Winter might be in full swing, but all the die-hard gardeners out there know that spring is just around the corner. Many use the winter months to start preparing for their new blossoms in the spring whether they are just making mental plans, gathering supplies, or even tending indoor seedlings that will be transplanted later in the season.
Whether you’re just in the planning stages or you maintain a full greenhouse, now is a great time to take stock of your inventory and get rid of any expired or harmful items. It’s pretty common to buy a bottle of weed killer and keep it for the next five years without a second thought, but the chemicals can break down over time and become hazardous to both your plants and people. You might be surprised to discover that many common gardening products sold in recent years have been found to contain chemicals that can be hazardous and even deadly to one’s health.
If you’ve ever kicked around the idea of going all natural and organic, there has never been a better time. Below is a list of common products and ingredients that you might want to swap out for safer, more organic alternatives.
Have Any of These Lying Around? It’s Time to Let ‘Em Go
The first thing you want to set aside is anything containing the active ingredient glyphosate, which can be found in the popular herbicide Roundup. This chemical has been linked to various types of cancer and other deadly ailments. In addition, here are a few other household items that you might want to look out for:
-Lead paints or lawn ornaments, which can leach into its surroundings and cause potentially fatal cases of lead poisoning
-Brass hose and faucet fixtures, which can also contain lead. Replace with copper, aluminum, or steel fixtures.
-Weed killers that are not labeled as non-toxic, the runoff from which has been related to health issues and cancers in both animals and humans.
-Certain garden plastic gloves, many of which were found to contain a multitude of highly toxic substances. Consider switching to heavy-duty linen or cotton ones instead.
-Pest and bug control products containing Bifenthrin, a chemical that is thought to be carcinogenic and is outlawed in many states and countries
-Insecticides containing Carbaryl (especially the brand name Sevin), which was designed to kill mosquitos but also does astronomical damage to honeybees and has been outlawed in several countries
How to Dispose of the Chemicals Safely
Once you’ve decided to make the switch to safer and more environmentally friendly materials, it can be tempting to just throw all the old stuff in the trash. But as convenient as that may be, it can basically cancel out all the good that you’re doing by getting rid of them.
If the chemicals are not disposed of properly – if they just end up in a trash heap or at the landfill – they can leach into the soil or even nearby water. This can cause just as much damage as having them in the home.
For instructions on how to properly dispose of specific products or chemicals, try reaching out to your local garden center or hardware store. Many have onsite disposal services. If they cannot accommodate your specific needs, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
You can also try reaching out to your local landfill and seeing what they recommend. Again, if they cannot take your materials directly, they will be able to tell you where to take them or how to safely dispose of them yourself.