By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | January 13, 2011
Welcome to Tiny Choices Q&A, where we open the floor for discussion on questions which y’all have submitted. Reader Alyssa submitted the following question– please read on, and submit your thoughts in the comments, below:
What is the best way to deal with chemical-infested cleaning supplies and beauty products? I’ve been trying to use all-natural solutions and they work great but now I don’t know what to do with all the Clorox and chemicals I have now. Is it better to use them up and then safely dispose? Or to donate? Because then we deal with the issue of “too toxic for me but not for somebody else”? Or is it safe and environmentally sound to just relegate it to community hazardous waste disposal? Some sites say you should get rid of them immediately and I don’t really want to continue using toxic products. How is hazardous waste managed and is it actually worse for the environment to get rid of it this way rather than using them up first? thanks!
Great question, Alyssa, and a difficult one to answer. First off, never dispose of chemicals in the trash– as you pointed out, as a last resort they need to go to your local hazardous waste disposal site. But now comes the tricky part– is it better to dispose of them in this way, where they are contained in one area and presumably (though not necessarily) kept out of the soil and water? Or is it better to finish what you’ve already bought, which means it then gets swept down your drains and into the water system, where it may or may not get cleaned out by your municipal water-treatment facility? The third situation you propose is to give these concoctions to friends or family who tend to use them, and are not on the green-supplies bandwagon– this means they’ll get used, but will still end up down the line in the water and soil.
I’ll admit that I don’t actually know which is best, and I face this same predicament in my own life. So I’m curious what you, brilliant TC family, think about this issue. How do you handle this situation, and what do you think is best? Please post your answers in the comments, below!
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