Please pass on the plastic

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1 in 3 children’s toys deemed toxic December 4, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 10:23 pm
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A recent study released by a non-profit group called The Ecology Center found that 1 in 3 children’s toys had higher than acceptable levels of toxins. The group tested 1500 toys, made throughout the world, and found that 500 of them contained significan levels of lead, arsenic, and other chemicals. The owrst offenders: children’s cheap jewelry and plastic toys for infants (books and bath toys).  There was no correlation between where a toy was made and how high the levels were.

Most toys your child can do with out. I cringe at the thought of the amount of plastic books and bath toys our kids chewed on….get rid of as many plastic toys as possible. If you are thinking that the government would have doen something if the toys were truly dangerous, think again.  Our government does not regulate chemicals (chemical companies are in charge of doing that themselves??….) and even knowing that certain toys are dangerous, toys with harmful plasticizers are not required to be off shelves until february?!

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97723259&sc=emaf

 

A reminder of some great shopping sites:

hearthsong.com–great children’s toys

rosiehippo.com-infant and child toys, blankets, and more

gaiam.com–fair trade gifts, bedding, gifts for the home, yoga, jewelry, garden

vivaterra.com-favorite shopping ever! creative, unique decorations, clothing, home goods, jewelry, food

magiccabin.com–great children’s gifts, all natural wooden toys

patagonia.com–organic cotton clothing, outdoor clothing, shoes, hiking gear, AMAZING stuff!

josiemaran.com— amazing resource for skin care and make-up–you have to try it!

weleda.com–site for holistic medicines, skin care, baby gifts–can’t say enough good about the chemical free skin care line they sell

 

All of my holiday shopping this year was done using these sites–it is possible to make it happen!

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We Made It!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 9:52 pm

Exactly a year ago, I posted my first blog….it’s been a challenging, exciting, rewarding, insightful, year….I’ve included my first post below, a reminder as we go full steam ahead into this holiday season. There is a time and a place for plastics to exist (i.e hospitals) but in our homes we need to be really wary of the toxic effects and in our world we need to be very worried about the detrimental effects on our earth and our health.

My very first blog, its been a long time coming. it dawned on me today, though, after spending an entire weekend cleaning out the bedroom closets in our home, that it was time to make it a priority to put words on paper (well, computer screen). As a family of five, we have a lot of stuff. my issues with this “stuff”…..i have a few. Most of it is made in China, most of it will never biodegrade, most of it is made of plastic and most of it is just extra crap in our life. So, with this blog i present myself and my fellow readers with a challenge. Can we, as a group, stop accumulating so much plastic stuff? I believe there will be a new found sense of freedom that comes with a pared down closet, playroom, car, office, etc…..And that’s just on a personal note. The state of affairs in the world may just be improved as well.

“Except for the small amount that’s been incinerated–and it’s a very small amount–every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” (Charles Moore)
That is a mind-altering quote. how can this be? Even recyclable plastic, which is a relatively expensive process so therefore not used very often, will never biodegrade (turn back into its Carbon and Hydrogen elements.) Every year 60 Billion tons of plastic are produced. Where is it going to wind up? Best case scenario, recycled. Likely scenario, in our landfills and even more likely scenario, in our oceans. In fact, in the pacific ocean there is vast swath of ocean (twice the size of texas to be exact) that has become known as the “plastic stew.” Here, in a deep, clockwise-turning vortex of air and water, lies a terrible mess of plastic junk, landfill remnants, old tires, nets and ropes, old bath toys….. any type of garbage you can think of collects in this spot. The stuff has no place to go. Really. it has no place to go. Plastic is here forever.

Read more about plastic in our oceans in this article.

We have a choice. It’s clear. When possible use other options. Be frugal in your plastic purchases. Re-use within your home, within your life whenever possible. Plastic toys for kids–dangerous for many reasons. Plastic water bottles, plastic in a microwave, dangerous for all of us. (yes, it does melt into your food) Whether you believe in the green movement or not, just consider the consequences of plastic being here FOREVER.
In future posts i will have websites connecting us to sites that offer non-plastic options for purchase as well as sites that offer creative approaches to getting around this problem. I would LOVE to hear back from readers about sites you have used, ideas you suggest and any other ideas you have related to this issue. I believe with my whole heart in the power of people to make positive changes in this world.

So with that in mind, here goes my idea. I will post a new idea, every week for a year, on how you can SIMPLY choose an alternative item other than plastic or how you can reuse the plastic you have or how you can eliminate a particular plastic item for good. It is SO, SO, SO possible to make a significant change within one year. mark your calendars, your blackberries, set a weekly reminder–check in once a week. do what it takes. join the plastic not being here forever revolution.

At the end of one year, dec. 2008 we will have made 52 significant changes in the battle against plastic.

 

#52–My gift to you

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:28 pm
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When we first moved to California I called my local recycling facility to find out what types of plastic were recycled. I found out all plastics (good news!) were recycled and picked up by trash service except for take-out containers (bad news!). Take out conatiners are made with such a weak compilation of plastics that nothing can be done with them.  That’s scary, especially considering the hot, steaming food that is served in them.  This can’t be good.

We don’t order much take-out but that first week in CA we ate it almost every night. My stash of unrecyclable containers from that week is horrible….I can’t even reuse them b/c I am so worried about what they leach into our food…

 

In order to prevent the need to rely on take-out I’ve come up with a 6 week rotating menu. I’ve used a form of this menu for years because when the kids were really young I found it overwhelming to food shop and cook 3 healthy,varied meals a day for them.  Between tthis menu, an ample stash of trader joe’s frozen foods, and dinner out on saturday nights at our favorite french place in town (with kids!!) (more…)