Please pass on the plastic

Just another weblog

#51–Glass Water Bottles? Yes! November 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 2:20 pm
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A very saavy researcher / friend of ours let us know about this idea….portable, reusable glass water bottles. Sounds like an oxy moron, but it is is true. they are 750 ml(the sport bottle size from poland spring, twist off cap, very classy looking!) i have not tried them yet, but I am ordering now. 


The price is really reasonable ($24/ 6 and free shipping) and there is an aquakoozy (get it? like one of those beer kozies) that protects the bottle and makes it really easy to carry.

Our friend’s concern is that most stainless steel water bottles are made in China, which doesn’t have a great track record for high safety standards. I have done as much online research as possible and can not find any study that indicates there is an issue with stainless steel but it is worth noting. Also Sigg bottles are lines with aluminum which has been linked to alzheimers. 

 I will continue to use my stainless steel (as will the kids), but the glass bottles will be a great alternative when we are on a long car trip or someplace where I don’t have to worry at all about breakage.

I’m thinking great holiday gifts….you have to check out this site (if only for the novelty of the idea!)

Just in case you haven’t heard the quote in a while, there are between 70-80,000 single- use, plastic water bottles being consumed every day in America alone…….plastic is known to leech, it is not a stable compound, especially when heated(back seat of car), and equally as horrifying plastic never goes away! Those plastic water bottles, besides compromising your health, will never completely disintegrate, but instead break down into “nurdles” that wind up in our air and our ocean and our bodies. Yuck.


#50–Gifts Galore! November 20, 2008

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 6:29 am

Some of the feedback i am getting recently is that the gift guides are really helpful. It is so encouraging that so many of us are going plastic-free this holiday season….


here is a link from a very comprehensive green website:

(all different merchants selling responsibly made goods: t-shirts, fair trade, kids toys, body care products, chocolates, coffee, kitchen goods, flowers and seeds, jewelry, sweaters, yarns for knitting, hats and scarves, organic towels….. the list is endless…something for everybody! )

And for the person who is writing from 4plastics411@gmail who wants to know why we all can’t get along: plastics are harming our environment and our children at alarming rates. You suggest I am intending to wipe out technological advancement. I am not.  But I am hoping to eliminate unnecessary and harmful plastic from our lives. For more on that you can check out the earlier posts on this blog. BTW, beware your shower curtain.


#49- Obnoxious? November 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 11:16 pm

So I’m obsessed with the amount of plastic accumulating around our house right now due to the month of birthdays (mine too!)

When i sent out Patrick’s birthday invites to the local bowling alley I almost wrote on the invites, “please no plastic gifts.” But I stopped myself. I’m the new mom around here and the last thing I need is an obnoxious reputation for myself in the new neighborhood. (left my NY reputation behind me) And besides, I assumed, I am in California, I’m sure no one even gives plastic gifts in this state.

Wrong assumption! Much to Patricks delight we have tons of new, shiny plastic birthday toys around! I truly am glad he is so excited (and I am grateful that people even celebrated the new kids’ birthday with him) but I have a hard time stomaching the fact that my offspring are so responsible for so much junk….

Unfortunately for his big brother I am willing to cross the obnoxious line for his upcoming birthday. The email invite I sent out to his 10 friends in kindergarten mentioned that our family is trying to go the green route and “gifts are not expected but if you do choose to please let it be plastic-free and simple.” Hmmm….still not sure if that is obnoxious as I haven’t heard any responses to that yet but I will keep you posted.

Some thoughts I’ve had (we’ve been going to parties too and the holidays are coming up):

  • small parties with 5 of kids closest friends
  • Group gifts–why not chip in with one or two other families and give a plastic-free gift or that way if it is plastic the damage is less pervasive
  • gently used toys (does that sound red neck?)
  •  start a great chapter book collection 
  • Adopt an animal (world wildlife fund and many other organizations have this now)
  • jewelry 
  • art supplies (functional plastic?), coloring books, craft materials 
  • puzzles, blocks, stuffed animals
  • ice cream gift certificates
  • cool t-shirt
  • construction tools (target has great selection of tools– adult supervision required but super fun)
  • board games (without plastic pieces)
  • very own stainless steel water bottle
  • baking supplies
  • gardening set, with the real tools
  • automoblox (wooden cars with interchanging pieces)

I think it helps to stock up on a bunch of “good” gifts…. (really cool toy called bilbo, made of recycled plastic), connectagons, qwirkle,dado cubes,

tjmaxx (lots of good choices)


#48-Are Legos Legal in My World? November 14, 2008

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 10:23 pm
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November brings wild happenings around our house as both our boys have their birthdays this month. Torture for the mom trying to go plastic free. The only thing on their list this year is legos. What to do? Since I don’t think I will be able to convince lego- land to go plastic-free (or at least use recycled plastic–that’s brilliant) I am in quite a bind.

I would like to give them wood blocks, a book collection, lots of puzzles, a tool kit, a never-ending hug, a letter that tells them how much I love them. But, my innate mommy-ness (aka common-sense) does not allow me to be the cause of such disappointment on their birthday mornings…..

So they will get legos but I will make myself feel better about it in the meantime….

  • No other plastic (including party goods) 
  • no wrapping paper, unless homemade or recycled
  • tried ebay for a used collection (this didn’t work out but the idea has potential….)
  • homemade food and cake (take out food is a major crime in plastic-free land! as are the huge cake containers!)
  • a huge hug,a letter telling them how much I love them, and 3 million kisses so they never forget 

I do so love the lego collection….it is SO much fun to build with them and the creations are really cool (indiana jones temple of the lost skull is amazing!!) I am on a mission to convert LEGO to using recycled plastic–what better place to make use of recycled plastic? I’ll keep you informed as to how that goes.

In the meantime, happy building (and no other plastic allowed)


#47-Lethal If Inhaled (not marijuana!) November 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 8:12 pm
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The other day the Pest Control Man knocked on my door (new home in CA) to introduce himself and let me know he would be spraying every two weeks to control pests (i.e spiders, ants, termites,  other bugs) from coming into our house (we are renting our home, the owners have a contract with this company). I asked him what he was spraying? “Tenguard.” When I mentioned we had kids and I was concerned that a chemical spray could be dangerous to them he said, “No, not at all. We do this all the time. I have kids, too, and we always spray.” Then he said, “maybe just keep them out of the dirt until it rains and it sinks in…..” (he must not have boys!)

I asked him for the literature on the product which he readily gave me (impressive he even had it in the truck.)  I photocopied 6 pages worth of material on the 3 different products the company uses. The ingredient list looked something like this: fipronil, 5-amino-1(2,6-dichloro-4-(triflouromethyl)phenyl)-4((1,R.S)-triflouromethyl)sulfinyl-1H1pyrazole-3-carbonitrile. 

Here is what I found:

Splashed across the top of the pages: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

Then there is a box that lists what to do if swallowed, inhaled, on the skin, or in the eyes:

  • Immediately call poison control, 
  • if unconscious move person to fresh air (note: spray is administered in the fresh air.),
  •  if person is not breathing call 911 and then give artificial respiration, preferably by mouth to mouth if possible (note: it really says this)
  • rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15-20 MINUTES

This spray and/ or pellets are sprayed around the perimeter of the house. Maybe the rain comes and washes it away (right into our water supply). Maybe it doesn’t rain and it sits on the ground for quite some time. 

So here we have a “legal” chemical being distributed by a company who believes in their product. They are actually allowed to promote this product and people pay for it!!!  

Today, in the U.S. alone, there are 80,000 chemicals on the market. America’s system for regulating chemicals is not set up to protect our health. The chemical industry is able to block and / or delay public protections by insisting that proof of harm based on precise measurements of exposure and correlated risk must be established. (Environmental Action, Fall 2008). 

Are they kidding? It is impossible  to track the sicknesses, diseases, learning disabilities that stem from a specific chemical when our entire country is one big mass of chemicals.

FRIGHTENING: A recent study performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 287 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies. This isn’t fair and it isn’t right. Yet, chemicals pervade until we step up and demand action. It is so important that we the consumers take charge of our own health and situation.

  • ASK A LOT OF ?’s
  • Don’t believe what a company says (do the research) (ex. au natural make-up companies, most are b.s.)
  • Eliminate as many chemicals as possible within your home and life (i.e pesticides, cleaning sprays, make-up, plastic toys and junk, read blog for other ideas)
  • Buy organic and green. It makes a difference. (Notice how much easier it is to find green cleaning supplies and how well they work. When the consumer demands, the supply follows).
  • General rule of thumb–if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then best idea is to avoid product
  • (ideas on going chemical-free)