Monday, June 25

Are Plastics Safe?

No, nope, and nah. There is no such thing as a safe plastic. Not only for the environment, but for you as well. I just finished watching three documentaries about plastics and toxins which was a good reminded that I need to cut back on my plastic. Now more than ever. Especially during such a crucial time, growing healthy new bone is not an easy thing. This image here sums up how I feel about it.

These Documentaries Are A Must Watch

Also Here's A Useful Guide that I got from Plastic Planet
Can you see my hand? Bwah! I had to take a photo of the iPad.

I've always been opposed to them, and try not to buy food or cosmetics in plastic. The basic concept is that anything packaged in plastic will contain the plastic in the product. Everything. It should be printed on the label in the ingredients. Something new that I learned from the film is that even touching plastic is harmful. It goes right through the skin and into the bloodstream. This effects everyone, but mostly children and mother's to be. Couples can actually become sterile because of plastic exposure. Men can become feminized, and woman have lower chances of having baby boys. Children are being born with asthma, allergies, ADD, autism, and hearing disables because their mother's are exposed during the child's vital development time.

Then there's the fact that plastics take centuries to decompose. It breaks my heart every time I throw plastic away or "recycle" it. Recycling plastics is not like paper, glass, or aluminum. It is very dirty, and produces a second-grade plastic that can only be used in certain ways because it's impure. Lastly, if we humans stopped using plastic today it would take the Earth 500 years to heal itself. That is intolerable.

Of course there's always hope, and if we wanted to we could fix this now. Scientists are even developing new materials for one-use products. Like this silk, check it out here, it's biodegradable and it can replace plastic. Now there's no need to live in fear, but it's good to be aware of the health risks involved. I thought to myself, "Wow, it would be hard to live without plastic, but I'm sure I can minimize it."


Here are some ways to reduce the amount of plastic:

1. Avoid food and beverages packaged in plastic. I know this sounds hard, but one baby step at a time. The way that I got myself to do it is to remind myself that most food packaged in plastic is dead or rotting food that isn't going to do my body any good anyway. It's all about the farmer's market baby! Companies that care will package their products in glass or paper anyway, so that's a good way to tell. If it's in plastic, take it out immediately at home and store it in glass or paper. I do this with my wild rice, but then again, I shouldn't be buying rice in the first place for a number of reasons. It's a bad comfort food and I'm working on it, but that's a perfect example of how a food packaged in plastic is probably not ideal for the diet in the first place.  

2. Buy clothing made of natural materials. Polyester, nylon, spandex, and latex should all be excluded and replaced with natural fibers like cotton, hemp, flax, and wool. I for one will pay closer attention to my clothing labels, because they stay on the body all day long. That's something to ponder indeed. Especially if I buy any clothing for little ones. I would never want to expose my nephew to toxins such as these. Of course purchasing organic clothing is extra awesome!

3. Buy cosmetics in glass or paper. Just like food, it's a sure way to see how much the company cares. Or better yet, make your own beauty products and store them in glass. I make my own lotion, lip balm, lip stain, cheek stain, and hairspray. Products like olive, jojoba, and tea tree oil go along way.

4. Don't use plastic bags. Bring your own cloth bags to the store. It's easy and cuts down on waste so much. That, and why would one want their items touching plastic? Let alone touching the plastic ourselves. 

5. Try to stay away from household items, toys, and gadgets made out of plastic. Yes, it's unfortunate that computers have BPA in them, that's one thing that I haven't been able to do anything about. If I didn't have my laptop I wouldn't be able to write or create artwork. Again, just try to limit these things. Especially plastic toys for little children. They put them in their mouths and get a big dose of the chemicals. Not cool whatsoever. This goes for plastic flatware and dishes as well. Switching over to bamboo or glass is the best.

If we all do our part it will make for a better future. Money is powerful and every time something is purchased that's a vote cast. Support responsible companies that have you and the earth's best interest in mind. One little step at a time.

Cheers and here's to happy, healthy living.
~Claudia