"Plastics are everywhere – in food containers and toys, in cosmetics packaging and household utensils. While some plastics are eco-friendly and may be safe for kids, others contain harmful chemicals or cause dangerous pollution during manufacturing. It’s just about impossible to avoid plastics altogether, but you can look for plastics that are safer for your family and the environment. So get to know the recycling codes imprinted on the underside of plastic products." (www.healthychild.org).
On my journey to create a healthier home and lifestyle for my family I have found some easy 'swaps' for things we often take for granted in the plastic world. We may not be able to do everything, and our house certainly still has a lot of plastic in it but where I can I try and do my best to eliminate plastics in items that come in close contact to our:
Bodies (skin absorption)
SWAP OUT THESE PLASTICS
- Plastic water bottles for tin or glass with protective sleeves.
- Plastic tupperware for glass containers with silicone lids.
- Plastic lunch boxes or sandwich bags for metal lunch boxes.
- Plastic wrapped foods (cheeses, meats etc) by removing them from their plastic wrapping and storing them in glass fridge containers or Waxi Wraps.
- Limit the use of cling wrap to bare necessity (like taking a salad to a party, just not every day food storage and particularly not around hot food). Use wax paper (baking paper) where possible.
- Plastic baby feeding bottles for glass versions, Avent does a range which is just as affordable and you can get one with little silicone sleeves on them for grip.
- Plastic kids crockery for bamboo versions, it is just as hardy, colourful and dishwasher safe too.
- Store all dried pantry items in glass jars or containers. I take everything out of its packets when I buy it, such as seeds, nuts, grains, pulses, pastas, tea leaves etc and bottle them up.
- Cleaning products can be stored in glass spray bottles if you desire.
- I buy things in glass as much as possible, because shelf products usually have been and will be sitting in plastic for a very long time and exposed to varying heat temperatures during storage, and then I am also left with glass jars to restore my own food in once I've finished the product.
- Take away coffee cups replaced with glass keep cups.
- Use green bags, eco bags, baskets or cooler bags when shopping. (If I don't have any with me and I get given plastic bags, I save them and give them to one of the guys at our farmers markets who sells meat, he passes them onto other customers that day and they are reused rather than stored away or thrown away).
- Drink water out of glass or metal bottles.
- Babies use natural rubber dummies instead of plastic (even BPA free ones).
- Natural fibered rugs in the house rather than synthetic rugs.
- Good quality linen, bamboo if possible or 100% cotton and removed from plastic packaging and washed, and dried in the sun before the first use.
Some useful websites to help you source information about plastics to avoid and what products to replace them with include: