Please pass on the plastic

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#8-Singing green in the shower January 24, 2008

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 3:24 am
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PVC–vinyl–otherwise recognized as the triangle with the #3 inside of it on the bottom of many containers, is the worst of the worst in this plastic situation. Polyvinyl chloride is dangerous when it is being made, toxic when it is being used, and eternally poisonous once it is discarded. Many consumer health advocates have labeled it the “poison-plastic.” (really funny video and some great recommendations). The innocent shower curtain is one of our worst offenders. That new, “clean” smell released when you first hang the new shower curtain is actually the PVC off-gassing, releasing chemicals into your home. Some reports show that for a month the chemical levels in your home are dangerously high after hanging a new shower curtain.

There are other options:

At Ideal bite, a green website for easy, inexpensive tips everyone can follow, they recommend the plastic-free shower curtain , by using a hemp or cotton one with a nylon liner, for multiple reasons:

  • chemical free
  • easy to clean, never any mold
  • looks much prettier (more natural)
  • safe for the environment

Places to shop:

  1. gaiam.com
  2. lifekind.com
  3. greenfeet.com
  4. shopequita.com
  5. drapersorganic.com (for my friends across the pond!)
  6. kushtush.com (very earth friendly site for bed and bath)

These au natural curtains tend to be more expensive. My idea was to come up with ideas in this blog post that don’t cost more $$. In the case of shower curtains, I couldn’t make that happen.

There is a recyclable plastic called EVA. It does not off-gas and is a better option than the posion plastic (obviously)If you still want to be healthy, and go the moderate green route, for less$$$ than the above choices, you can try the following:

  1. Simple Memory Art
  2. target.com

In my opinion, this is an issue that should take precedence in your home. Please pass along any other good finds, this was a tough issue to approach b/c of the high expense of the good-for-you shower curtains. It’s worth singingreen!!

 

#7-Food storage alternatives January 16, 2008

Filed under: no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 2:46 am
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My obsession with eliminating plastic from our lives started off as a health issue. I had started to read and hear way too many connections between the negative effects of plastic and our health. Plastic leeching into my food, styrofoam breaking down into my coffee, and phtalates (a chemical used to soften plastic, proven dangerous to pregnant women) emanating from shower curtains –these were issues that I really couldn’t grasp and certainly wasn’t going to put up with. Ideally, there would be a governing body watching over us, letting us know when something harmful was coming our way. In the case of plastics, there is not….so my scientific research continues, through the powers of observation and motherhood , I continue to discover that in fact, plastic really is harmful.

On a positive note, there are so many alternatives. When it comes to what we put into our bodies there is only one answer: it has got to be plastic-free.

On that note, food storage containers. It’s worth a small investment in some glass storage containers.They do have plastic lids,(just in case someone was going to call me out on that one) but I still think they solve multiple plastic issues.

Some great choices:

Crate and Barrel

Bed, Bath and Beyond (pyrex)

Alternative idea: save glass containers from food jars, rinse, and re-use! (now that’s earth friendly……)

A website called Grinning Planet has some great info:

Several research studies have found that when plastic comes in contact with certain foods, molecules of the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the food or beverage. Certain characteristics of the food item can make it more likely pick up plastic molecules:

  • The more liquid a food is, the more it touches the plastic, so the more opportunity it has to pick up plastic molecules.
  • Acid foods, such as tomato sauce, appear to be particularly interactive with plastic.
  • If you heat a food item in a plastic container—even if the container is microwave safe—the transference of plastic from the container to the food is even more likely.

When molecules of plastic—or more properly, molecules of the chemicals that get added to plastics during manufacturing—get into picture of plastic storage containers our bodies, it’s not a good thing. They can cause unwanted effects in the human body; for instance, some of the chemicals mimic estrogen. Estrogen, of course, is a normal, essential human hormone; but having too much of it (or the molecules that mimic estrogen) has been associated with breast cancer and other health problems. In general, chemicals that fool the body into thinking they are estrogen or other hormones are called endocrine disruptors.

 

 

Eliminating plastic has so many benefits, for our health and the environment. The kids are doing this with me know and each day we are able to move further and further away from the dangers of plastic.

 

#6-A Truly Happy New Year–No More Junk Mail! January 9, 2008

Filed under: no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 2:39 am
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A few years ago I spent a week calling every single catalog that came to my house to ask them not to send me their catalog anymore. I figured anything I needed I could find online, and I felt really bad about all of the plastic and paper that was being wasted just so I could waste time perusing catalogs for things I really didn’t need. Needless to say it was a really annoying week, I spent a lot of time on hold, and didn’t necessarily succeed in getting my name off their lists.

Now that I’ve committed myself to finding QUICK, EASY solutions to improving this plastic/environmental crisis, ideas have just been falling into my lap (or across my computer screen!) My sister in law sent me the link to this site and I now have a much better solution to offer all of you so you can stop all the junk mail coming to your house:

greendimes.com

This site was featured on Oprah last week, Matt Damon was so impressed with their services he now sits on their board. For $20 you can have your name (and someone else in your household) taken off the junk mail list AND you can specifically request as many catalogs as you’d like and Green Dimes will do the work and get you off their list. Now that’s good.

Also, it looks like you can send it around to your friends and everytime they sign up you get a $3.00 credit. BONUS!!

And one more thing, because I think telemarketers are almost as annoying as the junk mail that collects in my mailbox, here’s how you get off that list as well:

https://www.donotcall.gov/

A Truly Happy New Year!

 

#5–Storage bins store too much stuff January 3, 2008

Filed under: no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 1:30 am
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I can’t seem to get that fact out of my head that came up in the first blog post: there is 6x more plastic in the oceans than plankton. It is so distressing. How do we fix this? As I shopped and consumed my way through the holiday season I was so disturbed by the pervasiveness of plastic. On that note…..

In years past I used to get really excited by the color-coded storage bins that Target released each season. My life would be so organized if i could just have one more bin………

5 green and red, HUGE, plastic tubs later it dawned on me– i just kept collecting more stuff. I needed to do something. I gave a bunch of decorating items away to the local consignment store (last year) and I did not buy any more xmas items, ornaments, etc… (this year). Emily Post says its ok to re-gift. Do whatever it takes, no more storage bins are necessary. (same goes for all of the kids clothes i’ve saved since birth. Now i give it away sooner and just store the most recent items or the hand me downs that others have passed along.)

At the risk of sounding repetitive—it feels so good not to buy extra STUFF! and i love being able to give stuff away to people/places who will use it and therefore might not buy more of their own stuff. I love being organized just as much as the next person. I just won’t compromise the environment anymore in order to straighten out my own mess.