Ready to purge your piles, wash your windows or tackle the garden? Check out www.baywise.org for an easy how-to for your spring refresh.
The Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (BAPPG) is launching the Put the Clean Back into Spring Cleaning campaign to encourage residents to choose non-toxic cleaning and pesticide products, identify simple water-saving opportunities in their home and garden, and locate nearby drop-off sites for hazardous materials such as old paint, motor oil and unused medicine.
To get the word out, BAPPG is showcasing a virtual home on its Baywise.org website with easy-to-reference, room-by-room tips. The group is also utilizing online ads, e-newsletters, social networking sites and activities, plus advocating word-of-mouth home and garden tips between friends, neighbors and peers.
As Baywise.org illustrates, many of the disposal dilemmas we all face can be solved by environmentally friendly remedies. “Daily activities like cooking, gardening, tossing out old medicine, and even sprucing up your garage can take their toll on our families and communities if the right products or disposal practices aren’t used,” said BAPPG Chair Sharon Newton. “This year, we want families to be informed about environmentally friendly options, so we’ve provided a few tips that will help keep pollutants out of the Bay – and toxic cleaners out of the home.”
Every drop of water we flush, rinse or wash down toilets or indoor drains or allow into storm drains makes its way into San Francisco Bay either directly or via the sewer system. Wastewater travels from kitchens and bathrooms to treatment plants before being discharged to the Bay. But treatment processes cannot remove all the myriad chemicals found in toxic cleaning products, medication, paint and other consumer products that are all too often flushed down drains. Furthermore, in most Bay Area municipalities, storm water from garden runoff and car washing enters creeks and the Bay directly, without treatment.
Cleaning products help you tidy up your home and reduce germs, but they also pose health dangers if they contain chemicals that can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation, or damage to the immune system. Choosing cleaning products that are biodegradable, low in toxicity, low in volatile organic compounds – or even making your own home-made cleaners – can minimize harmful health impacts and help keep the Bay thriving.
“We have a vision for our San Francisco Bay-Delta regional communities that is clean, healthy, environmentally responsible and economically resilient,” said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We applaud BAPPG’s work to get the word out to residents that before they shop, scrub, mulch and discard this spring-cleaning season, they will know there are a variety of cost-effective, easy-to-use, and environmentally friendly product and disposal options that make everyday sense.”
Check Baywise.org for easy home and garden tips and drop-off locations near you.