Although having a greener, more eco-friendly environment often means keeping things until they absolutely cannot be used anymore, this is not true of all items. In fact, there are some things that are outright dangerous for your health if kept for too long. To have a healthier environment means living a clean life without producing unnecessary waste. So, when considering whether or not to prolong the life of the following items, always keep your personal wellbeing foremost in mind:
- Your toothbrush – change this every three months, whether or not the bristles still appear clean and in good condition. Your toothbrush is constantly moist and in contact with bacteria and food particles, making it the ideal breeding ground for germs. In addition, a worn out brush means that it is not as effective in cleaning your teeth, leaving them dirty and your breath anything but fresh. Your breath fresheners and dentist bills are not worth the price of a new toothbrush every few months. If you suffer from gum disease, your toothbrush should be replaced every four to six weeks.
- Razor blades – as soon as you can feel that the blade is blunt (when it is cutting or grazing your skin) or you can see rust on it, know that it is time to replace it. Rusty, blunt razors are bad for your skin and can cause scarring when cuts are severe enough.
- Running shoes – when your running shoes have holes anywhere on them or their soles, or no longer provide adequate cushioning for your feet, it is time to buy a new pair. In fact, your running shoes should be replaced every 560 to 880 kilometres (or 350 to 550 miles) for optimal performance and comfort.
- The kitchen cutting board – even when it looks clean, a cutting board can be fraught with germs, some of them very harmful ones (especially from raw chicken and meat). These boards also harbour strong smells, and can eventually infuse even fresh food with such unpleasant odours. Wash these with very hot water and a disinfecting soap and then dry them thoroughly after use. Replace cutting boards annually.
- The keyboard and mouse of your computer(s) – without realising it, we bring food and bacteria to our keyboard and mouse on a regular basis. To clean your keyboard, turn it upside down and shake it hard, allowing crumbs to fall out. Then, wipe it and the mouse with an antibacterial solution.
- All beds – although you may think you sleep alone, you are actually sharing your bed with millions of mites and germs. Did you know that the average adult loses approximately a cup of body fluid at night? Ensure that you replace your mattress and bedding every few years. In the meantime, wash linen in hot soapy water and hang it in direct sunlight to dry.