I was so happy to be able to have my first veggi patch when I moved back up to the Lakes. I grabbed a gardening book and started planning.
When Joe got home he probably couldn't even understand what I was saying I was so excited, but he had to be the “Debbie Downer” and break the news to me that I could not put my plot where I wanted. See not only was this my first time having a property big enough for a garden, it was also my first property with a septic system.
He explained to me where the tank and weeping bed was and how it would be like fertilizing our garden with our, well...personal compost tea...He explained how everything that went into the septic came out, eventually, through the weeping system.I thought a septic filtered all of that stuff out?? Nope- all it does is hold the solids until they become liquid enough to make their way through a series of pipes into the ground, no filters, no magical ferries in it that takes out the germs and the soap, it basically goes right into the yard.
Well that got me thinking- what about the bleach I use to clean the bathroom? I don’t want that going into the food I’m growing, and wait a minute- I don’t want that going into the lake I swim in either!
Investigating further I found that the DavidSuzuki Foundation has created a list called “The Dirty Dozen”. These are ingredients found in almost all household cleaners, laundry detergents, soaps, and personal care products that are not filtered out by municipal waste water stations or septic systems. They go directly back into our water table and have negative impacts on our natural eco systems.
Negative impacts on our drinking, swimming, fishing, and boating water!
So I made our home ‘chemical free’ by switching to eco labelled products. These products don’t have the ‘dirty dozen’ in them and have gone way up in effectiveness and way down in price in the past few years. Now I don’t have to worry about bleaching my vegetables or the lake.
Check out this super cheap, super easy, and super eco friendly laundry soap recipe- sorry no dish soap recipe, I tried once and I failed miserably!
This is the un edited version of my column in The Promoter.
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