What goes down the drain, goes into the water!
Whether it goes down the kitchen sink, the laundry and bathroom drains, gets flushed down the toilet, or goes down the storm sewer on your street, it all ends up in our lakes, rivers and oceans. And because everything is connected, eventually, it evaporates, comes down as rain, and gets taken up by plants and other living things — including you and your family.
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Why the grade five science class refresher? It's all about cleaning!
Some of the most common and most concerning ingredients in household cleaners are reported to be "persistent in the environment" — with devastating effect.
Fragrance (a.k.a. parfum), for example, refers to some combination of 3,000 chemical ingredients. Among the most common:
- Synthetic musk, a perfuming agent—identified by Environment Canada as a human health priority and now found in measurable quantities in Great Lakes fish.
- Diethyl phthalate, a substance that makes scent linger — linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men and reproductive defects in the developing male fetus, and listed as a priority toxic pollutant under the U.S. Clean Water Act.
Protecting our oceans and invaluable marine habitat is a daunting task that requires a comprehensive strategy. Luckily, Canadians are up to the challenge! More than three-quarters (78 per cent) recently indicated they would support all levels of government in "investing more to meet the goal of protecting 10 per cent of Canada's marine areas by 2020."
That's great news. And with the good work being done on initiatives like the Marine Protection Plan, we could see that goal realized sooner rather than later.
But we don't have to invest more — or wait for government or policy — to do the right thing for 100 per cent of our water right now.
It's as simple as cleaning with vinegar!
Tovah Paglaro, Queen of Green