With all the talk about ocean pollution have you thought of reducing your water pollution from home? Just because it disappears down the drain, doesn’t mean it goes away… It often just washes up as another problem.
Daily life can introduce a wide range of chemicals into our waste water systems. The simple act of doing the dishes or washing your face can result in many ingredients that are not biodegradable being washed into our sewers and waste water treatment plants with some ending up in coastal environments, polluting waterways and aquatic life. But with a bit of consideration you can help reduce your pollution! Here’s how:
Tips to Reduce Water Pollution From Home
Biodegradable Personal Care Products
Many of the chemicals in our skincare and washes will be biodegradable which is good for our waterways, but it’s worth considering that some ingredients found in skincare are harder to remove, as suggested by one study, which found DEET, EDTAs, Oxybenzone (synthetic SPF) and Proplyparaben (to name a few) in waste water. This doesn’t just affect us humans, a study published in September 2015 found that six parabens and four common metabolites of parabens were measured in the 121 tissue samples from eight species of marine mammals collected along the coastal waters of Florida, California, Washington and Alaska. While some parabens are found in plants, the scientists commented that the positive correlation between methyl paraben and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HB) in samples suggests they came from synthetic sources. That’s likely our personal care items!
Microbeads, while on the way out, are still worth checking for especially if you are bringing products home from abroad, where the rules may be different. These tiny micro-plastic particles, commonly known as exfoliating beads, are used for their abrasive quality in some personal care items. The environmental concern around microbeads stems from their ability to slip through water filtering plants and into rivers, lakes and oceans. This poses an obvious threat to sea birds, turtles and other marine wildlife, who unwittingly digest the micro-plastics mistaking it for food. Go for natural exfoliators instead.
Green Laundry Routine
Keeping your clothes clean is one of the more environmentally un-friendly things you can do from the comfort of your home. While your friends & family may be glad of your cleanliness, the planet isn’t so much and takes a bit of a hit. Not only does doing your laundry require water and energy but most detergents are chemical heavy with fragrance, softeners and stain removers. Add to that microfibres from consistent washing of synthetic fabrics and there’s potentially a long list of chemicals and micro-plastics sifting down the drain. But with a couple of changes, all is not lost! You can reduce microfibres by using the Guppyfriend Washing Bag, which collects the waste that can be retrieved and put in your bin – currently disposing of these to landfill is thought to be a better solution than the ocean.
Then opt for certified organic laundry liquid, like The Gentle Label Laundry Liquid, which is biodegradable and promises to leave less of a ‘water mark’ on the environment. Certified by the Soil Association, it is made with Soapwort, scented with Rosemary and Lavender, and contains Aloe Vera.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Eco-friendly cleaning products for the home are an easy switch for reducing water pollution. Tincture offer a range of all natural, biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning products for an effective household clean from top to bottom. The Gentle Label also have planet-friendly cleaning products for the home, and have chosen to have their products certified by the Soil Association. The range is gentle for both home and waste water.
Waste-Free Sanitary Items
Join 300,000+ women who have already chosen to improve their periods (and the planet’s health) by swapping to the award winning OrganiCup reusable menstrual cup, reducing the impact of mainstream menstrual products on the planet (from bleach, fragrance and other synthetic chemicals).
If you’re not quite ready to make the switch from tampons, be sure to choose organic tampons and the Dame Reusable Tampon Applicator which saves the waste of an applicator. And remember, whatever you use, bin it don’t flush it!