The National Association of Professional Organizers of Chicago warns of the dangers of throwing away common household products and provides easy solution for each.
With spring cleaning and Earth Day around the corner it seems everyone is talking green, and the temptation to simply toss everything and start fresh may seem overwhelming. The National Association of Professional Organizers of Chicago warns that although purging through unnecessary clutter can be great, there are dangers with some common household products with their removal.
“… there are dangers with some common household products…”
To get everyone spring cleaning ready with safety in mind, NAPO suggests the 3 following tips.
Don’t Just Toss It: Throwing away unused paint can be harmful to the environment and, depending where you live, can even be harmful to your wallet with city fines. Paint left in dumpsters can leak out and seep into the soil where plants and animals are able to ingest it. Even more alarming, paint produced prior to 1992 can contain traces mercury.
Instead: For latex paint, the paint has to be completely removed from the container using a paint hardener. Once the hardener has set, simply scoop the dried paint up and throw it away in a separate bag. Oil-based paints should be sent to a local recycling center. There the paint is either incinerated or recycled into other pigments.
Be Smart: Before you begin to throw away unused paint, make swatches of each color, write down the room in your home where the color was used and how many gallons were used.
Don’t Just Toss It: A common practice for tossing medicine away is simply to flush it down the toilet. There is growing concern however about the dangers some medicine can have when filtered back into our drinking water. Also, medicine left in the trash is susceptible to the curiosity of little children.
Instead: Medicine take-back programs are a great way for individuals to dispose of expired or unwanted medicine. If you plan on removing the medicine at home, it is recommended to place the medicine in a small bag filled with unpalatable substances such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
Be Smart: When tossing away empty pill bottles, remember to always scratch off the label containing your personal information.
Don’t Just Toss It: Today’s gadgets may appear simple on the surface, but inside there is an intricate housing of various metals and chemicals. These electronic also take a considerable amount of time to decompose in landfills and can leave harmful toxins along the way.
Instead: Many stores have taken measures to make recycling electronics simple and easy. Even easier, many websites have appeared indicating your local electronic recycling center based on your zip code.
Be Smart: The next time you are out purchasing batteries, consider buying rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries last much longer then alkaline batteries, and some are even capable of charging through a USB port.
About NAPO Chicago: The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). NAPO-Chicago comprises the largest group of professional organizers in the Midwest dedicated to helping create clutter-free, organized households, offices and businesses throughout the greater Chicago, southern Wisconsin and northern Indiana areas. The mission of NAPO-Chicago is to help the public life their lives in a stress and clutter-free way. For more information please visit: www.napochicago.com