I’ve been on a mission to get plastic out of my life, because it is bad for my long-term health and the health of the planet (Is Your Kitchen Slowly Poisoning You?). The problem is that plastic is damn near everywhere. Furthermore, plastic doesn’t go away! Every bit of plastic that has ever been made is here to stay. It makes me angry! You won’t like me when I’m angry…
Want to know more about our plastic problem? Check out Plastic Paradise, a good documentary about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the greater plastic problem. Most shocking stat from the documentary? BPA, a chemical that mimics estrogen and was originally destined to serve as birth control, is now found in 93% of the American population and all the world’s oceans – all thanks to plastic. This documentary is well worth an hour of your time and it’s available on Netflix.
Moving Away From Plastic
Its been a steady transition and I’ve removed the vast majority of plastic from my day-to-day life. The easiest and most important place to remove plastic was my kitchen. It helped that I was coming back to the U.S. after living abroad and didn’t return to a wealth of old plastic storage containers and free plastic cups.
Since I prepare and pack my lunch every weekday, I had to start using glass and metal containers to transport my food. My metal container is pretty awesome and always catches people’s attention. I brought my metal lunch container back from a trip to China, where it was given to me as part of a meal on a high-speed train.
My glass containers don’t have any good stories attached to them, but they do get used a lot more since I can toss them in a microwave to warm up my food. If your going to invest in some new glass containers, I recommend getting ones with lids that suction or lock in place (like this or these).
Another favorite container of mine is the classic mason jar, that has become a favorite of hipsters and Pinterest-ers all over the place. I use mason jars to pack soups and chili, but then usually bring along a bowl to eat out of, as I find it hard to eat out of the jars and just end up drinking soup.
Slight downside of packing my lunch in glass containers? Well, given that I pack a lot of food, all that glass is heavy. But, that extra weight is just another chance to flex my muscles. No estrogen and a workout – hell yeah.
Move Away From Plastic Dependency
Take stock of all the plastic around you. ITS EVERYWHERE!
If you want to start moving away from plastic, to more durable, natural, and healthy products, I suggest you do so slowly and ingrain plastic-free habits into your life over time. Start by using reusable bags and buying in bulk. If you want to, however, just go all in and have the money to make the switch all at once, have at it. Just recycle as much of that old plastic as possible.
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Infographic by CustomMade