Tag Archives: plastic

It is HARD to Get Rid of Plastic!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the dangers of plastics and some ideas for cutting out some of the plastic we use.  Ever since then I have been noticing how EVERYTHING is plastic…it is probably impossible to escape it.  The radio I am listening to is made of plastic; my computer stand is plastic; my computer equipment (printer, mouse) is made of plastic; everything, even my toothbrush!

But, I am trying to at least cut back, and to eliminate as much plastic as possible from coming in contact with my food.  To that end, I have begun to save glass jars, and I have purchased some glass and stainless steel food storage containers.  Of course the glass containers have plastic lids!  But they tell me that they are BPA free…

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It’s a start.

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Cutting out Plastics or Going Back to the 50’s

As I wrote in a previous post, plastic is all around us and it can have some serious adverse health effects.

Cutting out plastics in our lives will not be easy.  Plastic is everywhere!  Even our sunglasses frames are plastic! But there are a lot of small things we can do which will be better for our health, better for the environment and will save us money.  Many of these ideas are  simply things that our grandparents did on a regular basis.  I welcome your ideas, maybe if we all implement one or two, we can live healthier and help the environment while we are at it.

  • Use paper bags, or better yet reusable cloth bags, for groceries. — I try to remember my bags when I go into the store.
  • Buy milk and juice in glass jars or tetra paks. — As I buy Almond or Coconut Milk and they come in paper cartons, this is an easy one for me.  
  • Use glass containers for storing food. — I really have to invest in some of these.  I’m still using cheap plastic!
  • Buy fresh foods rather than packaged foods that come in plastic trays with plastic wrap.  — I do buy mostly fresh food, but now that I think about it, I have some mushrooms in my refrigerator that came on a plastic tray with plastic wrap, and I always put my fresh fruits and veggies in the plastic bags, Hmmm I have some work to do here.
  • Wrap food in wax paper rather than plastic. — I suppose we’ll have to get some masking tape to seal the packages?
  • Carry water from home in a stainless steel reusable container, rather than buy bottled water.  — I’ve been good about not buying bottled water, but let’s see if I can continue once the summer gets here.
  • Don’t use plastic utensils. — This summer I’m going to get a cheap set of flatware for outdoor eating, and wash and reuse them!

I got some other ideas (like reusing jars I already have rather than recycling.them) from The Plastic Free Guide.  While you are on the site, check out the blog too: My Plastic Free Life

“Plastics” (To Quote Mr. Maguire in The Graduate)

We’ve come a long way since the early 60’s in many regards, including the abundance of plastic in our lives.  Think about it.  We use plastic constantly …  The morning newspaper is delivered in plastic.  Our cereal box is lined in plastic. The bread we use to make our toast is in plastic.  Often our juice comes in plastic containers, not to mention our milk.  The water/sports drink we grab as we head out the door is in plastic.  Our toothbrush is plastic.  The facial cleaners and shower gel are in plastic containers.  Our vitamin bottles are plastic.  The container we pack our lunch in, or wrap our sandwich in is plastic.  If we go out to lunch and take home some food, it is stored in a plastic container, and that’s just a sample of our exposure in the morning!  The list is endless. The bad news is that all this plastic presents serious biological risks. According to Mercola.com, while we should all be cutting down on our reliance on plastics (with the goal of eliminating them), there are some that are worse than others, and there are ways to identify them. The number printed on the bottom of most plastic containers defines the type of plastic being used, and some are worse than others.  Dr Mercola recommends totally avoiding plastics labeled #7, #3 or #6, and states that those labeled  #1, #2, #4 and #5 are somewhat safer options. I’ve pulled some excerpts from the article here for your information    For the complete article click on this link

#3 is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

“PVC plastic can be rigid or flexible, and is commonly found in bags for bedding, shrink wrap, deli and meat wrap, plastic toys, table cloths and blister packs used to store medications.

PVC contains toxic chemicals including DEHP, a type of phthalate used as a plastics softener. Phthalates are one of the groups of “gender-bending” chemicals causing males of many species to become more female. These chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of wildlife, causing testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts and infertility in a number of species, including polar bears, deer, whales and otters, just to name a few.

Scientists believe phthalates are responsible for a similar pattern of adverse effects in humans as well. If your home contains soft, flexible plastic flooring, such as vinyl or those padded play-mat floors for kids (often used in day cares and kindergartens, too), there’s a good chance it is also made from toxic PVC. PVC flooring has been linked to chronic diseases including allergies, asthma and autism.”

#6 is Polystyrene (PS) also known as Styrofoam

“Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is used to make cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers, meat trays and more. Polystyrene is known to leach styrene, which can damage your nervous system and is linked to cancer, into your food. Temperature has been found to play a role in how much styrene leaches from polystyrene containers, which means using them for hot foods and beverages (such as hot coffee in a polystyrene cup) may be worst of all.”

#7  Other — This designation describes plastics made from other plastics not identified by a defined category or made from a combination of plastics, most likely BPA or BPS

“BPA and BPS are endocrine disrupters, mimicking or interfering with the body’s hormones affecting, mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.

Some of the greatest concern surrounds early-life, in utero exposure to bisphenol compounds, which can lead to chromosomal errors in your developing fetus, causing spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. But evidence is also very strong showing these chemicals are influencing adults and children, too, and leading to decreased sperm quality, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction, cancer and heart disease, among numerous other health problems.

For instance, research has found that “higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population of the United States,” while another study found that BPA is associated not only with generalized and abdominal obesity, but also with insulin resistance, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.” 

I’d love to hear your ideas for cutting out these plastics!