Nearly 300 million tons of plastic are manufactured yearly. Are any of us willing to give up disposable medical equipment, disposable diapers, etc? Don’t kid yourself—plastics are here to stay. We must, however, use them wisely—especially those that pollute our bodies. We must look for ways to reduce those products that poison our bodies. In reducing plastics, do as the Europeans do!
As I’ve traveled to Europe, I’ve noticed many lifestyle differences. The regular coffee shop serves you a hot drink in a ceramic cup. Don’t even think about asking for a cup to go. You’d get a “Are you crazy?” look. Much of their milk and juice is sold in paper-like containers instead of plastic. People carry their own water in chemical-free containers instead of plastic bottles. And people bring their own reusable bags to the stores to avoid using plastic bags.
It’s just sensible, and I’m acting more like a European these days. I carry a steel Yeti for my lemon water everywhere I go. I also have a 22-ounce glass water bottled enclosed with rubber casing. These substitutions prevent chemicals from leaching into my clean water. I go nowhere without an ample supply of clean water. My water container is my security blanket.
When my first son was born, I actually used cloth diapers as a cost-saving measure. Yuk! When the doctor told me I was expecting twins three years later, convenience won my heart. I emphatically told my husband, “Dear, we’re going disposable this time!” No kidding. We all rely on comfort and convenience. If all plastics were recyclable (and maybe one day they will be), and we all recycled them and used caution in our eating and drinking, we’d be much safer. I’m not as concerned about the plastics that we don’t consume or get near our bodies. I’m worried about the ones we ingest through eating, drinking or breathing the fumes.
As I mentioned in my first blog on plastics, I now understand why I developed an estrogen-fed cancer. I was consuming chemicals from plastics and many other xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen in my body. Therefore, I no longer drink from plastic bottles or store or freeze my food in plastics.
So here are my recommendations for reducing the impact of plastics on our bodies:
- Only use glass, steel, and ceramic products to eat and drink from or store food in. If needing disposables, only use paper compost products. Or bring your own packaging from home if only plastic is offered for leftovers.
- Don’t microwave food or drinks (including infant formula and breast milk) in plastic since heating up containers increases the release of chemicals into food. Use glassware instead.
- Avoid plastics with recycling codes #3 (contains phthalates), #6 (styrene), and #7 (bispenols). Yes, no more church dinners with Styrofoam cups and plates. You can bring your own drinking container and paper plate if necessary.
- When drinking hot brewed drinks, bring your own cup or go to places such as Starbucks or Chick Fil-A that serve paper coffee cups. And avoid using the plastic lids that leach plastic chemicals back into your hot drink after being saturated with steam.
- Use reusable shopping bags. My son, Jonnie, gave me several from Prudential.
- Look for children’s toys, bottles and Sippy cups made from safer materials. They are out there. Please share what you’ve found.
- If thirsty and only plastic water bottles are provided, then drink from them remembering that proper hydration is your first priority.
In a world full of fake people, fake news, and plastics all around us since the 1950’s and increasing daily, we must make decisions to assure that our bodies are not being overloaded with plastic chemicals. We must never forget that we are at the top of the food chain. What goes around, comes around. And like a boomerang, our drive for convenience eventually comes back around to us with consequences. So be cautious not only about what you drink, but also the container it is served in. In reducing plastics, DO AS THE EUROPEANS DO!
Here’s to your health!