While most people are becoming increasingly aware of what goes into our food these days, I will say, what they are storing their foods in, continues to be a problem. Saran wraps, zip lock bags, water bottles, straws, plastic wrapped food, lunch containers, and more, are all ways chemicals get into our bodies. There is growing concern over the use of plastics, specifically, Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates.
These toxic chemicals, have been linked to obesity, enlarged male breasts, earlier puberty in girls, and increased incidence of breast, prostate and other cancers. BPA is an endocrine disrupter that interferes with the body’s hormones. Over 6 billion pounds of BPA are produced each year, and the Centre of Disease Control found that 93% of Americans over the age of 6 have BPA in their urine and bloodstream! This is a problem.
Approximately 50% of our plastic waste goes to landfills, where it sits for thousands of years. The remaining 50% percent ends up as litter, where it ultimately washes out to sea, damaging marine ecosystems and entering the food chain. 42% of the rivers tested in America turned up positive for Bisphenol-A. According to Greenpeace, the world produces 200 billion pounds of plastics every year. A whopping ten percent of that—or 20 billion pounds—ends up in our oceans. Of that, about seventy percent sinks, causing damage to the ocean floor. More information here.
So what can YOU do?!
Buy in bulk. This is a great way to reduce the use of those thin plastic bags you put your food into. Bring cloth bags with you and transfer into mason jars when you get home, or simply bring the jars with you go to the store and fill them up! Stores will take the weight off the jars, just bring them to the cash when you first arrive to get weighed. Both The Big Carrot and Noah’s Natural Foods are supportive of these practices.
Avoid canned foods that are lined with plastics. Look for glass jars, and BPA-free cans.
Bring your own re-usable bags. Throw a bunch in your trunk and you’ll never forget them!
Start clearing out your Tupperware drawer. Make the switch to glass or stainless steel. Mason jars are a great way to store pantry items such as; beans, nuts/seeds, and flours.
Re-think your kid’s lunchbox and lunch containers. There is a huge and adorable world of alternatives. Fluf lunch bags are made from cloth, and do not use a plastic lining. As for lunch containers we love; Kids Konserve, Dalcini Stainless, and Lunchbots. We also love Bambu for convenient utensils.
Head out to Eco-friendly stores in your community. In Toronto, we have Eco-existence, The Big Carrot, Logan and Finley. They all are helping people make better and cleaner choices, and we stand behind that.