Kicking the Plastic Habit

4 years ago

 

plasticLet’s face it, plastic is everywhere!  And no matter how hard you try it’s nearly impossible to avoid using it in one form or another.  Packaging, food storage containers, trash bags - our lives are wrapped in plastic and that scares me. No, it REALLY scares me.

We’ve all heard about the health dangers of BPA and phthalates, two classes of chemicals commonly found in plastics. So why aren’t we doing more to protect ourselves and our families, not to mention the environment?  I suspect that most people think plastic is unavoidable so they just live with it. 

Until recently, I too had acquiesced feeling that plastic was just part of life and I had to deal with it.  But then I saw the documentary “Bag It” about the waste and health implications of plastic.  When the film was over, I literally jumped out of my seat, went downstairs and threw every single piece of plastic in our kitchen into the recycling bin.

I’ve got to admit that initially it was hard to avoid the synthetic stuff, and I can’t say that I’ve been able to eliminate it completely from my life. But since I made the commitment to avoid plastics, I’ve found that it’s not quite as tough as I thought it would be.

Here are some tips to help you transition away from plastic:

1)      Ditch plastic sandwich bags and use cloth bags specially made for food storage.

2)      When grocery shopping, bring your own reusable produce bags and skip the store’s plastic bags altogether.

3)      Switch from products sold in plastic to those sold in glass such as peanut butter, honey, ketchup, and mustard.  You can then use those glass bottles for food storage or for other uses around the house.

4)      Recycle the Tupperware and use glass.  (An extra benefit to glass storage is that the glass can be put in the oven to heat stored foods.)  

5)      Replace plastic water bottles with stainless steel bottles.

6)      Invest in a water filtration system and never buy bottled water again. If you like sparkling water, invest a soda maker.  

7)      Make the move to biodegradable garbage bags.

8)      Rather than buy products that only come in plastic containers, consider making them. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to make shampoo, cleaning products, yogurt, mustard, and salad dressings.

9)      You may think I’m crazy, but bring your glass containers to restaurants to take leftovers home. You can easily hide them in an oversized bag.

Remember, the more you get in the habit of using alternatives to plastic, the easier it will be. And your family and the earth will thank you.

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