Plastic is all around us. There are many places where its use is necessary and invaluable like in children’s toys, outdoor furniture, shelving, etc. But the one place we have got to get rid of it is as a receptacle for things that go in our mouths. Eliminating plastic from our kitchens as much as possible is a simple but necessary step. Do it for your family, yourself, your health and your world.
Just a few reasons why:
BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical made for use in the production of plastics.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor.
BPA can increase the risk of obesity, cancer (particularly breast and prostate), and reproductive problems.
BPA is labeled an environment obesogen, a chemical that causes obesity.
Children are especially at risk for health effects of BPA because they do not detoxify chemicals from their systems as efficiently as adults.
There’s been a huge increase in childhood cancers, birth defects, allergies, asthma, autism, ADD, learning disabilities in children, etc. and there is concern that levels of toxins, such as BPA, in our environment could be causing these increases.
The making of plastic is bad for the environment. The production requires huge amounts of water and emits large amounts of CO2, not to mention the immense pollution that used plastic creates.
Here’s how you can take some control of your health and do your part for the environment and avoid products with BPA:
- If you must use plastic containers, use only ones that have these numbers in the triangle on the bottom: 1,2,4, or 5. Go to your cabinet now and throw away anything that doesn’t.
- Even plastic that is labeled “BPA-free” contains chemicals, so use glass, stainless steel or aluminum containers and water bottles as much as possible.
- When you are drinking water at home, drink out of a drinking glass.
- Do not cook in plastic in the microwave. Transfer the food to a glass, pyrex or paper container before microwaving.
- Switch all of your food storage containers to glass versions.
- Cans are often lined with BPA so try to buy only BPA-free cans. Note: acidic foods like tomatoes leach more BPA from a can than non-acidic foods.
- Bring your own water bottle wherever you go. Did you know that O’hare airport has filtered water bottle refill stations throughout the concourses so you can bring an empty bottle when you travel and fill it for the plane ride after going through security? No more wasting $5 on a plastic water bottle in the rip-off airport shops!
- Be a cautious parent: use glass, polypropylene or polyethylene baby bottles or ones that are polycarbonate-free. Reconsider sippy cups, especially if they are chipped, cloudy or scratched. Buy powdered formula instead of canned.
- Throw out plastic utensils when they are scratched or worn.
- Do you really need a receipt for everything you purchase? If not, don’t take one. Receipts are often coated with BPA.
- Use wax paper bags and parchment paper more than plastic.
- When entertaining, stick with paper goods and paper cups instead of plastic varieties.
- Always recycle plastic when you do use it as it is better for the environment.