More Ways to Go Green
- Use every piece of paper twice. A letter with typos becomes a piece of drawing paper for the kids, comics become wrapping paper, and old magazines can be cut up and made into collages.
- Be a smarter supermarket shopper. When you finish unpacking your groceries, save the bags and use them to line your trash cans and litter box.
- Ditch the paper trail. Is your house littered with notes about doctors' appointments and PTA meetings? Skip the memo pads and write everything on a dry-erase board -- that way, the whole family stays informed.
- Order in wisely. Can't face cooking tonight? Make sure nothing more than your food is delivered. When you call, request no napkins, plastic utensils, prepackaged condiments, and anything else you have at home.
Is Your Lawn Safe?
Experts are increasingly worried that exposure to "weed and feed" lawn-care products can lead to childhood cancer, as well as neurological and hormonal damage. "Young children, whose brains and organs are rapidly developing, are most vulnerable," says John Wargo, PhD, professor of environmental policy and risk management at Yale University.
There are risks, says the Environmental Protection Agency: "Pesticides can cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment because they are designed to kill or otherwise adversely affect living organisms." Still, the EPA permits lawn-care pesticides to be sold (often in non-childproof bags) because regulators assume that parents will take proper precautions.
But it's easy for children who play in the grass to swallow, inhale, or absorb pesticides through their skin -- especially if it doesn't rain after you use the product -- and people and pets can track the chemicals indoors, says Nancy Alderman, president of Environment and Human Health, a nonprofit organization founded by scientists to conduct research and recommend public policy.
Visit safelawns.org -- a coalition of nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies -- to view videos about organic lawn care. For more information about keeping pesticides away from your local schools and playing fields, go to beyondpesticides.org.