Plastic seems to be everywhere these days and while we’ve come to normalize it, research has actually found it’s a huge health concern.
“Humans are being exposed to both plastic particles and chemical additives being released from the plastic debris of consumer society. This material is fragmenting, leaching and spreading throughout the biosphere, including indoor and outdoor air, soil, and water systems.”https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.6b02569
We all know the big story about why plastic is bad – it doesn’t break down which means more waste on Earth, but the story is actually so much worse than that. Not only does plastic cause dangerous waste (insert a poor sea turtle stuck in plastic here), it literally poisons the environment around us.
Exposure to harmful chemicals during manufacturing, leaching in the stored food items while using plastic packages or chewing of plastic teethers and toys by children are linked with severe adverse health outcomes such as cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive effects etc.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299092/#idm140193968392208title
“Researchers concluded that women who had high levels of BPA in their blood were at significantly increased risk of miscarriage compared to women with the lowest levels.”https://greenmamalife.com/prevent-miscarriage-by-avoiding-these-things-in-your-home/
The FDA also now recommends to avoid using plastic bottles for infants because the bottle leaches chemicals into the milk.
There are too many adverse affects of plastic that we all must become a plastic-free, especially in our homes.
Our job is to vote with our money. We have to scream “NO TO PLASTIC” by not throwing a single cent in its direction. We have to donate, gift, and recycle the plastic in our homes. We have to limit what plastic is in our lives and lead the way for others on a path of saying no to plastic.
I know – “I already own it so what’s the harm of keeping it,” (you know, other than the literal side effects to your health) but hear me out. Others see us carry on using plastic in our lives and feel validated in continuing to use and buy plastic. Just make the statement “I am going plastic-free” and watch everyone around you get much more cautious and considerate of their plastic usage.
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Ok, so you’re ready to start taking steps to ditch plastic- awesome! It can be overwhelming at first as so many things that are considered daily use necessities are made of plastic, but there are so many aesthetic and healthier options you can switch to!
The sneakiest of plastics and one of the most damaging is plastic fabrics, also referred to as polyester, nylon, and acrylic. These are the most damaging to our health (because of their vicinity to our skin) as well as to the environment because of microplastics shedding from the fabric into waterways and the air.
“Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.”https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/the-goods/2018/9/19/17800654/clothes-plastic-pollution-polyester-washing-machine
The healthiest and most sustainable options are organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing. For more budget friendly options try second hand cotton clothing!
Ok, I’m sure you’ve heard this one on repeat, but say you are on gross water (seriously don’t drink tap water), you might feel inclined to buy a plastic bottle or jug of water, but there are much better options. The Berkey water filter is a lifesaver, literally. It provides a zero-waste option for fresh, clean water. You could even pop filthy side-of-the-road water in there and get delicious drinking water. Invest in a Berkey y’all.
That face wash, body scrub, whatever it is, never buy it again. The micro scrub elements are actually just plastic. Try a small business glass contained face wash or a DIY bar soap instead!
That plastic wrap is totally useless. You may feel like you’re keeping germs out of your food, but that’s just how the plastic wrap marketers want you to feel. Choose a plastic-free option such as a cloth cover or beeswax cover which are just as effective. When storing your food, avoid toxic chemicals leaching into your food by storing it in glass or metal storage containers rather than plastic.
Little by little we can escape the grasp of plastic, creating a healthier life and influencing others to stop investing in plastic. Remember, the more money we put towards plastic the more we encourage big businesses to create it!