If you’re like me, your inbox has been flooded with Giving Tuesday opportunities today. Having worked in non-profits for 10 years and also holding a strong belief in supporting the community, I applaud this day to balance out all the hoopla of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday (which I also applaud)/and Cyber Monday.
One easy way to give is right in your kitchen as soon as now. You can give back to the environment, reduce exposure to toxins like BPA and save money by going on a plastic detox.
Even though I often carry around my own bag to limit acquiring plastic bags while shopping, it is difficult to significantly reduce plastic in our lives.
The no-straw movement has been powerful and living at the beach part time, I see first-hand how damaging plastic straws are to marine life and the beaches. In fact, some of my friends will be receiving the gift of reusable straws this season.
But reducing plastic will do more than help the environment. It will improve your health.
Want to read a scary article? Check out this one about how “the human race is apparently on a trend line toward becoming unable to reproduce itself” due to significantly reduced sperm count, which has been found to actually start in utero. Scientists are finding the main cause to be all the chemicals we started to introduce to our bodies since the Chemical Revolution. This revolution brought us some amazing things, but some not so amazing like endocrine disruptors which impact your hormones.
“And it turns out that many of the compounds used to make plastic soft and flexible (like phthalates) or to make them harder and stronger (like Bisphenol A, or BPA) are consummate endocrine disruptors. Phthalates and BPA, for example, mimic estrogen in the bloodstream.” This can cause many issues.
You can read the full article for details, but the point is these chemicals are in all kinds of plastics. And we can ingest BPA via plastic water bottles, food storage containers, and handling of receipts (!), as well as Phthalates via pill coatings, textiles, paint, packaging, cosmetics and tubing that processes food.
You may think recycling is the answer and yes, please do recycle! The sad truth though is that many of what we recycle ends up in landfill anyway. And China, who used to do much of the world’s recycling is no longer doing so. Plus, once something is recycled, it becomes “down cycled” and ultimately ends up in landfill anyway. Sigh.
The only real way to reduce it, is not to use it in the first place.
This article goes into a lot more detail and tips, and I’ll share my favorites.
The author suggests you start in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce single use plastic and I agree:
Reduce “to go” and take-out containers.
When buying veggies, use your own bag instead of the plastic ones in the market.
Bring your own containers to the store and have servers use them. Do the same at your favorite take out restaurants. Yes, it’s a pain, but it will make a significant dent toward reducing plastics.
Just say no
No to take-out silverware, straws, condiments (you have or make your own at home, right? In glass containers, right?), etc.
Go stainless steel
Get your own reusable coffee cup, water bottle, straw, etc.
For storage containers, use glass.
Substitute bee’s wax
My husband and I recently bought these reusable food wraps. No more plastic wrap needed!
Check out this package free site for other ways to go packaging free.
In the bathroom, get bamboo toothbrushes, stainless steel razors, and non-plastic hair brushes.
You can also buy clothes on consignment, and own designer clothing for significantly reduced prices and reduce waste.
So, take some time to give today whether it be charitable donations to your favorite causes, clothing to the local Good Will, or by reducing your waste. Start with moving toward a plastic free existence, or even by just starting to be aware of its role in our life and home.
The earth, your health and your wallet will thank you.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
Save the date: Our next Montauk Retreat will be May 31-June 2.