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Reduce Your Use of Plastic
Along my journey I learned that plastics can have a detrimental effect on our health. Whether from BPA or other substances, the degradation of plastics changes our biochemistry, often having negative consequences on our endocrine system and overall health.
I have not be able to fully eliminate the use of plastics from my life, but I have made many strides towards that aim and share a few of the tips and products that I love.
- Choose glass – Glass is a great inert substitute for plastics around the kitchen and on the go. I threw out all of our plastic leftover dishes and invested in some glass ones by Pyrex. They are inexpensive and easily stack in your drawer or cabinet. I also have a couple glass water bottles by bkr. Granted they have a silicone sleeve, but this way no plastic is touching the water I drink. I like these because the diameter allows them to fit in any cup holder and there are many fun colors.
- Choose stainless steel – Stainless steel is a revelation for me. I really love it! I have stainless steel pots and pans. I have stainless steel straws. I have stainless steel lunchboxes by Planetbox. I use the Rover for my Kindergartner and myself and the Shuttle for the toddler. I also have a stainless steel water bottle.
- Choose cast iron or stainless steel cookware – I do not recommend any Teflon-coated or even the “green” ware type cookware. With the right fats coating a pan and a trusty scraper and some PUREhaven Essentials scrubbing cleanser, an extra minute of clean up is worth the peace of mind to my health. I adore my Le Creuset. They are an investment but they also last forever. Your children will probably still be using them. You can even find some good deals on them on Craigslist or your local yard sale groups. And if you can’t afford Le Creuset, Lodge makes many excellent products. I use my flat skillet daily. They come pre-seasoned and ready to go.
- Give up gum – Your teeth and jaw will thank you for it…and so will the Earth.
- Stock your car with reusable grocery bags – This way you will have them when you need them. If you have to take a plastic bag, make sure you recycle it in some way. We use ours to clean up after the dog.I love these market totes by Vera Bradley because they are super large and hold everything.
- Give cloth diapers a try – I’ve read mixed things about the overall environmental impact of cloth diapers versus plastic diapers. I myself was only able to use them for about 75% of my diapering needs up until 2 years of age when the convenience of plastic won out. That said, while I was cloth diapering, I really loved cotton fitteds plus Thirsty covers (plus a plastic Snappi – ugh) for the newborn stage and BumGenius Elemental for the 4-18 month range. For detergent, I had success with Rockin’ Green Bare Naked Babies.
- Give up the pre-packaged microwavable meals – I know. They are convenient. I ate one for lunch pretty much every day of my life during my 20s, and I’m pretty sure all that plastic breaking down into my food contributed to my thyroid issues and the uterine fibroid a I developed. With just a little bit of planning, and a fun Planetbox (see #2) lunchbox, bringing your lunch is healthier and cheaper.