Friday, June 25, 2010

"Natural" update: plastic

Yes, I am one of the very worst bloggers out there! I know it, my posts come very randomly and I'm sure they always will. :) Oh well, guess I have to embrace the good and bad of myself.

I actually have another subject in mind today but wanted to post an update on my "natural" focus for the year. Thankfully it is still going strong. There's three main areas that have been at the top: 1. greatly decreasing our plastic consumption and usage, 2. eating a more natural diet, and 3. using body/beauty products that don't contain chemicals.

A few of the smaller actions include:
-Continuing and in some places expanding things started last year.
-Using recycled toilet paper.
-Bringing more of nature into my house- I don't have much of a green thumb but I would like more plants. We've added one to the lonely one we had, its doing well so far!
-J has done some maintenance to our car to help boost mileage a bit.

What I would like to talk about is plastic. Last summer I read a blog post about reducing plastic consumption and that she had a friend with almost no plastic in her home. I looked around my house at the abundance of plastic and thought "Its a nice idea but there's no way I could do that." I continued to see little things here and there through fall and the beginning of winter that opened my mind a bit to the possibility until I ran across this video:



To actually see how little plastic Beth (of Fake Plastic Fish) used was not only eye opening but inspiring! Maybe this actually could be something I could start with baby steps. Since then I have done a lot of reading online through blogs and articles and it has become important to me to reduce my plastic use and consumption. Did you know that EVERY PIECE of plastic ever made is still hanging around? The plastic wrap your mother wrapped your sandwich in when you were little- still here, all those straws you used to drink your juice boxes as a child- still here, those "Jelly" shoes from the 80's- still here. Sure it breaks down a little but it doesn't biodegrade and only a very small percent is recycled. It is either stuck in landfills or makes its way to the ocean. Not only is it hanging around, its also releasing toxins! We are choking the Earth with our single use plastic!

In light of the millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf, I feel now, more than ever, is the time to think about reducing our reliance on oil products. I have really tried to take a close look at the plastic I own and that makes its way into my home.

The kitchen is where the main focus has been. I've replaced many plastic containers with either glass or stainless steel options. Water bottles have been replaced with stainless steel bottles. I am on the lookout for good non-plastic freezing containers but haven't found it yet- so far I am just reusing freezer bags until they're dead. :) A large area of plastic consumption comes from food containers, in my home mainly yogurt, margarine/butter, and produce shells. I have replaced our plastic tub of margarine with organic butter in cardboard. For the yogurt, I have tried making my own but it flopped. I need to try again but in the mean time I try to get a large container when possible. Some produce shells aren't completely avoidable so thankfully they are recyclable.

Other areas I try to be mindful of is toys and things for my girls, utensils/containers while eating out and picnicking, art supplies, and something coming up soon- birthday parties. I definitely don't have it all down. I get completely overwhelmed at times and convenience wins out to being green. I do dream of a world where we are surrounded by natural items rather than man-made chemical laden junk. Someday..

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