I was Couchsurfing at a house in northern Germany when I met the first person I had ever heard say,
“Ich stehe nicht auf Plastik.”
The phrase means, “I do not agree with,” or, “I am not keen on” plastic. It was the most bizarre comment to me at the time. This was 2011. The following years became a long process of unraveling the meaning and grounds for this concern. Making the switch to a life without plastic has been one of the hardest switches I’ve made in my quest for change.
Plastic. Is. Everywhere.
I couldn’t even find a suitable claw hair clip that wasn’t plastic, and I’ve searched long and hard. I still haven’t found one by the way. Luckily, eliminating plastic in the kitchen has been much more possible. Plastic in the kitchen commonly ranges from the containers we buy food in, to the containers we store them to the things we eat on! I mean … who else couldn’t resist those cute, plastic party BBQ plates from Target?
My goal of producing less waste in the kitchen, and being more mindful of my storage choices eventually led to the creation of my vermicompost (worm) bin. I learned what BPA was, slowly switched to using mason jars for cups, ditched the expensive mechanical-lid coffee mug and switched to a ceramic one, and admittedly, spent over a year trying to find a lunch box that I wanted. I am not an impulse buyer, and this stainless steel business was an investment for me. Yet the more I learned, the more passionate I became about my mission. Did you know, the BPA in plastics is linked to a plethora of health issues? That’s not to mention the amounts of unnecessary and excess trash that all of our plastic creates. Did you know you can even ditch your ziplock baggies for glass? Yes, you CAN store food in the freezer in a mason jar! (Or a re-purposed recycled glass yogurt jar like I do).
Just when I feel like the world is making progress, products are commonly offered in BPA-free alternatives, to-go containers are being offered in compostable material … I see Mr. Trash Wheel, reminding me of our painful and shocking trash facts from one of my favorite twitter accounts.
With images of poisoned plastic containers in mind, I skimmed the non-plastic food storage options. I read bad reviews about one or another and give up for awhile, again. I, like most people, have a cupboard of mismatched Tupperwear dishes that I used regularly to store my leftover foods. Tupperware was the real deal back in the day and has become and remained a household word.
But just like TV dinners and sugar-packed pre-packaged… everything, whose ads graced all of America’s favorite tv show commercials, sometimes the most popular and generally-accepted-as-safe products are the norm. I’m just an average gal, who grew up in an average way, in a typical American household. We fed our dogs Pedigree and ate the occasional TV dinner. And now I’m flipping everything I thought I knew upside down.
While the recent concern about plastics is fairly new and sending people towards researching alternatives to plastic (although still not a generally accepted concern), the truth is that plastic is poisoning our bodies and our planet. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but it’s never too late to begin the change.
I purchased my first glass replacements to plastic storage containers in 2015. Then, after saving up some cash, I invested in my first EcoLunchbox. I am obsessed.
The stackable little containers are addictive (in all of their forms!) safe, non-reactive and non-toxic. Yes please! They’ll pack a mean punch to your daily lunchbox. So at least now I can check one more thing off my bucket list of daily change goals.
Follow my Pinterest board for more ways to be plastic free in your life and to find more great products that I’ve switched to in my quest to become plastic free. You might also enjoy my “Change” board on Pinterest for other great ways to make healthier and more sustainable life choices. Also, head over to Eartheasy.com for a treasure trove of helpful tips and blogs to making sustainable choices in your life, and where I often find inspiration.
NOTE: This blog includes affiliate links, which means I may receive a nominal commission when you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. I have not been paid for my opinion and any commentary on the efficiency of a product is solely my own opinion and experience.