NOW what’cha gonna do FDA!

Okay… BPA in plastics … we’ve been through this so, sooo much but I have to give you the latest…

Remember that independent study that the FDA was waiting for?… well, the results are in, and drumroll please… an independent panel of scientists is criticizing the FDA for “under-estimating the dangers of BPA in plastics”!  (*well, no look of surprise on my face here!)  The panel goes on to say that the margin of safety established by the FDA is “inadequate”.

Why do I feel like we’ve all known this all along?!?! So, let’s just boil it down and here are some facts:

  • Avoid recycle #7. Most are full of BPA.  If you’re buying a product and see it on the bottom, PUT IT BACK!
  • Avoid recycle #3 also – it indicates Phthalates (linked to reproduction problems, early puberty, obesity and diabetes).
  • Recycle numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are best… safe and recyclable.
  • Simply buy reusable bottles that are BPA and Phthalate-free!

Also, remember that dishwashers and microwaves breakdown the chemicals in these products further (the reason for the concern about baby bottles, coupled with the knowledge that young ones are most at risk).  If they’ve turned hazy, they are especially dangerous because they have already broken down.

What more do they need to know? These chemicals are simply used as hardeners and stabilizers of plastics (to increase durability) and we know plastics can be made WITHOUT them!

What’s it going to take before they recognize that human safety and well-being is so much more important than the gain and well-being of the big manufacturers that create these toxic plastics and the companies who use them??? They said they were awaiting the results of this independent study so…

Now… FDA?  What’cha gonna do?

(P.S. Don’t you just love how recycle #7 is coded as “Other”… ironic, no?)

De-“bagging” the system

Oh, plastic bags, plastics bags.  Will they ever go away?  It seems to be a slow movement, but there is more good news to report.

IKEA has stepped up to the plate and eliminated all plastic and paper bags in their US retail stores.  No more enormous, crinkling bags to lug home the loot we buy.  Bring your own bag or buy one of theirs, or your only other option will be to grow more arms!  This move eliminates 70 MILLION bags per year.

Target also started a great program that will hopefully encourage everyone who has counted on those bull’s eye bags to consider an alternative too.  I learned about this in People magazine because you turn the inside cover into a mailing envelope.  Put five Target plastic bags inside, mail it and they’ll send you a certificate for a reusable bag made from the plastic you just mailed in.  And you don’t need the magazine cover to participate… just click here to find out how.

It’s funny how I feel an instant kinship with other shoppers who are armed with their own reusable bags.  We often compliment each other and share a proud, little smile at being environmentally conscious together…

… Come’on!  Join our “click”!

Take it home… leave the ‘foam!

Recently our family had lunch at a restaurant and at the end of the meal… lo and behold, leftovers!

There was no need to waste food and leave it behind, but the question loomed: “what am I going to have to carry this home in?”  When the server asked me if I wanted a to-go container, I decided to ask.

Me:  “Is the container Styrofoam?”
Server:  “Yes, it is.  But would you like me to use aluminum foil instead?”
Me:  “Why YES! (*big smile) I would!  I’m “very green” and I detest Styrofoam.”
Server:  “No problem, ma’am.”

No problem!  Imagine that.  We DO have a choice.  I know aluminum foil won’t do for some things, but I now realize there is a choice, and if asked, we’ll probably be given an alternative, greener option.  I was happy not to waste food, but I was just as happy not to accept Styrofoam that will live in a landfill for hundreds of years and release toxins into the ground.

I’ve even recently learned about new containers and tableware (thanks to reader, Beth!) that are made from corn, sugarcane and paper.  They’re biodegradable and compostable and include cups, plates, utensils and napkins… all kinds of good stuff appropriate for your next gathering, available in quantities for home use.  The holidays are around the corner, and who doesn’t love a great party, but add Mother Earth to the guest list by not serving her toxic trash.

So, after I ate the leftovers, the aluminum foil got a quick wash and went to the recycling can. But next time, I want it in the shape of a swan!

Treats without the nasty trick

Who doesn’t enjoy the spirit(s!) of Halloween? Ghosts, goblins, jack-o-lanterns, crazy costumes and of course, those wonderful treats!

I’ve always loved being a gift-giver and our kids are no different. They always love giving gifts and especially treats to their classmates at Halloween. In past years, we’ve always filled little cellophane bags with candy, pencils and other goodies. But this year, I decided that I wasn’t going that route… at least, not so much the normal route.

This year I bought our son’s preschool friends a sweet little Halloween book (because it’s a very small class and the books were a buck each from Scholastic) and we’ll top it off with some treats. My daughter insists on some treats for her friends too but, this time, I made a wiser choice than un-recyclable cellophane bags.

I found these adorable uncoated (recyclable!) paper bags that will carry the loot. They were the same price as the cellophane bags, but they don’t carry any of the guilt of plastic trash. They came from a dollar store – 25 for $1! A deal, I’d say, and available just about anywhere.

So, if you haven’t already made your loot bag purchase, give it some consideration. Or better yet, that’s what receipts are for… return them for an environmental choice.

Halloween treats go better with paper… hold the nasty cellophane trick.

Salvaged: A follow-up

So, last week I was whining because our daughter’s school was holding an event for students that focused on proper nutrition and making healthy food choices. I was all for the project but miffed that they were serving bottled water.

Well, I’m happy to say that I spoke up and this is the result of my whining!

Behold, my beautiful recycling can filled with plastic bottles to be recycled!

The principal agreed with my concern and the event organizer welcomed my help.  Our custodian helped me put together a receptacle just for the bottles, I made signs and everyone cooperated!  Yippee!

After school I not only brought home my most precious cargo (our daughter, of course) but also an enormous bag of plastic bottles to be recycled.

I’m slowly learning that when given options, and someone who will take the bull by the horns (or even the other end of the bull!), people will often agree to make the right choices.

Now, if I could just get the BPA issues out of my head and the recent study about bottled water, I would be happier, but this was the best outcome I could manage, under the circumstances.

See, sometimes being a cry-baby does pay off!