That’s my focus each year when I come up with my new year’s resolution. Our behavior in the kitchen and when we eat impacts the environment in really big and meaningful ways. Each year I try to find something our family can do in our food life to help impact the environment in a positive way. 2009: Eat less meat. (Wowzah, the amount of resources going into meat production is astonishing!) 2010: Eat more veggies. (Our family did this by joining a CSA, which automatically upped our plant intake, and our fruits and veggies were all grown close to home). Now it’s time to announce the 2012 resolution! Are you ready? Drumroll please…
Use less plastic.
Mind if I get on a soapbox for a moment? Then I’ll hop off and explain this year’s resolution. I promise the soapbox shouldn’t take too long.
Humans are hurting Mother Earth. We are stripping her of natural resources and in return giving back garbage, and in many cases uber-toxic garbage that doesn’t just hurt the earth but our bodies as well. The way we live is simply not sustainable, no matter how much we want it to be. Even though I’m getting a little preachy, I promise I’m not getting self-righteous. I’m part of the problem. We all are. BUT…that is empowering because it means we can ALL make a difference by making small changes every day. Okay, soapbox lecture over.
This year I’m going to focus on using less plastic, both for the benefit of Mother Earth and our family’s health. This goal was initially inspired by the documentary Bag It. Everyone should see this movie. Look for it on PBS. If you can’t find it on TV, buy a copy. Or save it to your Netflix queue. Whatever you do, be sure to put this documentary on your to-watch list!!!
Here is what my “Use Less Plastic” goal will entail:
- I am going to try to eliminate single-use plastic from our repertoire. Our society treats plastic like it’s disposable. It’s not. It lasts forever AND it requires a lot of resources to be produced in the first place. Start looking around. When you really take notice, it’s astonishing just how reliant we’ve become on plastic and just how cavalier we are about its disposal. Because of this, it’s actually really hard to cut out single-use plastic. I’ll be sure to share our journey as the year progresses!
- We are going to use more reusable products in general, including containers and coverings for our food (glass and fabric wherever possible), cloth napkins, reusable grocery bags, no plastic baggies in our kids’ lunches, etc. It will be an ongoing process I am sure.
- When we do use plastic, I am going to try really hard to find plastic that is phthalate- and BPA-free. Trust me. You don’t want that crap getting into your body and every time we come into contact with those chemicals, they are getting into our systems. I’m going to share just one tidbit from Bag It that really got me thinking. The host, Jeb, and his wife had cut plastic out of their lives. He had his BPA and phthalate levels checked then went and stayed at a friend’s apartment for TWO days, using normal, everyday, “safe” consumer products (canned food, microwaveable plastic dishes, lotions, deodorant, kids’ shampoo…all things that claim to be safe, even for babies). After the two days, Jeb had his blood retested. His phthalate levels increased about 11 times and his BPA levels went from undetectable up 110 times. That was after just two days. The good news? It’s reversible. Cut the products with those chemicals from our lives and they will leave our bodies.
So, there you have it. That’s my goal. Use less plastic. I hope you’ll join me!