Controlling the chemicals in my home

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The ads are showing up again -- make your home smell like gingerbread or pine trees. The ads make my nose itch and my blood boil. They are enticing people into spreading more unnecessary chemicals in their home.

My mantra is: I can't control the chemicals that are in the air that I breathe, the water that I drink and some of the food that I eat, so I am certainly going to control the chemicals in my home.

Because, since World War II, over 80,000 new chemicals have been produced, it has been impossible to test them all completely. Each is not tested in combinations with other chemicals. For instance, these air fresheners are not tested in combination with other chemicals that are given off in our homes -- from carpets, upholstery, wall coverings etc.

Can our immune systems handle all these combinations? Who knows. But why take the chance? If you have a problem with a smell, put some vinegar in an open dish and set it in the area that is smelly. I had the old wood smoke smell from my wood furnace permeating my clothes and my hair. I finally set out the vinegar and within two days it was gone. The smell was pretty heavy so yes, two days; but no unknown chemicals in my home.

I was pleased to be able to take the Household Hazardous Waste that I have been collecting for months, to the Cornwall Landfill. I would like to thank all of you who take the time and space to save all the batteries, paints, electronics, solvents etc. until the next HHW day. It shows that you understand the problems in dumping those things in the garbage where it can contaminate our air and groundwater. Those of us on wells, thank you.

I have a friend whose work hours don't allow him to take his HHW to the landfill. He gives it to me and I am glad to add it to my bits -- friends helping our environment.

On a completely different personal note: I am trying to raise some snails. I have many of them in my watergarden which is soon going to freeze over. Over Thanksgiving, I found out that my niece is raising snails to feed her fish in her aquariums. I offered to raise some of my snails and b ring them to her at Christmas.

I have a goldfish bowl, but I think the one snail that I was able to catch is having trouble with a lack of oxygen. I only caught one because I think the others have gone deeper in the watergarden to get away from the cold. However, my one has laid eggs so I should soon have more.

I would like to borrow a small aquarium and an aerator until early January. To buy the equipment and then never use it again is both monetarily and environmentally wasteful. So if anyone can help, I would appreciate it. Contact me at 936 2240.

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  • Dana Copeland
    December 11, 2011 - 09:58

    Hi Elaine ... found your articles ... very cool ... I will continue to follow ... hugs!