Last year, for both environmental and health reasons, I vowed to eliminate plastic water bottles in our home. Seemingly easy, eh? Not for a family on-the-go where summer temps reach triple digits on a daily basis. Alas, I made the switch to reusable stainless steel, which I begrudgingly clean and refill nightly.
This year, my gift to the earth (and my family) was recycling all expired medicines. I spent one morning collecting a large plastic bag of pills and trotted it down to the pharmacy. The pharmacy clerk looked at me like I was crazy.
She told me that I was the first to ask about safely disposing medication and furthermore, the pharmacy can’t accept expired pharmaceuticals. Huh? It was Kaiser, the largest HMO in the nation, and you’re telling me that the pharmacy doesn’t have a disposal system for medication.
Hmm. I wasn’t buying it and after a few more minutes, she remembered seeing something about safely disposing medicine and emerged with a special TakeAway mailer. Really, can’t I just recycle it at the hospital’s pharmacy? The kicker -- she announced, “That will be $5.” Are you kidding me?
While I have clearly not achieved pure natural diva status (yet), I am forever looking for simple solutions to tread a little lighter on the Earth. After reading The Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Mentz and his son Dave Wentz, I’m inspired to do more not only for the earth, but for my family’s health.
"Almost overnight, a toxic world has been built around us, slowly manipulating how we eat, sleep, work, play…how we live."
The Healthy Home is full of practical and simple solutions for reducing health risks posed by everyday products and behaviors of the modern family. Here are a few of my favorite tips for a healthier home:
- Bedroom: Make sure your body is wrapped in safe, natural material at least 1/3 of the day (or all night). Buy organic cotton pajamas and bedding.
- Kitchen: Buy yourself an air popper and ditch the microwave popcorn. Microwave bags are lined with a Teflon coating, known to release hazardous fumes and particles.
- Laundry Room: Use ½ cup white vinegar in place of fabric softner in the washer to reduce static cling and soften clothes. (Note: never mix bleach with vinegar.)
- Living Room: Open a window whenever you can to let in fresh, cleansing air. Outside air quality is surprising (and significantly) cleaner than inside air quality.
The Healthy Home is also the source that inspired me to properly dispose of the expired medicines. And, yes, I did buy the $5 mailer. Happy (almost) Earth Day.