Five Steps to Protect Your Family’s Health and the Environment

1. Avoid Household products marked “Danger”. Look for the word “danger” on cleaners, polishes, paint strippers, and pesticides. “Danger” means the product could poison you, cause serious damage to your skin or eyes, or easily cause a fire.

  • Choose products marked “caution” or “warning”, or better yet, products that don’t need warnings.

    Choose water-based products, such as latex paint, white glue and water-based paint stripper.

2. Reduce your need for yard and garden pesticides. Pesticides are poisons. Besides killing bugs and weeds, they may also poison children, irritate eyes or skin, cause cancer or kill birds and fish.

  • Build healthy soil by adding compost or aged manure and using slow-release organic fertilizers.

    Buy plants that will grow well in this climate and in your yard—they use less water and pesticides.

    Try alternative products to control pests, such as Teflon tape for foot weevils or soap and water solution for aphids.

3. Recycle used motor oil, oil filters and antifreeze. Used motor oil and antifreeze should never be placed in storm drains. Water from storm drains is not treated and oil could end up in our streams and lakes, threatening fish and birds. Used motor oil and antifreeze are accepted at all Lane County transfer stations. Oil filters are accepted at all transfer stations except for McKenzie Bridge.

4. Use less-toxic cleaners. Some cleaners contain very hazardous ingredients that can burn your eyes, skin or lungs. Look for safer name-brand substitutes at your local grocery store, or use simple alternatives. There are many everyday household products we all keep on hand that can be used for cleaning without doing damage to the environment, such as; water, vinegar, baking soda, borax, mineral oil, newspapers, and rags.

5. Dispose of leftover hazardous products properly. Careless disposal of hazardous household products can pollute the environment. See disposal methods listed in this brochure or call Lane County Waste Management Division 541-684-4120.

Greener Cleaner 

Chemical Cleaning & Gardening Products Can be Dangerous… And Expensive!

Many everyday household products contain hazardous chemicals. When you dispose of these products in the storm drain, sink or garbage, the chemicals can end up in local water bodies or groundwater.

This list of alternatives is provided to help you make responsible decisions about the safe use and disposal of household products. By trying some or all of the alternatives, you will help Lane County move toward a goal of hazard-less waste.

Make your own Greener Cleaner Kit with these few supplies:

Many everyday household products contain hazardous chemicals. When you dispose of these products in the storm drain, sink or garbage, the chemicals can end up in local water bodies or groundwater. This list of alternatives is provided to help you make responsible decisions about the safe use and disposal of household products. By trying some or all of the alternatives, you will help Lane County move toward a goal of hazard-less waste.

• baking soda
• warm water
• borax
• lemon juice
• toothpaste
• white vinegar
• liquid soap
• salt
• club soda
• flour
• baby oil
• olive or almond oil
• margarine
• rubbing alcohol

Try these simple greener cleaners:

All purpose spray:

2 cups water
2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid soap
1 teaspoon borax


Pot and surface scrub:

Sprinkle with baking soda, spray with white vinegar, let bubble and sit, wipe up and rinse well.



Make your own organic pesticides with these unique bug-buster recipes.

Soap Spray:

 

Stop the slugs with soapy water. Use your old, dirty dishwater by pouring it over the plants. This works really well on hostas and mums, but also can be used on other hardy plants. For a stronger solution, mix 3 Tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water. Use this weekly.

 
Garlic Spray:

Slugs must not like eating Italian.

1 garlic bulb
1 quart of water
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap

Crush the garlic, mincing it fine. Add finely chopped onion to the mixture, while adding the rest of the ingredients except the soap. Wait an hour before adding the soap to the mixture. The spicy ingredients must sort of stew or steep, almost like tea. After an hour, add the soap and your non-toxic spray is ready to use! This can be stored in the fridge for a week.

 
Spearmint-Hot Pepper-Horseradish Spray:

This works on many different kinds of bugs.

1/2 cup of red peppers (hot) fresh water
1/2 cup of fresh spearmint
1/2 cup horseradish (root and leaves)
1/2 cup green onion tops
2 tablespoons of liquid detergent

Mix all of the spearmint leaves, horseradish, onion tops and peppers together with enough water to cover everything. Strain and save the infused water. Add a half-gallon of fresh water and the detergent to the infused water. To use this solution, mix 1/2 gallon of this solution with 1/2 gallon of water. You can use this to spray almost any plant safely. Store this mixture for a few days in a cool environment.