Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, now you know.

Here are some simple tips to help you in working toward a life without plastic, or a life of safer, more informed plastic use. I borrowed this list and held onto it so long I cannot recall where I pilfered it from, sorry!

Avoid polycarbonate (#7) baby bottles and sippy cups. For baby bottles, try and use glass (e.g., Evenflo), polyethylene (e.g., Evenflo, Medela, Playtex) or polypropylene (e.g., Gerber, Medela) instead. Sippy cups made of stainless steel (e.g., Kleen Kanteen), or of polypropylene or polyethylene (e.g., Avent, Evenflo, First Years, Gerber, Playtex) are safer. Be sure to check the bottle or cup to be sure of the type of plastic it contains. As for baby bottle nipples, try and use silicone which does not leach the carcinogenic nitrosamines that can be found in latex.

If you must use polycarbonate (#7) bottles, avoid heating food and drink in the bottle. Heat it in a separate container and transfer it to the bottle once it is warm enough for the child to eat or drink. If the plastic is showing signs of wear – scratched, cloudy – discard the container.

For drinking water, try and avoid plastic bottles. If you do use plastic bottles made from #1 or #2 plastic try not to reuse them as they are intended only for single use. One alternative is a stainless steel water bottle. For storing large quantities of water, glass and stainless steel containers are also available. If you use a #1 water bottle, try to consume the contents as soon as possible because leaching of antimony increases with time.

Try to avoid heating foods in plastic containers, especially in the microwave oven, which can cause the plastic to degrade and leach chemicals faster. As well, leaching increases when plastic comes into contact with oily or fatty foods, or when the plastic is scratched, worn, cracked, or sticky.

Use plastic wraps with caution, especially in the microwave, and try to keep the plastic from touching the food. Alternatives include wax paper or paper towels.
Try and use alternatives to plastic packaging and storage containers. Cloth, paper or cardboard are possibilities for transporting groceries. Stainless steel and glass food storage containers are available.

Avoid plastic dishes and utensils for meals. Alternatives include glass, ceramic, wood, stainless steel, and lacquer ware. Offer your child or grandchild a non-plastic dish set made of either stainless steel or wood (safely coated using the Japanese lacquer technique).

By the way, I have no idea what the safer japanese laquer technique is or if I even spelled that right but I DO know what Bento Boxes are and 'Laptop Lunches' both are very cool and most are earth friendly though not excatly wallet friendly and since frugalness supercedes eco awareness in my world.. my kids just eat school lunch and I sigh deeply wishing I had the time or money (or energy, lets face it) to pack them up a delicious healthy lunch that they wouldnt be afriad of getting picked on for.

Coming soon.. The Farm, The Painting and the Transfer Station.
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