Hello there, fellow Ocean Guardian! We hope you are enjoying this email series, and most importantly, that you’re all ready for the 2018 Ocean Guardian Contest! Last time, we discussed food: eating locally and with the seasons, and understanding where your food is coming from. Now we are moving on to why you should buy biodegradable products.
Have you ever wondered why we associate label warnings like “keep out of reach of children” or “poisonous if ingested” with sterile and healthy environments? It seems crazy when you stop and think about it! Instead of opting for toxic cleaning products that are made to annihilate all germs and bacteria in their path, there are plenty of natural products and alternatives which maintain a clean and healthy house without all the dubious side effects. Most importantly, if we use biodegradable products, our planet will thank us.
Clean your home the green way
By opting for all-natural cleaning products, we can minimize the amount of harmful chemicals that come into contact with our families, plants, and animals. If you are feeling creative, you may even make your own as an eco-friendly and cost effective alternative. We suggest two: Rodale’s Organic Life recipes that can replace nearly all your home cleaning products; and Earth Easy’s list of tips and substitutions! Here at Bodhi, we clean our lodge with rags and use biodegradable and earth-friendly cleaners.
We encourage you to make your own cleaning concoctions, but know that not everyone has the time or motivation to do that. So we’ve also compiled a few links to assist you with purchasing green cleaning products:
- Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning gives ratings on popular cleaning products and evaluates them based on their ingredient disclosure, green certifications, and health concerns
- NYMag’s list of the eight best natural & organic cleaning products
- The Good Guide offers another product evaluation system which factors in both health and performance
Check out how 2016 Ocean Guardian Contest winner, Allison Tetlow, and her family make their own biodegradable cleaning products!
Use biodegradable solids
When we throw our solid and semi-solid waste into a landfill, it mixes with the rain, snow, and any disposed liquid waste and becomes “garbage soup”, which can be impossible to break down. One way to avoid this mess is to minimize the amount of waste that enters the landfill entirely!
As a kid, did you ever want to make something “disappear”? It turns out that we don’t need to be a magician to do this! Opt for biodegradable products and they will break down organically. Beyond our cleaning products, we Ocean Guardians should think of where each product goes and how it really decomposes after we throw it “away”. The good news is that there’s over 4,600 certified compostable products on the market. Here are some tips on finding them!
- Use the Biodegradable Products Institute’s catalog to find certified compostable products to replace traditional non-biodegradable or compostable products
- Beware, not everything labeled biodegradable will truly decompose, check out the article The Myths of Biodegradable Waste by Sustainable Baby Steps
From nature to nature
As community members in a town called a planet Earth, it is more important than ever to know how toxic everyday products can be. As Ocean Guardians and environmental stewards, we can live in a more holistic way by trying to have all our products be made from natural substances. Get creative, make natural products as gifts, and get your family involved. Protecting the planet can be an activity, rather than a chore!
Written by Kerry Dunn