Green Ways to Deal with Hazardous Materials in Your Home

13 Living GreenYour home is your castle and probably the place where your family spends more time than anywhere else. Because of this, you obviously want to make sure that this special piece of property is as clean and environmentally friendly as possible at least for strictly practical reasons.

One major part of that idea involves identifying and getting rid of any toxic or harmful substances in and around your house as soon as you can. Thus, if that’s what you’d like to do, here are some effective and simple tips for pulling it off in a way that keeps both your loved ones and your local environment safe.

Don’t Stock Them to Begin With

The single easiest way to deal with hazardous materials in your house is by simply minimizing how many of them you have there in the first place. As materials technology in consumer products and building materials advances enormously and also evolves thanks to environmental regulations, more and more of the things we buy for our homes have a much more green friendly alternative to them, some by obligatory law that forces manufacturers to substitute.

Just as paint no longer contains lead and home insulation no longer contains asbestos, many of the cleaning chemicals and other materials you can put into your home have their much less dangerous alternatives. Investigate these, buy them instead of their more harmful counterparts and you’ll steadily reduce the need to even think about hazardous materials disposal.

Renovate and Clean Out an Old Home

If you live inside an old house or apartment, there’s a more than decent chance that it still contains some of the old fashioned dangerous building materials that are now banned in most places. This might especially be the case if you live somewhere where such bans aren’t yet in effect.

To fix this, renovate your home as soon as you can afford to; get rid of old paint on the walls, have a hazmat team pull out old insulation (especially if it contains asbestos) and, most common, find any old chemicals and trash that are stored where you live and take them to a certified recycling center. Your family will be healthier for it.

Soil Remediation

Soil remediation is a process that carries somewhat more effort and expense than your usual type of green cleaning strategy and in essence revolves around hiring certified professionals to come onto your property and clean your soil through a variety of procedures. These can include: complete removal of the contaminated parts (in worst case scenarios), soil aeration for the destruction of volatile organic compounds, bioaugmentation of soil, biostimulation and ground water treatment via filters that remove poisonous substances.

What soil remediation and environmental remediation in general do is clean the ground and water around or under your home so that they no longer contain harmful substances. It’s an especially good strategy to put this process to work on a piece of property where you’re planning on building a home.

Companies that offer these services are located all over the country but to name one example of what sort of service provider you should be looking for, take a look at RW Collins Soil Remediation and Excavation. They operate in the Chicago area but similar services are almost certainly available in your region.

Transport to a Designated, Qualified Depot

If you’ve handled the stripping out, removal and collection of assorted hazardous materials in your property on your own, your best bet for a clean, green and mostly hassle free solution is to take them all to a certified recycling/disposal depot in your area. These kinds of places usually charge for taking your home’s toxic materials off your hands but in some cases they will also take certain materials for free as part of an incentive program.

Find out where depots like these are located in your city or municipality and easily get rid of your hazardous garbage by handing it off to them.

Composting (but after Careful Research)

Composting hazardous materials is a very tricky proposition that does not at all apply in most cases and especially when we’re discussing chemical compounds, volatile organic compounds or inorganic toxic substances.

However, in certain rare cases, certain types of hazardous organic trash can be composted down into useful end products through decomposition right on your own property. If this is at all possible (and you should always carefully check to make sure it is) then it’s one possible inexpensive green solution for disposal.

Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to green technology, marketing, marketing tech and environmental issues. He also loves to read and write about subjects as varied as the idea of a location-free business, portable business management, and strategic marketing and advertising tactics. When he’s not busy writing or consulting, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.

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