The Impact of Plastics
IS PLASTIC BAD?
There are multiple compelling reasons to reduce the use of plastics. Unfortunately, the common consumer does not realize what a problem to the environment and ourselves plastics can pose. Here’s some of the biggest reasons we should reduce plastic use:
Plastic is Not Biodegradable: Plastics will eventually break down into a fine plastic sand that will soak up and release toxins. The plastics will easily move into our soil and water and eventually affect what we grow, ingest and absorb.
There is Just TOO Much Plastic: Even with recycling (that still requires large amounts of resources), plastics are filling our landfills, oceans and other eco-systems at higher rates. You can imagine this results in animals ingesting discarded plastics, toxic chemicals leaching into our environment, plastic micro-beads accumulating in water sources, and floating plastic waste carrying invasive species to disrupt other eco-systems. Plastic bags top the list of our most discarded refuse and unfortunately plastic items are usually intended to be for short-term or even one-time use.
Petroleum Use is Not Sustainable: It is estimated that about 4% of our world oil use is tied up into plastics, and an equal amount is used as energy for the process of production. As we know, petroleum production pollutes our environment and isn’t good for our health.
Plastics are Toxic: Plastics contain harmful chemicals like phthalates, BPA, and flame retardants. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they alter hormones, and can lead to other serious health conditions. They leach into our soil, water, and food. They are especially dangerous when heated (think about that container of leftovers popped into the microwave, or a water bottle left in a hot car). As plastics break down, they absorb other dangerous materials such as pesticides. As you can see, they are bad for human health.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Recycle plastics: Recycle as much plastic as you can and support companies who do the same. There are multiple companies who now create toys, plates and other goods from recycled plastics.
Reuse what you can: Find new uses for plastic products. Keep jars with lids to store small items around the house like magnets, paperclips, screws, and hair ties. Use plastic bags over and over, including food storage bags. Plastic water bottles can be repurposed as a sensory toy for children, made into indoor pots, or cut to make items such as a funnel or measuring cup.
Reduce Consumption: This is our best option. It takes some planning and resources in the beginning, but once implemented will become part of your routine. Here is a list of practical ideas:
- Switch to glass food storage containers
- Use and refill stainless or glass water bottles
- Find cloth bags with zippers or stainless steel cups with lids for snacks
- Buy in bulk using your own containers
- Bring reusable bags when shopping
- Choose paper products when possible
- Buy wood toys
- Use glass, ceramic, and stainless steel dishes and utensils
- Purchase quality items that are meant to last
- Switch to personal care products that don’t contain plastic beads
- Replace disposable diapers with cloth diapers
- Give up gum, plastic tampon applicators, disposable razors, and plastic straws
- Make your own cleaning products, or buy large refills
DOING OUR PART
We have carefully selected items to reduce our use of plastics, as much as possible (taking into consideration shipping, product performance, and availability). Some of the items we carry are exclusively offered in our boxes in glass, as we have positively influenced our manufacturers and incurred the increased costs (check out our New Mom Box HERE). In addition, we have created boxes that make it easy to reduce plastic use in your home, too.
You can view them here:
- Nursing Box with a refillable stainless steel insulated bottle and glass jars
(replaces plastic water bottles and cups, along with plastic containers)
- Lush Gardener Box with natural scrubbing soap and wood nail brush
(replaces exfoliators with plastic micro beads and plastic brushes)
- Pampered Box with dry brush for exfoliating
(replaces exfoliators with plastic micro-beads)
- Tea Time Box with loose leaf teas and stainless steel infuser
(replaces traditional tea bags, which contain plastic)