Clean and Green

While I admit to feeling virtuous toting a reusable bag at the grocery store, and a refillable water bottle at the gym, they can harbor harmful bacteria.

It’s great to be kind to the environment, but it’s also important to keep these items healthy too.

Cloth or plastic coated grocery bags are a smart and eco-friendly alternative to the dilemma of paper or plastic? Yet, many of the bags tested contain high amounts of fecal bacteria. Strains of E-coli or salmonella can be passed onto the bags, (mostly from meat) and can later contaminate other items.

Make sure that you wash your reusable bags after each use. The cloth ones can be tossed into the washing machine with hot water and soap. The plastic coated bags should be rinsed out, wiped with an anti-bacterial solution, and dried thoroughly.

Reusable water bottles save us money, while saving the landfills about 92 bottles per year. Metal bottles are best, avoiding the BPA’s often found in plastic bottles.

Wash you bottle after each use with soap and water and rinse it well. Bottles can also be cleaned and sanitized by using either a baking soda and water, or white vinegar and water solution. Pour it into the bottle, shake it a bit to allow the solution to circulate, and let it sit for several minutes before rinsing well to get the residue out. Let the bottle air dry with the top off, to prevent it from getting a musty odor.

Be sure to clean the outside and the lip of the bottle to make sure unwanted bacteria doesn’t find its way into your drink.

It’s nice to be clean and green!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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