Practical Eco-Living

Good For The Environment And You

Why You Should Opt For Spray Bottle Products

The hazards when working with aerosol cans
There are three general types of hazards when working with aerosol cans. The first one is the pressurization. As long as the can and the dispensing device remain intact, aerosol cans are safe. However, it can be dangerous if not deadly if there is as a puncture, a faulty valve, excessive temperatures, or corrosion. All this can result in unintended depressurization, which may explode and hurt workers and other people. Yes, in the most severe cases, aerosol cans may explode, burning workers and showering them with steel shrapnel.

The second hazard is the actual product being dispensed by the can. Often, these products are inherently hazardous, think of insecticides. Others may contain hazardous substances, like the concentrated solvents found in some paints or cleaners. In fact, some cans that are partially empty may be legally considered to be hazardous wastes. Finally, if either the propellant or the product it delivers is flammable, the aerosol can create a fire hazard.

 

What to do when using aerosol cans
The first step is to avoid using aerosol cans if you have another alternative. If the task can be accomplished without the use of aerosol cars, even better. That way you don’t have to worry about the hazards. Other great options are refillable spray bottles, or air-powered equipment may be available.

Aerosol cans should always be stored in dry areas where they will not be exposed to excessive temperatures. As the temperature rises, pressure in the can increase and temperatures about 120 degrees Fahrenheit may lead to explosions. Because car and truck interiors can become very hot in sunlight (even during the winter months), vehicles are not a safe location for even temporary storage.

 

How to properly dispose of aerosol cans
Leftover materials in partially filled cans may qualify as hazardous waste. If a can has issues with spraying or other issue, the best thing is to return it to the supplier. That will prevent the consumer from having to treat it as hazardous waste.

The good news is; cans that are empty of both propellant and product are NOT considered to be hazardous waste, and may be recyclable. Aerosol cans should never be placed in fires or heated locations because they may explode, and the propellant may be flammable. Cans that are still pressurized may also burst if place in a garbage compactor.

 

So, whenever possible, buy products that are in a spray bottle. Often times, its not only more environmentally friendly, it’s a better value. The propellant in an aerosol can account for as much as 15 percent of the weight most products sold. What that means you pay for a whole bunch of air and the actual content is only 85%. We are fortunate to have many product choices available that are also good for the environment. Opt for spray bottle products, they are better for you and the environment.

Trash Your Habits|Re-Use And Recycle

Just today I saw in the news about a story about a young woman who has not produced trash for the past two years. That is cool, and I was taking a closer look at my habits. To start with, I have to admit that I need to do a better job with coffee cups. Once or twice a week I like to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks. If I were more environmentally conscious, I could bring my mug and have them fill it. The other thing that I need to do better is to remember to take my refillable water bottle with me. I do have the best intention, but often forget to bring it with me, and I end up having to buy a bottle of water. How much trash do you produce?
If you’re anything like the average American, it’s a good amount. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), in 2012, the average U.S. household produced 1,600 pounds of trash, and America as a whole produced about 251 million tons of trash. To put it visually for you that’s enough to cover the state of Texas in garbage 2.5 times over. Isn’t that crazy? In addition, America accounts for about one-third of the world’s waste, and a lot of the plastic waste ends up in our oceans, which endangers fish and other wild-life. The worst part is; more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals choke and die each year after catching trash that they mistake for food.
You might wonder, what are some realistic and easy ways to cut back plastic items? To start, you can bring some stainless steel fork and spoon in your purse or leave some at the office so that you don’t have to use a plastic one. The other great idea is to swap plastic toothbrushes for those made from bamboo. Those bamboo toothbrushes are 100% compostable so that you are not sending more plastic to the landfill every three months or so.
As a side benefit, it’s also a fantastic way to save money. Packaging is expensive, and the fancier it is, the more waste it produces. When it comes to grocery, try to buy from farmer’s market or other markets where you can grab your produce and put them into re-usable shopping bags. One great idea is to take a foldable trunk organizer with you. It allows you to put your grocery directly into the organizer and after you are all done with shopping, lift the entire trunk organizer into the car and once at home, into your house. That is environmentally friendly, and it saves money as well by not having to pay for grocery bags.

Those are some simple and good ideas of being more environmentally conscious. Each of us has a responsibility of reducing garbage and landfill. Let’s make 2015 a year of less litter. Cheers to your health!