Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Phasing Out Plastic

Photo from The Soft Landing

The chemical bishphenol A (BPA) is known to act like a female sex hormone, and is linked to prostate and breast cancer, higher rates of miscarriage, immune system dysfunction, testicular abnormalities in boys and puberty in girls younger than eight years old. ( Source: Environmental Working Group )

Enviroblog states, "It's a hormone disruptor that can be found in almost everybody, and animal studies have linked it to breast and prostate cancer, and infertility."

Why should we care? Because it's in many of the plastics we use every day. Yikes!

It's said that many of the plastics we use, such as water bottles and baby bottles, as well as plastic liners in cans, are leaching this lovely chemical into our food and water, especially when they are heated.

So what can we do?

Well, to start, we can stop heating our food in plastic containers when we stick it in the microwave. We can look for alternative water containers (many suggest Kleen Kanteen and the like, but there are plenty of less expensive alternatives, like Snapple bottles, etc.). As our plastic food containers wear out, we can replace them with glass, like the Mason jar below containing my sugar. I bought a bunch of them at Goodwill (and I think they were brand new) for 99¢.

I'm not suggesting that we throw out all our plastic and restock our entire Tupperware cupboards with non-plastic alternatives.That would be wasteful and expensive. I'm simply suggesting that the next time you need a new container of some sort, look for non-plastic options you already have, or opt to buy something made of glass or other durable material.

There are also companies who are now making BPA-free plastic, like CamelBak and Nalgene, but keep in mind that it's still plastic and will take much more time to break down than other, more natural alternatives.

Basically, as with most of my green tips, just be more aware of what you and your family are using and ingesting.

Unless, of course, you don't mind if your eight-year-old girl or boy starts growing boobs.

No comments: