What Products Contain Microbeads?

Lake Superior
Lake Superior

How can you reduce your use of microbeads?  By purchasing products at my local food

Some co-ops have fabulous selections of soaps and lotions to refill your bottles
Some co-ops have fabulous selections of soaps and lotions to refill your bottles

coop and refilling my bottles and containers, I have hoped I wasn’t adding microbeads to our waterways.  Below from the Sierra Club is the best information I have seen on microbeads. Read to find out which products NOT to purchase, and how to get rid of them if you have any of the listed items!

Below is from the Sierra Club 

HOW TO HANDLE MICROBEADS

BY BOB SHILDGEN

First let’s review. “Microbeads” are tiny beads of plastic less than a millimeter thick that are often added to cosmetics as exfoliants and cleansing agents. Even some toothpastes contain them. It may sound like a strange use of plastic, but cosmetic companies apparently found that microbeads were cheaper than non-synthetic alternatives. The beads themselves (also called “mermaid’s tears”) are made of polyethylene or polystyrene. They are not toxic, but can pass through filters in water treatment plants and enter the water system. There, researchers warn, they can bind to toxic substances such as DDT, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Creatures in the water ingest these now poisonous little pellets, endangering themselves and the food chain. Yeah, I know, it’s weird to think that by washing your face or brushing your teeth you might beget a mutant fish—or mermaid—smack in the middle of Lake Erie, but such are the risks of progress through chemistry.

So–the safest way to get rid of the stuff is to leave it in its container, tighten the lid, and send it to the landfill with your regular garbage where it’s quite unlikely to escape into the environment. But NEVER, ever, not ever, pour it down a drain or flush it down the toilet, because that’s exactly how it spreads into the watershed.

By the way, to find out if a product contains these deadly beads, check the label for “polyethylene,” “PE,” “polystyrene,” or PS. The organization, “Beat the Microbead” has a list of products known to contain the beads.

http://beatthemicrobead.org/images/pdf/RED%20UNITED%20STATES.pdf  Products that contain microbeads

Some good news: The fight against these beady polluters is already having some success. Illinois has banned the manufacture and sale of products containing microbeads, and bans have been proposed in several other states. There is also a growing movement to ban the beads in Europe. The cosmetics industry itself is in damage-control mode as some major companies have agreed to replace the microbeads with safer materials. This is a hopeful sign, because, as we’ve noted before, the last thing we need is still more plastic in our rivers, lakes, and oceans. —Bob Schildgen

http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/28/plastic-pellets-pollute-lake-erie/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=33c62c534f-Top_News_7_28_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-33c62c534f-85912169

World Water Day, What can you do?

Lake Superior
Lake Superior

Living in the land of Ten Thousand Lakes and having a love affair with Lake Superior, I know first hand that clean water is important!  I think of the West Coast of the United States and their severe drought every time I turn on the faucet.  Below are water saving ideas from me and The World Wildlife Federation.  This is serious.   Water will be the next “most valuable resource,” and our survival as a people depends on adequate sources of clean water.

My list gives you more specific action.  Here are ideas to help you protect the earth’s fresh water:

1. Reduce or eliminate all your use of chemicals in cleaning agents, and lawn and garden products.  Tough I know, Read on…

2. Baking soda and vinegar will clean almost anything. See my chemical free cleaner on my Reduce Chemicals Page: https://health4earth.com/reduce-chemicals/

3. Use plants in your yard that do not require chemicals(native plants) and reduce the size of your lawn.  Native plants also don’t need to be watered!  http://findnativeplants.com/

4. Install rain barrels under your drain spouts or put rain gardens in areas where your water drains. Use this water to water your plants.

5. Install a septic holding tank if your sewage does not drain into a public sewage system.

6. Purchase as many products you can afford that are organic or GMO free to reduce the amount of nitrates running into our lakes and streams.

7. Adopt a storm drain, keeping leaves, trash and yard waste from washing into our streams and lakes.

8. Never use cleaning materials that contain Triclosan.  http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/251323351.html

9. Purchase products made from recycled materials. Recycled paper uses 60-70% less energy than virgin pulp and 55% less water.

We love playing in our lakes
We love playing in our lakes

And from The World Wildlife Federation:

We all can do something to help fresh water. This World Water Day, March 22, you too can take action. Here’s how:

Raise a Glass…and Awareness
Express appreciation of fresh water by making a toast, taking a picture, and sharing it across social networks with #ToastToWater.

Crowdsource Scientific Data
Next time you’re near a river, stream or lake, take and pictures of the freshwater fish you encounter and upload them for conservation scientists around the world.

Adopt a Freshwater Species
Make a donation to symbolically adopt a freshwater species, such as a pink river dolphin or hellbender salamander.

Walk for Water 
Join WWF, the State Department and other conservation organizations in a 6k Walk for Water on April 23 to learn more about freshwater issues and how they impact people and nature. While the main event will be held in the District of Columbia, people around the world will take the symbolic walk and share their experience with #6kWaterWalk. Want to learn more? Join freshwater expert Karin Krchnak in a related #WaterTalk on April 2.

Build a Rain Barrel
The average roof collects 600 gallons of water for every inch of rain. Capture some of that stormwater and help protect freshwater resources by building a rain barrel.

Learn about Unseen Water
Water is in almost everything. Take your average cotton t-shirt as an example: it can take 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt. While it’s important to fix leaky taps and buy efficient washing machines, we need to also be conscious of the unseen or “virtual water” we consume every day.

http://lillienews.com/articles/2014/03/20/water-water-everywhere-not-drip-sink#.UyyZTKhdVNs

Thank you, at the end of the day, we will all be healthier!
Thank you, at the end of the day, we will all be healthier!