Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things you should never buy

Here is a post from Greenopolis that I find very interesting:

Things that you shouldn't buy. Ever.

Styrofoam Cups - Styrofoam isn't biodegradable . . it stays in that landfill forever! Instead, buy cups that are recyclable or just buy your own reusable on-the-go mug.

I never buy Styrofoam cups... I hate drinking in them, it leaves a bad taste.

Paper Towels - A waste all over the map. It's money that you don't have to spend, and trees that don't have to be cut down. Buy reusable and washable hand and dish towels instead.

I don't buy that either, I use washable towels.

Incandescent light bulbs - They're inefficient and waste energy in the form of heat. Try buying compact fluorescent light bulbs, which might cost a little more upfront, but last longer and can end up saving you $30 to $36 over the life of each bulb.

This is what I use :)

Conventional Household Cleaners - These products can contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum-based chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor environment, positing a particular danger for children. The average American household has 3 to 10 of hazardous matter in the home.Instead, look for nontoxic, vegetable-based, biodegradable cleaners or make your own green cleaning products.

I clean with white vinegar and baking soda

Plastic Utensils - They aren't biodegradable and not recyclable in most areas.
Instead try using compostable food service items. Companies such as Biocorp make cutlery from plant materials such as corn starch and cellulose or carry your own utensils and food containers

I rarely use plastic ustensils.

Disposable Batteries - Batteries contain heavy metals that can leach into the environment. Instead invest in rechargeable batteries and an electric- or solar-powered battery charger.

Ok... I use disposable batteries in my camera... not good

Bleached Coffee Filters - Dioxins, chemicals formed during the chlorine bleaching process, contaminate groundwater and air and are linked to cancer in humans and animals. Look for unbleached paper filters or use reusable filters such as washable cloth filters.

I don't drink coffee, I can't go wrong

Industrially Raised Beef - Industrial cattle operations are energy-intensive, rely on antibiotics and an unnatural corn diet, and generate polluted runoff and large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas. Limit your intake of beef and choose meat from sustainably raised, grass-fed cows.

I eat beef like once a year :p

Hair Conditioner - Many hair conditioners contain ingredients like sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol and tocopheryl acetate that can be toxic or potentially carcinogenic. Try using natural oils like olive, safflower or jojoba instead.

I don't use conditioner

Chemical Pesticides and Herbicides - American households use 80 million pounds of pesticides each year. The EPA found at least one pesticide in almost every water and fish sample from streams and in more than one-half of shallow wells sampled in agricultural and urban areas. These chemicals pose threats to animals and people, especially children. Buy organic pest controllers such as diatomaceous earth.
Plant native plants and practice integrated pest management and plant flowers and herbs that act as natural pesticides

Okay... I use a bug killer, it's wrong, but I hate flies in my appartment!

Excessively Packaged Food and Other Products - Excess packaging wastes resources and costs you much more. Around 33% of trash in the average American household comes from packaging. Buy products with minimal or reusable packaging or buy in bulk and use your own containers when shopping.

I'm pretty good on that one, I bring my backpack to go shopping.

Cling/Saran/ Plastic Wrap - Many people don't realize that cling wrap may be made with PVC. #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) leaches toxins when heated or microwaved and it is an environmental problem throughout its lifecycle. Instead store things in reusable containers.

Hummmm, don't know about that one

Beauty/Body Care with Phthalates and Parabens - Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals linked to birth defects that are used in many cosmetic products, from nail polish to deodorant. Parabens are preservatives used in many cosmetics that have been linked to breast cancer though more research is needed. Phthalates are not listed on product labels and can only be detected in laboratory tests. To be safe, choose products from companies that have signed on to the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

I need to check my deodorant cause I have no idea

High Octane Gas than You Need - Only one car in ten manufactured since 1982 requires high-octane gasoline. High-octane gas releases more hazardous pollutants into the air, and may be bad for your car. Instead, buy the lowest-octane gas your car requires as listed in your owner's manual. You can also try making your next car purchase a hybrid. Or ditch the car and take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.

I ride a scooter

Teak and mahogany - Every year, 27 million acres of tropical rainforest (an area the size of Ohio) are destroyed. Rainforests cover 6% of Earth’s surface and are home to over half of the world’s wild plant, animal, and insect species. The Amazon rainforest produces 40 percent of the world’s oxygen.Look for Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Try to reuse wood, and buy furniture and other products made from used or salvaged wood.

I don't think Ikea have salvaged wood... I need to work on that too!

Farm Raised Salmon - Several studies, including one performed by researchers at Indiana University, have found that PCB's and other environmental toxins are present at higher levels in farm raised salmon than wild salmon. Pregnant women, women of child-bearing ages, and children should be very careful when choosing fish due to high levels of environmental toxins including mercury found in many fish.

I buy fish from the grocery store, maybe not the best choice

Anything Made with PVC - Polyvinyl chloride, used in everything from shower curtains to residential siding to toys and upholstery, sometimes contains phthalates (to make the plastic softer) that act as endocrine disruptor's, which interfere with normal hormonal development. Buy products made with natural fabrics and sustainably harvested woods instead.


High VOC Paints and Finishes - Volatile organic compounds or VOCs can cause health problems from dizziness to lung and kidney damage and are infamous for polluting both indoor and outdoor air. VOCs are found in products including paints as well as finishes used for wood, such a stains or varnishes. There are now a wide array of low or no-VOC paints on the market. Look for paints certified by Green Seal, or look for natural paints made by green businesses.

I haven't painted in years

Well, I'm not that bad for the planet, but I need to check more on what I buy.


SavingDiva said...

Wow! That's a long list of stuff you shouldn't buy! I will admit that I am guilty of a few...

Canadian Saver said...

Great list!

I do ok with not buying the styrofoam cups, disposable batteries, plastic utensils, chemicals, farm-raised salmon... but I am guilty with the paper towels, the paints, the PVC, the saran wrap, etc, etc.

I guess we can all try to improve, gradually. I think we're better off to use what we have on hand and then buy the alternatives. I will look into my conditioner, cuz I do still use that.

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