think that industrial dumps are the only cause of toxic pollution, think again.
Consumers don't realize that some common household products can become hazardous
waste when dumped down the drain or thrown into the trash. To avoid becoming a
mini- polluter, remember the three Rs--Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Packrats... get real. Too many trips to the home improvement center can turn your
basement into a chemical storage bin. If those cans of chartreuse semi-gloss are
still sitting around half-empty, it's time to liquidate your stockpile in the
environmentally-correct way--at your local household hazardous waste day. Many
localities sponsor free cleanup days once or twice a year at convenient drop-off
points. Get rid of old solvents, cleaners, and pesticides while you're at it.
Reduce: Buy just enough to complete the project. Avoid using the hard stuff--choose
water-based latex instead of oil-based paint. Latex comes in varieties designed
for all applications, and it cleans up in water so you won't have to use toxic
paint thinners or turpentine.
Reuse: Donate your unwanted paints to a local
church or community housing program.
It Just Keeps on Going, and Going....
Battery addicts burning energy in toys, appliances, or game systems are prime
candidates for waste reduction. Consider using rechargable batteries instead of
Reuse: Do-it-yourself, shadetree mechanics need to be conscious
of their disposal practices, too. Take used motor oil to the local quick-lube
shop or gas station that accepts this recyclable product.
Reduce: Don't fall
for the "more-is-better" misconception with regard to pesticides. Apply in the
amount specified on the label. Be sure to follow all label directions carefully
because they contain procedures for reducing health and environmental hazards.