Ever since I became more committed to turning a green leaf in every aspect of my life over a decade ago, I decided to phase out the plastic in my home, especially in my kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to microwave my vegetarian TV dinners (before my vegan days), I used to buy water by the case and leave several bottles in my car for convenience, and I used to wash all of our plastic dishes, cups, and utensils in our dishwasher. However, at that time, I never considered that I was ingesting the toxins used to make the plastic every time I ate or drank out of plastic that had been exposed to extreme temperatures and/or moisture.
However, the day I learned that “[p]etroleum-based plastics leach harmful chemicals into foods and drinks, especially when plastic comes in contact with oily or fatty foods, during heating and microwaving, as a result of harsh cleaners, and when exposed to excessive moisture” (Christopher Gavigan: Health Child Healthy World) was the day I began replacing the plastic in my kitchen and the day I started drinking out of a reusable stainless steel water bottle and more.
Since I found it difficult avoiding plastic completely, I started making sure that the food and beverages that I bought in plastic containers were packaged in one of the less toxic plastics (1, 2, 4, 5). However, after reading Beth Terry’s new book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, I am taking my eliminating-the-plastic-in-my-home journey to the next level (I’ll be blogging about this soon). Thanks, Beth!
However, the easiest changes I made many years ago were avoiding putting ANY plastic in my microwave (where it can release harmful chemicals when heated – I actually no longer use my microwave nowadays) and avoiding putting ALL plastic items into the dishwasher (they may degrade in the extreme heat and excessive moisture).
It is important to not wash plastic bowls, cups, cooking utensils, etc. in the dishwasher because it allows harmful, cancer-causing chemicals from the degrading plastic to transfer and/or leach into your food and beverages.
Since my moment of enlightenment, I’ve been slowly replacing all plastic items in my kitchen with their counterparts, whether they’d be bamboo, glass, ceramic, metal or wood while avoiding all 3, 6 and 7 packaged food and beverage items. However, as you can see, there are princess plastic cups still lurking in the shadows of my home. One day, they will go back to Disney to live with their friends while bidding farewell to our family.
Nevertheless, if switching to non-plastic items in the kitchen seems overwhelming and/or a financial expense that cannot be endured at the moment, treat the plastic in your home kindly by keeping it out of your microwave, dishwasher, and yes, even your freezer.
I just purchase Onyx’s stainless steel popsicle molds and will be making handmade popsicles for the first time since my girls were born. Baby steps.
Much Love! ~Priscilla