to understand what products your local recycling center or pick-up program will take. Your participation in recycling today will help support an event greater market for recycled products tomorrow.
If possible, reuse or donate home items that you are removing. Keep all construction debris away from gutters and storm drains.