Plastic is taking over, and it’s a bit freakish. So here is my short rant:
I see the videos of our oceans infiltrated with plastic trash. I see the statistics about our use of plastic and how it effects the environment. I saw the video about the toothbrush traveling around the world in the ocean. I assume this information is true. But I also see the trash were I live. I see the plastic and trash washing up on the beaches I visit. I know trash is dumped into our oceans and cargo falls off boats and ships into our oceans, hurting our sea creatures, damaging and killing life below the surface. It makes me sick. Our selfish indulgent desire for immediate gratification, and our cramped schedules create solutions served in plastic packaging and disposable containers. Convenience. And where does it all go?
But is there a real solution? Will things change? Not in our lifetime.
My renewed awareness of plastic and it’s effect on our environment, and my health, came from a reusable plastic water bottle. The water didn’t taste good. When I drank water from the same source, with a steel bottle, the water tasted wonderful. Hummmm. I decided it was time to make some changes. (Unfortunately that water bottle was not something I could put into my recycle bin and it had to go into the trash)
This post isn’t about saving the world. How people, governments, nations need to change and fix the broken. Again, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. We want what we want and most of us are going to get it, regardless.
This post is about what I am doing, and what is working for me. The changes I make in my tiny little world will not only help protect my health and make me feel like I am doing “something”, but it will have a very small effect on the environment around me.
So here I go.
I have read that silicone is safe to use, and according to what I read, you can microwave and even bake with it. I did some searching, read reviews on these silicone storage bags, and decided to give them a try. You can find them here on Amazon. I have the larger size bags as well, find them here on Amazon. So far I have used them for freezing fruit and soup. They are easy to fill, durable, and it is easy to break the fruit apart if you only want a small amount at a time. They also have measurements listed on them.
I am slowly eliminating plastic storage containers, but I have a long ways to go with this. I have started reusing empty glass containers for storage. And because there are a few items I buy regularly, I have created my own matching “set” of sorts. The sizes work nicely, and they don’t look too bad on the shelf. I find them very convenient.
Now, here is something very different I am giving a try: Bee’s Wrap Assorted 3 Pack, Eco Friendly Reusable Food Wraps. I have prevented the use of several small plastic bags by wrapping my apple in this product.
It says you can get as many as 150 uses out of them, but I’m doubting I will be able to use mine that many times. But, overall, it does work. So far I’ve just used them for fruit to take in my lunch, rather than a plastic bag.
I prep my food for the week. I take a lot of veggies and soup for lunch. I have purchased glass bowls with lids. But the lids are plastic. Another product I have been using is Bowl Covers Stretch Lids, again, made of silicone. I use these to cover my glass bowls instead of the plastic lid when microwaving. They work. And I have used them to cover glass bowls in the refrigerator. However, they don’t stick to damp glass. It needs to be dry.
Another trick I use that mom suggested years ago, is to cover my dish with a paper plate. That also works fantastically and is very inexpensive. I buy paper plates in bulk at Costco.
I stopped carrying around plastic cups. But I do take water with me everywhere I go. I have filtered water in my fridge, and I fill up before I leave. I have found this bottle extremely handy because of it’s small size: Maison Maxx Durable Outdoors BPA-free Leak-Proof Glass Drinking Water Bottle.
I am also a huge fan of Hydro Flask. I picked one up on vacation at the recommendation of a family member, and fell in love. When living in a hot climate, you want cold water. This keeps water and ice cold for hours. In fact, we have found ice to remain frozen for a day or two! And the steel really keeps the water tasting wonderful. I have invested in my second one which I personalized to fit my taste. They are spendy though. I found one at Costco for my husband and it was an excellent price.
In order to prevent the purchase of bottled water, we used our Hydro Flasks as well as three silicone water bottles I had purchased a couple of years ago, on a recent trip. I hadn’t used the silicone bottles much in the past, but I am using them now. By filling up our bottles with our filtered water, we avoided purchasing bottled water. During our five day trip to Disneyland I only purchased one bottle of water. We realized the ice in the hotel tasted better than the facet water. We filled up our bottles morning and night with ice, let it melt, and had plenty of cool tasty water, without purchasing! A trick we will use in the future.
Now, if you aren’t inspired to try to decrease your use of plastic, and even more specifically, plastic bottled water, perhaps this new flash might help: Your bottled water may contain small pieces of plastic! Yikes! I heard this on the news a couple of days ago. And there are several news articles siting it as fact.
- USA Today
A recently released study tested 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold across nine countries, including the United States, and found that 93% of those tested contained microplastic contamination. The research, which was conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia and non-profit journalism organization Orb Media, found an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water, which is twice the amount of contamination found in tap water, according to another Orb Media investigation.
You’re drinking plastic, I’m drinking plastic, we’re all drinking plastic. Bottled water drinkers may be drinking the most plastic of all.
A new study released by Orb Media estimates that on average, a liter of bottled water from big brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and Nestle, contains roughly 10.4 plastic particles.
The world drinks them in swiftly, consuming roughly a million plastic bottles a minute, as the Guardian estimates. And researchers think there are probably even more, much tinier plastic bits swimming in the bottles that are nearly untraceable.
Take a look around your kitchen, watch as you go through the grocery store, fast food, convenience stores, and see. Plastic has taken over our lives.
Although I would love to save the world and rescue the planet. I have decided to zoom in on my little world. And along the way I will contribute to causes that I see out there doing their part (and there are many of them).
I have replaced many of my plastic drinking cups with glasses. I am replacing plastic bowls with glass. I have a lot more to do, and I’m tackling them one task at a time. But I’m doing it for my health, my family’s health, and to decrease my part in contaminating this beautiful world we live in. I can only be responsible for me.