20 Reasons You Should Ditch Plastic!

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March 25, 2019|HEALTHY, ESSENTIALS, LOW-WASTE, HOME, ZERO WASTE

Here are 20 Reasons you need to DITCH PLASTIC!

Lets break this up into 10 reasons and 10 swaps- who wants to know the problem without a solution?

1. Earth can’t break down many plastics. Once it exists, it’s never going to be gone, gone. Every bit of plastic that’s ever been made still exists on our earth. As time goes by plastic will eventually separate and break down into smaller and smaller pieces, but never completely biodegrade.. 

2. Plastic officially outnumbers our sea life with a whooping 6:1 ratio

3. 1,000,000 (1 million) sea birds are killed annually from plastic debris in our ocean

4. In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that 14 billion pounds of garbage was being dumped into the ocean every year. That’s more than 1.5 million pounds per hour. You don’t want any part in that, I promise.

5. All of our sea turtle species have been documented with plastic somewhere in or around their body. I don’t need to point out that this is no way for any being to live. 

6. Plastic chemicals, like BPA, are absorbed by the body. They disrupt hormones and your endocrine system. This causes a testosterone  drop in our men and boys, and effects women’s estrogen levels as well.. I truly believe this is cause of the rising infertility rates and dropping sperm counts.  I am working on a much more detailed post on this right now, It should be available by next week. I am extremely passionate about bringing this specific issue to light, as It’s a big issue. Especially if you have autoimmune disease.

7. Aside from the BPA issue, which most people are aware of, plastic also contains DDT and PCB — two extremely toxic chemicals. The health effects of DDT include cancer, male infertility, miscarriages and low birth weight, developmental delay, nervous system and liver damage. PCBs also contribute to cancer and cause disorders of the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

8. Research led by journalism organization Orb Media discovered an average of 325 plastic particles per liter. Tests on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic. Not a big deal right? Wrong. We are all being used as guinea pigs if we continue to use bottled water. Experts claim that the health risks of consuming micro plastics are far from known and depend on the quantities that are ingested and how long the  particles linger in a person’s gut. I personally don’t care if these “experts” can’t explain the negative effects. Common sense says that with what we know of BPA’s, DDT’s & PCBs, it could not possibly be good for human consumption. & that is more than enough for me to never give my family a toxic , plastic laden bottle of water again.  

9. Ok, after #8, you might have decided to bottle your own water to avoid plastic. Before you run to the kitchen faucet- you need to know this figure too. 83% of the worlds tap water supply is also infected with plastic particles (See what happens when 1.5 million Lbs. of plastic is dumped into the water supply every hour? Getting scary.) However, The US has the highest contamination rate of plastic fibers in the tap water, at a whooping 94%. Long story short, Do not drink or cook With Tap Water! 

10. This is something I at first refused t believe. But it is true and you should know too. Chewing gum is made of plastic.  Manufacturers don’t  disclose their ingredients because chewing on plastic doesn’t sound appealing( or healthy, or morally correct, yadda yadda). The reason they do not need to disclose exact ingredients in their gum bases is that these are considered “trade secrets”.  Therefore they can use non specific terms such as “gum base”, making it hard for consumers to know exactly what’s in their chewing gum.  What we do know is that most gum bases contain polyethylene, a plastic that’s used to make plastic bottles, plastic bags and seal tea bags.  Gum bases also tend to contain polyisobutylene – a rubber that’s used to make the inner tubes of tires.  What a treat… 

Now that you have gotten the “why” lets get right to the “How”

1. Plastic bags/baggies 

This may sound basic, but it makes a huge difference. Not only does this reduce waste, I have found it does make things easier. I can bag more items in one bag and have no fear of tearing! We also use These in place of the plastic produce bags and I love it!So by the end of my grocery trip I have more groceries, and less bags to carry! I sometimes forget, but I have started keeping 4-5 extras in the car just in case which has been a life saver for me at least a handful of times ! You can re-purpose old t-shirts into bags, buy them online , or you can collect them as you go in stores. Also many festivals and home & garden show type events typically give out tons of reusable bags for free! This is great if you don’t mind the logo/advertising.

2. Plastic food storage containers

You already know plastic is bad for our health don’t need it leaching into your food! Easiest switch to make is to utilize glass Pyrex dishes, mason jars or silicone storage baggies like thesewhich I do use for some items. (Personally I have not done enough research to know the exact effects of silicone on our body so use caution and do your own research! or preferably stick with copper, glass, or stainless steel!) Your best bet would be to go seek out these containers for cheap at liquidations sales, flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores , etc.

3. Plastic wrap

This one was tricky but once I got it, I got it. All you need are wax wraps! Seriously, you can use wax wraps on anything non-meat. This makes great lids for any size container. Just squish them in your hand first then press it directly onto the food, make a little bag for small items, or press it on the rim of  the container you want to cover and voila! You are good to go. To clean just rinse In cool water and use minimal scrubbing then let hang dry! ( I dab mine with a drying towel first then let air dry the rest of moisture) This was the brand I picked up. 

4. Bottled water

Ok, so we already know that plain tap water is a no go. Yes there is plastic but check back for my next post for “ 10 reasons to filter all your water sources” basically I’ll show you how to see exactly what is in your water and what you can do.. so what is the short answer? Basically filter your drinking and cooking water through a berkey. I purchased the big berkey which is 2.5 gallons and while that works for my family of 2 adults and 2 pets. But I wish we had gotten a size bigger, this one  would have worked better. We often have to fill our berkey twice a day! Once you have filtered or distilled your water, fill up mason jars or glass bottles like these. We use a mix of mason jars, recycled juice bottles, and purchased water bottles. 

5. Straws

This one is easy- you need stainless steel straws! They are not expensive at all, and help to chill your drink as you go. It feels pretty luxurious to me! Pick up a pack like these and or and you can also grab these if you are a big smoothie/shake drinker. Keep most in your kitchen, and 1 in your bag and 1 in your car.

6. Tooth brushes and mouth wash. ( I will update you guys with our home made mouth wash recipe soon! Its remineralizing ) Switch to bamboo toothbrushes like these. We buys ours in bulk! 

7. Shaving razors . You need to try this double-edged razor.We bought two different brands/styles and I prefer this model, The other version constantly twisted open while I was shaving. Ouch! Also grab this bulk pack of razors. This is the one we use and we haven’t run out in over 6 months.

8. Canned Food

Canned food contains BPA in their lining. Either purchase BPA free cans, glass jar “cans”, or can you own food! I am currently experimenting with canning and while I still have a lot to learn, I am so excited to write a post on canning. It has been a lot of fun so far. Keep an eye out for that post or sign up for my weekly news letter!

9. Milk, juice, etc. reach for the cardboard cartons Instead. You may have to get more than one, but it is worth it. Or you can purchase  it raw from local dairy farmers and reuse the glass milk jug it typically will come in. My mom used to do this when I was young and I loved it! I never liked the standard 2% milk from the store, but I did enjoy the local raw milk!

10. Check your recycle bin and trash cans! What do you throw away the most of? Take note of what it is and try to come up with an alternative option! I have been experimenting with a lot of methods lately and I can’t wait to share them with you. 

This isn’t a complete list, but I hope It gives you a good foundation to build on! Be sure to leave a comment letting me know if you have tried any of these swaps, or if you know of any swaps missing here.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Until next time,

Live a life, Simplified.

Alexis

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