Protect your family and the environment with nontoxic, biodegradable cleaning products

An average home generates over 25 pounds of toxic, hazardous waste each year.  Much of this waste can be attributed to household cleaning products.

The EPA says that only a fraction of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals have gone through testing for human health concerns. More than nine out of ten suspected poison exposures occur at home with household products.

According to a 15 year study, women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home.  The study concluded that this was a direct result of the increased exposure to toxic chemicals, many of which are found in common household products.

If there is only one thing you can do: You can make a positive impact on the planet as well as the health of your family and your budget by using nontoxic, concentrated, biodegradable green cleaners in your home. It is possible for the average household to eliminate 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills, and 248 pounds of greenhouse gases.  That’s the equivalent of planting 10 trees!

Take small steps: Baking soda is a non-toxic cleanser that is safe enough to eat. Begin your switch to green cleaners by trying baking soda in place of cleanser for cleaning your kitchen or bathroom sink this month.

Inner simplicity: So when you start to run out of some of your cleaning products, research the market for safe, non polluting green products.  And when you go outside and look at our beautiful mountains, lakes and streams, you can feel good about doing your part to keep God’s creation clean and green.

Outer simplicity: Toxic products create air and water pollution during manufacture and use.  Nontoxic, concentrated biodegradable cleaners have less of a negative impact on drinking water and the air we breathe in the U.S and around the globe. By switching to nontoxic cleaning products you will be loving your neighbor as yourself.



Special Collection for Hard-to-Recycle Items:  First Rotating Quarterly Recycling Collection for West Buncombe

Rainbow Recycling is collaborating with Curbside Management, Asheville GreenWorks, E-cycleUs and Trash, Inc. Creative Reuse Center to sponsor a special recycling collection on Saturday, June 9, 2012, 10am-2pm at Aaron’s (Park Terrace Center) at 1298 Patton Avenue, Asheville.  A wide array of hard-to-recycle items – those not accepted in your regular curbside recycling – will be collected at this event along with a few other select items.  Some articles will be given or made available to those who can reuse them, such as packaging, flower pots, towels and blankets (animal care) and eyeglasses.

This event is an opportunity to responsibly dispose of that abundant and troublesome material –Styrofoam.  Rainbow Recycling and Postage Express will happily take it along with other packaging material (bubble wrap, air pillows, foam sheeting, paper) for reuse or recycling.  All packaging items must be sorted and bagged, free of tape, glue and grease.

NOT taken – Styrofoam food service containers or upholstery, insulation or colored foam.

Needing to rid yourself of those bulky plastic objects such as lawn furniture, yard toys, buckets and garbage cans?  Curbside Management will be on site to help you out.  Flower pots will be available to local growers and gardeners for reuse.  Curbside will also be collecting hardback, paperback, and phone books and cardboard.

E-CycleUs will accept your electronics – computers and related equipment and accessories, audio/video equipment, and all small batteries.  There is a $6.00 handling fee for TV’s and CRT monitors.  Other items will be channeled into recycling fundraiser programs.  Isaac Dickson Elementary PTA will take small handheld electronics (cell phones, PDA’s, iPods and iPads, e-readers, MP3 players, digital cameras and chargers); Francine Delany New School for Children and Rainbow Recycling will benefit from collected printer, copier, and fax cartridges.  In addition, Asheville GreenWorks will accept CD’s and DVD’s for recycling.

Individually bagged CFL’s (no fluorescent tubes) will be taken by Lowe’s.  Rainbow Recycling will collect small appliances for recycling (no oil-filled radiator-type space heaters).  Trash, Inc. will take other metals and wire for reuse or recycling as well as plastic gift cards and old credit cards for artist reuse.

Unusable clothing and fabric will go to ABCCM (Asheville-Buncombe CommunityChristian Ministry) for their recycling fundraiser while towels and blankets will get reused by Asheville Humane Society in their care for animals.  This shelter will also take small stuffed animals (non-pellet) and baby teething rings, and cat/dog toys and crates.  Useful in their work and also accepted at this event are empty cardboard shoe boxes, plastic storage bins, spices, beef and chicken bouillon.

Prescription eyeglasses (in any condition) will be given to The Optical Shoppe for reuse in “The Gift of Sight” program.  Your used cooking oil will be gratefully accepted by The Cooking Oil Recycling Program for conversion to biodiesel fuel by Blue Ridge Biofuels.

Please note that this event runs for just four hours – 10am – 2pm.  No early or late drop-offs; accepting listed items ONLY.  For your convenience, there will be two options available – “park and drop” (easy if you have few, easy-to-carry items) and “drive-thru” (helpful if you have large quantities, bulky/heavy items; volunteers will assist).

For general questions, contact Rainbow Recycling, (828) 669-5459,info@rainbowrecycling.org, before June 9.  If you have specific questions about accepted items, please contact the appropriate vendor (see flyer posted onwww.ashevillegreenworks.org) or request by e-mail from Rainbow Recycling.  More volunteers are needed; if you would like to help at this event (two hour shift for set-up, collection, or closing), contact Gail at 298-0538.

