WHAT YOU CAN DO! Support Disposal Bans and ELIMINATE, MINIMIZE, & SUBSTITUTE waste, toxins, and pollution for SAFE & SUSTAINABLE products and practices!
Print out your: Zero Waste Plant checklist
ELIMINATE, MINIMIZE, SUBSTITUTE! "I'm always experimenting. Below is what I do currently. Your results may differ." Lynn Landes, founder of ZWA
Your skin is your largest organ. Don't put on your body what you wouldn't put in your mouth. Feed your body, don't poison it! Lynn
* plantain water: use 1 leaf + water in blender, sieve out greens
** mint water: 1 tbsp of leaves + water in blender, sieve out greens
oat flour for gentle use, buckwheat flour for tough grease and dirt, put in small pepper shaker, but for really tough grease use sunflower oil first, then wash with buckwheat flour.
1 tsp oat flour in bath water, rinse.
bath for human skin & hair
(it's good to vary treatments)
add to bath water: plantain leaf + egg yolk or sunflower oil (take plantain leaf and but in blender with water, sieve out fiber, then add a scrambled egg yoke (or 2 drops of sunflower oil for conditioning). Plantain leaves are easy to dry for year-round use.
in bath - raw egg yolk (1) Or sea salt (1 tsp) Or oat flour (1 tbsp) Or honey (1 tbsp)
sunflower oil and water works for me
hair styling jell
raw egg white, work into hair wet or dry, use as needed
|hair conditioner||raw egg yolk, but does not give any body to hair|
sea salt (1 tsp)
lice, scabies, shingles, and seborrheic d
1 tsp white vinegar (organic or food grade) in bath, do this at least once a month as a preventative
dry naturally, it's better for hair
I'm currently brushing with buckwheat flour, but not at all sure that it is effective.
scrub armpits with straight organic white vinegar for several seconds, twice a day - certain grains, particularly wheat, increases my body odor - avoid synthetic material because bacteria, which causes odor, thrives on it.
bottom wipes, pads, and diapers
non-synthetic and/or organic cloth is better for skin, helps prevent diaper rash
HOUSE & GARDEN
use knit gloves, slightly dampen in white vinegar (and water) or mint water
mop with white vinegar or mint water (avoid carpet due to dust mites, etc)
windows and mirrors
diluted white vinegar or mint water
(rinse off dishes first, also need steel mesh pad) use buckwheat flour or mint water, dry with clean towels (t-shirts best). Avoid dish washers - a leading source of indoor air pollution due to emissions from hot plastic racks and dishware.
tough grease & dirt (on stove, cupboards, etc.)
apply oil (sunflower) with paint brush, let sit 5 minutes, wipe, reapply if necessary, scrub tough spots with wood, such as ruler or popsicle stick
sinks and tubs
first use undiluted egg whites to remove tough dirt and waxy residue left by soaps, then scrub with 50/50 white vinegar and buckwheat flour, and if necessary, scrub with baking soda for stains & scratches.
vinegar (on faucets, pans, etc: wrap faucet in cloth soaked in vinegar for 30 minutes)
wood products, such as salad bowls
use walnut oil to moisturize, but if not available, I use olive oil or almond oil. Place in sun to sanitize wood.
odors, such as paint: cut a big onion in half and place in a bowl of water - it absorbs the smell. Certain houseplants are beneficial to remove toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene etc: philodendrons, spider plants, aloe vera, English ivy, golden pothos, and Boston fern. "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office"by B. C. Wolverton. http://www.ourlittleplace.com/nontoxic.html
ants & other home invaders
eat them OR pour (or use a paint brush) vegetable oil with tobasco sauce (so your pets don't lick it up) around the bottom of the entire outside wall of your house. Also paint the inside baseboards if necessary. Leave no gaps. Fill any holes in walls. Seal all food in containers - glass, etc, not plastic.
Avoid white clothes or mono-colored fabrics that will easily show stains and dirt. I hand sew and knit (often using local fibers and un-dyed yarn) in order to avoid toxic materials and sweatshops.
try hand washing, then line dry. Sunlight is a natural bleach and disinfectant. If you use a machine, try a front loader - it's more effective.
1/4-1/2 cup of organic white vinegar (it cleans, softens, and deodorizes), particularly knitwear.
|stains (scrub with hard toothbrush)||cold water - for fruit, blood, wine|
white wine - for red wine stain in emergency
sunflower oil - for grease stains, then scrub with buckwheat flour
soiled collars - buckwheat flour and white vinegar
machine oil substitute
I've used olive oil with good success.
apply egg yolk (a couple of times or as needed) with brush or sponge.
Use LED lights, not compact fluorescent (they contain mercury!). I paint the bulb cover with egg yolk to make the light look warmer.
I use peppermint water for some cleaning, but coming into contact can at times make me feel arthritic, see http://noarthritis.com/mint.htm. It makes me wonder about all those people who have painful muscles and joints, because mint is in lots of food and drink products.
