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FoodHealth

Why I Am Weaning Myself off Plastics [On A Budget]

By March 8, 2016 February 5th, 2019 No Comments

I know some people reading this are rolling their eyes, saying “Let us live! We’re all going to die one day, anyways!”

If you are, hey! I’m with you on that too. I stopped counting how many times I find myself saying that whenever I read about something new in the name of “research has proven that..”

This is not yet another fear inducing blogpost. As with all others, I write to create awareness, enlighten and give people the opportunity to make choices based on what they know. I believe everyone deserves that. Sadly, packaging labels are (80% of the time) no longer enough when it comes to the necessary information needed and I am not okay with that. I believe in brand authenticity and in making available the facts that are now being swept under the rug.

If you decide to stick with plastics after reading this post, I am not one to judge you.

I grew up in a country where foods sold in kiosks were served in leaves; and nothing compares to food served in leaves! It’s almost as if the leaf is the complex, secret ingredient! Then came styrofoam in the name of hygienic  options; then came plastics; then we advanced to Bisphenol A (BPA) – free plastics for the sake of the ‘health conscious’. Now there’s glass, silicon, stainless steel.

Where are we going with this?!

A lot of people decided to switch to plastics because styrofoam has been discovered to be a major source of plastic chemicals and waste.

Here are a few facts about plastics that you may already be aware of:

  • Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down
  • A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade

The majority are now fighting for BPA-free plastics after research has shown that there are harmful chemicals in common plastics that can still leak into whatever content the plastic is carrying.

“They are capable of disrupting hormones and can mimic the effect of estrogen and testosterone in the body. They cause deformities in male and female genitals; premature puberty in females; decreased sperm quality; increases breast and prostate cancers, infertility, miscarriages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies and neurological problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

WHAT IS THE BUZZ ABOUT BPA?

BPA is a chemical compound often added to plastics to make them more durable. It was once fed to animals like cows and chicken to propel weight gain before slaughter.

OKAY, I BUY BPA-FREE, NOW WHAT?

Now this:

Emerging research and data from years of increased use of plastics now suggests the need for a reevaluation of plastic usage; BPA free or not. A study conducted on BPA-free plastic baby bottles and water bottles discovered that each item studied released detectable amounts of  chemicals which, at certain doses, are capable of interfering with hormones of mammals.

I am not writing this because my entire kitchen cabinet is now filled with healthier alternatives to plastics. The water I buy is sold in plastic bottles for crying out loud! If we are being honest, plastics come pretty cheaper than the (reusable storage) materials that are actually good for us. It’s probably going to take me a couple more years to phase out all plastic food storage containers but that’s another thing I am fully devoted to. One day at a time. One elimination at a time.

I don’t believe in living anyhow just because we are all going to die someday. I am very much disturbed by the sight waste, and how bad it can be for the health of people who live around it. I want to be counted as part of the statistic that did something about improving the world they live in. We can no longer enjoy the beauty of the earth that was made for us by our Heavenly Father because everything is contaminated:-(

I believe in caring for and about others; I believe in Love, transparency, honesty… and that should transcend to every aspect of our lives.

Let’s start looking within and around ourselves for solutions.

As the typical Marketing student that I am, advocacy is a critical part of my journey as a customer. I live for brands that tell a story; brands that have a vision for social change.  A lot of the items I buy are based on reviews given by personalities (mostly bloggers) I follow. My mother and sister do a lot of reading and research too so when they recommend something, I (80% of the time) go for it without thinking twice.

The first elimination I did was plastic water bottles. I am a sucker for a lot of things in life and beautiful water bottles are a part of my list. (It’s crazy!) I had a horrible experience with my plastic water bottles last year when I tried to ‘sterilize’ them. They all either shrank or melted away(Divine intervention, maybe? haha). I was devastated – to say the least – given that I INVESTED  (financially) in those bottles.

One brand that is a personal favorite is Life Factory. My sister introduced us to life factory water bottles 6 years ago and we have never looked back. I kid you not, we still have and use those bottles 6 years later! They are as good as new! Talk about a GOOD investment! (They aren’t exactly child-friendly, though. You might want to stick with stainless steel for your kids).

The co-founder, Pam Marcus, who works as a pediatric physical therapist and feeding specialist decided to design glass bottles after she discovered the presence of harmful chemicals and plastics in the systems that were used to feed and hydrate children at their most vulnerable stages.

I love to buy Lifefactory products (WHEN I CAN) because I support the vision. I appreciate the fact that she saw something that was a threat to human life -especially that of innocent babies – and did something about it.

“Be the change you want to see”

Now, I am not asking everyone to get life factory bottles because they are a bit on the high side and I am constantly stalking their website for sales.

Side story: My sister went to the store the other day and saw their classic water bottle for $7.99!! That’s a third of the original price and never before seen!! We still have not gotten over it and I sure am glad that she happened to be at that store at that very time!  I think it’s safe to say I am official (wannabe) life factory girl! 

I would say, though, that, there are certain purchases that seem unreasonable at first glance; however, after you have done your research, you’ve got to choose quality that lasts you a lifetime over the cheap stuff sometimes!

So how can you start?

  1. I would say, one elimination at a time. I tend to check out prices of reusable alternatives most of the time. If my pocket can handle it, I simply forgo one thing on my list and buy that.
  2. If I really am permitted to, I would say get rid of your plastic water bottle, at least. We drink so much water a day, it doesn’t hurt to own a good quality water bottle.
  3. I’m learning to start saying “No, thank you” to plastic bags. Put them in a box or straight into the car, when driving OR invest in reusable bags.  When I am buying in small quantities and have my backpack with me, I can simply stuff them in there.
  4. Shop local as much as possible versus buying processed foods that are packaged in plastics.
  5. In my country(GHANA), people tend to buy food from kiosks and such a lot. Simply carry along your own bowl. Save your health and the environment.

I don’t have all the answers and I am certainly a rookie at this, but we’ve got to start from somewhere. We have got to take care of ourselves. We have got to start doing things right. We have got to fight back with nature. We have got to let the desire for all things beautiful spark a change within us. I want the beauty, genuity, and Love God placed in me to transcend to all things around me AS LONG AS IT DEPENDS ON ME.

“Small steps always add up in giant leaps. They always have, always will”

So, in the Spirit of Authenticity, let us!

xx,Nana.

Please watch this video:

Links:

http://environment.yale.edu/magazine/fall2009/the-problem-with-plastics/

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/

http://wellnessmama.com/23757/dangers-of-plastic/

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