An Eco Friendly You!! Going plastic-free can be great for your personal health and your personal space.
There are many reasons to reduce the amount of plastic we buy. First, plastic is made from nonrenewable resources extracted in ways that pollute our air and water.
Second, plastic is made from chemicals, and some have been found to be toxic to both the environment and to human health, like hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s.
On the basis of recent studies, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have some concern about the “potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.”
A phthalate is a plasticizer that is added to plastics to increase their flexibility. Phthalates are found in everything from toys and food packaging to nail polish and wall coverings, and, according to the Environmental Working Group, they have been found to disrupt the endocrine system.
Lastly, single-use disposable plastics live forever in landfills and very few types of plastic are widely recycled.
With that in mind, here are some practical ways to reduce your plastic use:
- Bring your own bag. When making your shopping list, always add a reminder to bring your own bags with you to the store. Even before heading to the mall, remember to bring a bag so you don’t have to use any of the plastic store bags. I found this great tip from Rodale.com: “If you forget your reusable bags, carry your items out by hand. After doing that a few times, you’ll probably NEVER forget your bags again.”
Of the 380 billion disposable plastic bags used each year in the U.S., only 1% are recycled.