WATER, FOOD, & DISHWARE
install an osmosis filter to take out toxins and fluoride
Eat "edible weeds" (see www.WildFoodies.org) and locally grown foods (be a localvore, see localharvest.org). Avoid anything packaged, jarred, canned, or processed! There's no telling what's in that stuff. Want to save the Everglades? Use local raw honey, not sugar - http://www.everglades.org/sugarletter.html ...although I avoid sugars and fruits, see: http://www.formerfatguy.com/articles/124reasons-no-sugar.asp
avoid microwave ovens! http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm / http://www.litalee.com/documents/Microwaves%20And%20Microwave%20Ovens.pdf and
avoid irradiated foods (and there are lots of them!): http://www.organicconsumers.org/irradlink.cfm & http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/irradfact.cfm
use ceramic, glass or stainless steel (however, even these materials can be contaminated with various substances. SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_scrap_metal Avoid plastic, aluminum, or stickless pans. Also, avoid using the dishwasher. It's a major source of indoor air pollution.
WHEN YOU GO OUT
Always carry a cloth handkerchief, a cloth shopping bag (just in case), & a non-plastic water bottle. http://lifewithoutplastic.com/en/about-plastic.html
ELIMINATE, MINIMIZE, SUBSTITUTE!
- HOME & TRANSPORTATION -- We live in downtown Philadelphia in a small 1300 square foot townhouse. We generally walk, rather than drive. We use public transportation a lot and have also joined phillycarshare.org/.
- PLANT & LAWN CARE -- For excellent potting soil, go out in the woods and dig some up! Do not use store-bought chemicals, even if the container says it's safe. There's no way to know. Make your own compost and plant fertilizer using ingredients such as: rotting leaves, egg shells, vegetable waste (no citrus or meat products). ALSO SEE: ZWA'S LAWN CARE KIT
- MINIMIZE SHOPPING (including DRUGS/PHARMACEUTICALS), AND GIFT GIVING because they often involve the following:
- STOP JUNK MAIL! (I try not to use the mail at all. Rather than send greeting cards or letters, I phone or email)
AVOID! NOTE: Despite the assurances of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many environmental health hazards are associated with the manufacture, use, and disposal of consumer products. (See Health & Wastes & Toxics) "EPA Registered" on pesticide and other products does NOT mean that the chemicals were fully tested for safety by the EPA or are safe to use. Most products and chemical have not been tested for safety by the FDA or EPA. Both agencies continue to rely heavily upon research and reporting by industry.
- ELIMINATE! I've eliminated the following, including but not limited to plastics and other petrochemical & fossil fuel products:
- commercial cleaners
- air fresheners
- house or lawn chemicals
- hair dye
- hair spray
- nail polish
- vitamins and supplements
- all jewelry, except a thin wedding band
- Petroleum-tainted or treated products, including plastics and synthetics, most personal care products, household cleaning agents, lawn care chemicals, pesticides, pest strips, flea collars, plastics, and synthetics. Even if the product is said to be "organic", changes are it comes in a plastic container. See: http://LifeWithoutPlastic.com/
- Driving a car - try to live within walking distance of where you work
- Wood fires to heat your home
- Compact fluorescent (they contain mercury!)
- Paper: tissues, napkins, towels, diapers
- Fluoridated water and fluoridated dental products (see: Fluoride)
- Chlorinated water and chlorine cleaning products (see: Chlorine)
- Food additives, including anti-caking agents (found in salt and baking products): http://www.oxymega.com/alzheimers_dementia_aluminum.html
- Talc (see: Wastes&Toxics) and Fiberglass (including air filters and insulation) see: Wastes&Toxics)
- Aerosol spays and Air fresheners / perfumes / scented candles (These scents are particularly harmful for the growing numbers of chemically sensitive, allergic, and asthmatic sufferers.)
- Avoid synthetic clothes (they get static and retain body odor). Avoid wrinkle free clothes http://www.healthdiaries.com/ & http://www.safbaby.com/. Avoid dry cleaners
- New homes: Most new buildings need a period of years to "out-gas" due to the use of toxic construction materials. In addition, old buildings may harbor lead paint and/or lead plumbing.
- Dishwashers: The biggest source of indoor air pollution may be the dishwasher and its plastic parts. US tap water is laced with traces of toxic chemicals, including by-products of water-treatment with chlorine and fluoride. Environmental Science & Technology reports that the hot spray of a dishwasher liberates 96 to 100 percent of the toluene, ethylbenzene, and cyclohexane in the water within minutes and releases it into the surrounding air. Washing machines, showerheads and faucet taps also release toxins in lesser amounts. (The hotter the water, the more toxins are freed.) Chlorine cleansers compound the problem University of Texas researchers warn. Listed in Earth Island Journal Winter 1999-2000 Page 3, Earth Island Journal is published quarterly by the non-profit Earth Island Institute www.earthisland.org
- Check-out your medications! Many may be hazardous to your health and the environment, plus medications are not filtered from your drinking water.