For those of us who love our lakes and care about clean water: You should be paying attention to the recent debate about Triclosan.
What is Triclosan? It is an antibacterial used in hand wash and soaps and some other products. For some time it has been recommended not to purchase products using this Triclosan because it can lead to antibiotic resistance. A recent study by the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota has shown that Triclosan is converting to harmful toxins in our Minnesota lakes as well as Lake Superior.
How do you find if a product has Triclosan? Always read the ingredients in the products you purchase, Triclosan will be listed as an active ingredient on the product label.
How do we dispose of Triclosan? According to the Minnesota Pollution Control (PCA), “Do not put Triclosan down the drain or toilet!” At the present time their advice is to throw Triclosan products in the trash. In the future they hope to have a better plan to dispose of them. The best is NOT to purchase any product with Triclosan. “Consumer avoidance can be more powerful than any legislation!” says the Minnesota PCA.
MDH recommends against using products containing triclosan at home. Using products with triclosan offers little or no benefit, and may contribute to the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Use products without triclosan to reduce your exposure and environmental impact. Most products advertised as “antibacterial” contain triclosan. Check product labels to see if triclosan is listed as an ingredient.
Cosmetic Ingredient Tainting Minnesota Lakes, Streams and the Great Lakes
An antibiotic widely used in cosmetic products is converting to toxins in Minnesota’s lakes and streams according to research by the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota. http://www.startribune.com/local/187826601.html
Triclosin was listed as an active ingredient in a handwash product I had not opened, and I never purchase antibiotic products. Do NOT put these down the drain, or use them. I would suggest bringing any of these products to the hazardous waste disposal site.
How can You Reduce your use of Chemicals?
I know I am naïve, but I think it is the government’s job to protect us from harmful chemicals. Unfortunately there is little reliable research on most of the chemicals we put on our skin, hair and mouths. After reading the book Ecoholic by Adria Vasil, I wondered why I would put chemicals on my body when I never put chemicals on my yard or plants? I went to my local coop to research organic beauty products. Choices for organic body products are not huge, and they are expensive, but this is the only body you have and this should be a priority. Deodorant has some harmful chemicals, and I would start with a chemical free deodorant. http://www.naturalnews.com/033364_deodorants_chemical_ingredients.html
Next, I would purchase an organic or a scent free body lotion, and then research the ingredients in other products you use.
Part of the mission of this website is to encourage the use of less chemicals, and I hope the list below will help you make smarter cosmetic choices and have a healthier life in 2013. As with everything we purchase, it is always important to read the labels and purchase low carbon impact products( buy local and non-toxic.) Good Luck and remember to recycle all containers when you are finished.
Environmental writer, Adria Vasil has 15 chemicals to avoid in our personal body products: Her list follows:
1. BHA and BHT
2. DEA/MEA/TEA: (diethanolamine):
3. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives:
4. Oxybenzone (BP-3/ benzophenone) and octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
5. Palm oil: unless it’s fair trade/organic
9. Petrolatum/paraffin/mineral oil/petroleum distillates:
10. PPD In all permanent hair dyes.
12. Retinyl palmitate:
14. Sodium laureth sulphate:
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.—Rachel Carson
ANew year on the Big Lake: December into 2013
A Merlin hunting in our yard, but the chickadees are too smart for him. A bald eagle sits on the morning lake ice eating her breakfast.
Three deer walk through: small, medium and large!! Wildlife tracks everywhere in the fresh snow: bobcat, coyote, fox??
The best: The face of the lake changes hourly as it renews itself. A patchwork of ice in the morning and then open water by the afternoon. Icebergs of all sizes are pushed around. The constant moving and shifting of the ice flows is beautiful and surprising. It is a magical mystery where the ice disappears to and then reappears. It is never predictable nor will it look the same again.
Wow, three ore boats pass at the same moment on the shipping highway. These boats will soon tie up for the winter.
Cloudy days create a black and white picture. White contrasted with dark bark, and the pileated, downies and chickadees add to the black/white birch tree look.
Easy Resolutions You Can Keep
*Shop with washable reusable shopping bags.
*Recycle all electronics
*Purchase products that have a minimum of packaging, and also recyclable packaging.
*Composting food scraps can cut waste in your home by 30%
*Use both cloth napkins and washable rags instead of paper products
*Use a water bottle and reduce your use of single use plastic.
*When shopping bring refillable containers and bags to reduce plastic bag consumption, and recycle all clean plastic bags.
*Never use Styrofoam products!
*Recycle everything possible and set up recycling baskets near your trash containers throughout your home and office. http://www.earth911.com for recycle locations if you lack curbside pick up.
*Keep a bag in your car to collect recycling from road trips or fast food, but patronize restaurants that use real dishes and cups.
Good Luck, and Happy 2013!
Waste increases by 25% over the holidays. What are some things we can do to reduce waste? My tips for a green holiday
*Use “real” plates, silverware and glasses. Plastic party glasses can now be recycled, but reusable is best.
*Cloth napkins reduce waste and add quality to your dinners.
*Wrap gifts in towels, cloth napkins, reusable shopping bags, or reuse a gift bag. Wrap gifts in materials that can be recycled, composted or reused.
*Purchase products that have a minimum of packaging, and have recyclable packaging.
*Compost food scraps
*Use rags instead of paper towels and chemical free cleaners for cleaning.
*After the holidays place your Christmas tree outside for the birds to use for the winter.
*Reduce use of plastic bags, and reuse them if possible. Always recycle clean dry plastic bags.
*Shop with reusable containers that can be filled with bulk purchases.
*Avoid plastic drink bottles and never use Styrofoam REUSE, REUSE, REUSE and then RECYCLE
Congratulations, you are on your way to a “zero waste” home! Please share your ideas for greening the holidays