Practical tips for a domestic ecology

You may have asked yourself: What can I do to help in the difficult situation the Planet is going through? or How can I keep my house clean and toxic-free? or How to combat insects without poisoning my family? If nothing came to mind, you'll probably find some answers below.

when we go shopping
- Let's select products whose packaging is returnable or biodegradable.
- Let's bring our own bags (this way we will take less plastic home)
- Let us acquire biodegradable cleaning products and ecological lines that exist on the market.
- Let's not buy aerosol products.

in our home
- Let's not waste paper.
- Let's not waste drinking water (it is less than 1% of what exists on the planet)
- Let's not waste energy, it is produced by gas, coal or oil, which are very polluting.
- Let's use chemicals in moderation, especially cleaning products and insecticides.
- Let's reuse plastic bags.
- Let's avoid the excessive use of batteries in household appliances.

When we go out for a walk
- Let's avoid using the car on short trips.
- If we go out by car, let's use unleaded fuels and avoid high speeds.
- Let's not throw garbage in the streets, routes or waterways.
- Plastics, Styrofoam and glass are not biodegradable.
- They are very polluting: batteries, aerosols, Styrofoam, cleaning products and insecticides.


- Of all the water on our planet, only less than 1% is drinkable.
- More than two million people, especially children, die every year around the planet due to lack of drinking water (they get sick from drinking contaminated water).
- The water purification process is very expensive, in terms of money and time.

We can save water:

- Preventing leaks at home in tanks, toilets, faucets, etc.
- Keeping the faucet closed when brushing our teeth, when we soap ourselves when showering, etc.
- When we wash the dishes, use a container with soapy water (we also save detergent) and rinse everything together.
- When bathing, the shower consumes less water (5 min. 70 liters) than the immersion bath (bathtub: 200 liters).
- Let's not clean the sidewalk and the car with the hose, let's use a bucket with water.

Pollution at home

- Recent studies show that the level of environmental pollution inside the home is higher than outside, and this is due to the cleaning products and insecticides that housewives use.
- This could be the cause of the notable increase in respiratory diseases, asthma, allergies, etc. And skin irritations seen in recent years.
- These products, when filtered through cesspools and sewage, contribute to the contamination of groundwater, rivers and seas.

As alternatives, we suggest:

In the cleaning:

- Limit the use of detergents, a vinegar or lemon solution works for ceramics and glass and is a degreaser.
- To clean the oven, spray with hot water and add baking soda, then gently scrub with fine varnish.
- Instead of mothballs, which affect the liver and kidneys, use bags with lavender flowers.
- The air deodorant can be replaced by a mixture of herbs with vinegar or lemon juice, or incense.
- To clean the bathroom, use a mixture of baking soda and water. As a disinfectant, use half a cup of borax dissolved in 4,5 liters of water.
- Bronze objects can be cleaned by leaving them in vinegar overnight.
- To keep the house clean you only need soap and water.


- Mosquito nets are very useful. Pots of basil on the windows keep flies away.

- Spiders are good allies since they reduce the population of insects, which they feed on.

- Against cockroaches, mix: flour, plaster, sugar and baking soda.

- Against ants: scatter coffee grounds in small quantities.

- Against snails and slugs: place a wide-mouth container with beer in the garden.

- To keep the house free of pests it is only necessary to keep it clean.


- The burning of fossil fuels: gas, coal and oil, produces carbon dioxide, CO2. This gas, CO2, is responsible for the warming of the Earth's atmosphere, known as the greenhouse effect.
- Burning fuel in power plants and cars produces the largest volume of CO2, as well as acid rain and air pollution.

We can save energy

- When cooking, let's avoid the flame protruding from the container.
- If we have it, let's use pressure cookers or special materials that allow for faster cooking over low heat.
- Let's turn off the lights that we don't use.
- If we can, let's use low-consumption lamps, which, although they are more expensive, last up to 10 times longer and consume 75% less energy.
- Let's use the car as little as possible.

Ozone layer

- The ozone layer is a sphere of gas that surrounds the planet, protecting it from
- Ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun.
- Ultra violet radiation, as a result of the decrease in the ozone layer, produces: skin cancer, cataracts and depression of the immune system in the human body, decrease in harvests and destruction of plankton in aquatic ecosystems.
- There are several products that destroy the ozone layer, but the most important are those known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- CFCs are found in the refrigerant gas of refrigerators and air conditioners in homes and automobiles, insulating foams (styrofoam), halon fire extinguishers and aerosols.

What can we do to prevent the destruction of the ozone layer?

- Let's check that there are no gas leaks from refrigerators and air conditioners in homes and cars.
- If we have to buy a refrigerator, ask for the ones that do not pollute.
- Let's avoid buying styrofoam, in all its forms.
- Let's not buy fire extinguishers with halon gas.
- Let's not buy aerosol products, even if they do not contain CFCs, they produce smog.

By Lic. Biologist Silvia Rinaldi.