The next Hard-to-Recycle Collection in this program will rotate back to East Buncombe in early September. Please carefully consider your purchase and disposal choices so that our children and grandchildren will have the resources they need and a clean environment for their lives.

Rainbow Recycling was awarded a 2012 Spotlight Award for the Hard-to-Recycle Event from the Carolina Recycling Association at its annual conference at the Grove Park Inn in March.

Hard 2 Recycle Items Day!

Come out to the City Market Tailgate, enjoy local organic produce and drop off some hard to recycle items on Saturday, April 28th.

Collecting the following items:

  • Hard, Bulky Plastics (no VHS Tapes) CDs / DVDs Televisions with a $5.00 donation
  • Small Appliances Electronics of any kind
  • Old Computers, Laptops, computer accessories
  • Cell Phones, PDAs, Chargers Bulky Packing Styrofoam and Peanuts. (no food packaging styrofoam)
  • Old Blankets, Comforters and Pillows
  • Prescription Eyewear
  • CFL Bulbs

Not Accepting: Batteries, Fluorescent tubes, Paints or Petroleum products.

For more information or if you can help Volunteer for this event, please contact Eric Bradford Ph 828-254-1776 eric@ashevillegreenworks.org

DO NOT MISS THIS * Special Collection! “Hard To Recycle Items Day” *

Sat, January 14, 11am – 3pm
*** 1830 Hendersonville Road; Asheville; Kmart ***
  • Hard / Rigid Plastics
  • outdoor toys and furniture
  • Electronics
  • Computers
  • Consoles
  • Vacuums
  • Printers
  • Fans
  • Microwaves
  • Faxes
  • ANYTHING with a plug
  • **TV’s are accepted with a suggested $5 donation for recycling**
  • Cell Phones
  • Cell Phone Chargers
  • PDA’s
  • MP3 Players
  • Rechargeable Batteries ONLY (NO alkaline batteries)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Old Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Pillows
We need Volunteers to help unload cars, direct traffic and have a great time. Please RSVP to: eric@ashevillegreenworks.org Or call: 828-254-1776

Tips & Tricks: Food + Face

I have been following the blog of a super fun lady…..her blog is CRUNCHY BETTY.  I like to follow her articles- and I have passed on bits of her ideas to you….I also have tried most of the recipes she recommends.  Her posting recently was based on a couple of manuscripts written in 1779 & 1609.  (Go to her blog for the full story–it’s awesome).

Anyway, she share this scan of 2 pages:

How neat is that?  For me, it validates the return to our ancestors’ cleaning methods; and here is why:  Recipes very similar to those (minus a few hard to find ingredients) are still used today– by me and by many others who read Crunchy Betty.

Here is an example from her site:

“16. To help a face that is red or pimpled”

“Dissolve common Salt in the iuyce of Lemmons, and with a linnen cloth pat the patients face that is full of heat or pimples. It cureth in a few dressings”.

“Does this translate today?: yeah! One of the most well-known home remedies for getting rid of pimples is lemon juice, and even though salt is reported as comedogenic, I’ve read hundreds of reports from acne sufferers that this exact remedy works for them today”. 

IF YOU TRY THIS, be sure to dilute the lemon juice with water and only add more lemon juice after you determine a comfortable level.  Citric acid is strong and may sting in concentrated amounts.  As with all food on the face recipes, ingredient amounts vary depending on your skin type and what you are after (just like in your spaghetti sauce) 🙂  You can also try a paste of apple cider vinegar and a dab of baking soda.

So there you have it- we are not crazy.  Our foremothers were unable to buy Clearasil® which is full of these ingredients:

Water Diluent
Glycerin Solvent
Myristic Acid None
Stearic Acid Thickener
Palmitic Acid Other
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate Other
Lauric Acid Other
Potassium Hydroxide pH Adjuster
Fragrance / Parfum Fragrance
Isoceteth-20 None
Triclosan Other
Pentasodium Pentetate Complexing/Sequestering Agent
Tetrasodium Etidronate Complexing/Sequestering Agent
Menthol Flavor – Active
Caprylic Acid Other
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Other
Maltodextrin None
Capric Acid None
Sodium Hydroxide pH Adjuster
Sodium Benzoate Preservative
Potassium Sorbate Preservative


Or…… you can use Lemon Juice which is full of these:  Citric Acid.  The other nice part of using Lemon is that it is at most $0.50 to $1.00.

And, remember, lemon juice is a powerful cleaning agent too.  A few drops with vinegar and water can help to cut grease.

One other ingredient mentioned by the Great Great Great+ Ladies is Sweet Almond Oil.  I ordered some form a reputable online source and used it to pieces.  It is wonderfully absorbent on the skin and makes a great addition to any face mask, hand lotion, etc. you may make.

So try to research and put some food on your face.  It’s less expensive, and more importantly, as with my stance on grocery items- you can understand all of the ingredients.

Want some great food ideas? Leave a comment or contact Penny Gibbs.