This Saturday there is a great opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste and get sensitive papers shredded in one convenient location.
This coming Saturday, April 27, Fairfax Residents have a unique opportunity to dispose of a variety of hazardous waste materials and sensitive papers. Come and recycle expired or unwanted medications and supplements, dispose of old electronics, and shred your documents, all at one convenient location—the Fairfax Pavilion Parking Lot. Electronic waste disposal and paper shredding occurs between 10am and 4pm; disposal of medications between 10 am and 2 pm. Don’t miss this great opportunity. For more details go to the Sustainable Fairfax website or Facebook page.
There are many reasons to dispose of medications and e-waste properly. These products contain harmful chemicals which contaminate our soil and water if not disposed of properly. Household medications are the number one cause of childhood poisonings. They also end up in the fish (see image) we eat. E-waste contains heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury which are known to create serious health and environmental problems.
Here is a simple example of how easy it is to contaminate water. A few years ago I worked in a newly opened coffee shop in Petaluma. Tommy, a young co-worker who also volunteered as a docent with the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance (PWA), told me that the amount of caffeine in the Petaluma River had increased in the year after the shop opened. While I was surprised to hear this, it made sense. Tommy told me that his information came from the late David Yearsley, founder of The Friends of the Petaluma River and charter member of PWA. (During winter, treated wastewater is introduced back into the Petaluma River). Tommy also said that testing for chemicals like caffeine and estrogen in wastewater is a really new thing so there is no established way of removing them effectively yet. Perhaps a solution can be found.
If pouring old coffee down the drain adds caffeine to river water, just imagine how flushing prescription medicine down the toilet impacts our water supply. It has been reported that this can increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and disturb the reproductive capabilities of aquatic life. Or imagine what the water that leaches out from landfills does to local watersheds. As I find out more about how our current lifestyle affects our environment and, ultimately, us and our children, I feel mad, scared, and sad all at once. I want to say: Remember that we share this earth, our home, with a wondrous diversity of beings. Pay attention. Learn how to be better housekeepers.
To take action this week, gather your meds, e-waste, and documents, then show up on Saturday to dispose of them in a safer way. Learn more about how your everyday actions impact our environment. Enjoy the beauty around you, in your children, your pets, the trees that cool you on a hot day, whatever it is. Notice and breathe it in. Listen! Celebrate Earth Day, every day!
If you have some extra time this coming Saturday, we can use your help. Follow this link to find out more and sign up for a shift.