Friday, March 21, 2014

IOTUT -- What's that leaching from your container?

Welcome back to another edition of Friday's Instead of This, Use This! Today, we're talking about plastic. Or rather, talking about ditching plastic.

Here's the thing: we all know by now that BPA (bisphenol A) is not good for us. It's bad, bad, bad. So, as consumers started clamoring about it, companies complied and started coming out with BPA-free products. "Wonderful!" we shouted. But our celebration was short-lived. Some experts are warning us that the alternatives to BPA just might not be much better. And ridding our bottles and plastic containers of it helps only a little bit anyway. Why? Well, according to Linda B. White, MD, it's because "BPA is in printer ink, newspapers, and carbonless receipts; most recycled paper contains it, including paper towels and paper used to contain food." Ouch! Recycled paper? Really?

But back to the BPA-free plastics that are causing concern. The thing is, we just don't know the long term effects that can occur when the chemicals in plastics (BPA or not) leach into our food and drink. Maybe they're safe ... but maybe not. Remember when no one understood the danger of cigarettes? Smokers poo-pooed the idea they were bad for you as the findings emerged. More research just had the opponents more defensive than ever. 

I see the same thing happening now, as we're being warned of the dangers of plastic. We cover our ears and hum loudly so we don't have to hear it. What we don't know won't hurt us, right?

The problem is, our kids are the ones who are ultimately going to pay the price for our ignorance and the irresponsibility of the government's safety regulators.

But maybe plastic really isn't that bad. Maybe. Perhaps there's nothing at all to worry about. But what if there is? Do you really want to take that chance.

I challenge you today, to ditch the plastic containers you use to store your food. Toss them in the recycling bin and be done with them. Replacing your plastic with glass and stainless steel is one thing you can do right now to protect your family from the toxic assaults all around us.

 Google your options. From baby bottles to sippy cups to travel mugs, there are safe alternatives out there to replace your plastics. Is there a cost involved? Naturally. But what is the greater cost when you consider the health of your children?

As I've been making the switch myself, I realized something. Actually, someone on the GG FB page pointed it out to me. What about my automatic drip coffee maker? Oh no. It never dawned on me that every single day I was heating up water for coffee in a plastic appliance. Yikes!

So even there, I'm making a switch and buying a percolator. It's metal. It's safe. And it's the best option I can think of at this point. 

Instead of this: 

Use this:


Instead of plastic, use glass and stainless steel. It's that simple. We can't get away from them entirely, but if we really put forth an effort, we can minimize our exposure to the chemicals in plastic containers and maybe, just maybe, avoid the damage they can do.

Keeping it earth- and people-friendly on a Friday,

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