Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Think Green

Since it's Earth Day, I thought I'd climb up on my soapbox and share some useful tidbits on helping our health as well as the earth's.

First, plastics. Not only are they clogging our waterways, but I learned last year just how bad plastics are for our health, especially the health of our little ones. I unfortunately did not really know this when Jake was a baby and used plastic bottles with him, but luckily now I know. So now with Chloe I use glass or bisphenol-A free bottles & with Jake bisphenol-A free containers and sippy cups. Here's the download.

Plastics to Avoid

#3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) commonly contains di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an endocrine disruptor and probable human carcinogen, as a softener.

#6 Polystyrene (PS) may leach styrene, a possible endocrine disruptor and human carcinogen, into water and food.

#7 Polycarbonate contains the hormone disruptor bisphenol-A, which can leach out as bottles age, are heated or exposed to acidic solutions. Unfortunately, #7 is used in most baby bottles and five-gallon water jugs and in many reusable sports bottles.

Better Plastics

#1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), the most common and easily recycled plastic for bottled water and soft drinks, has also been considered the most safe. However, one 2003 Italian study found that the amount of DEHP in bottled spring water increased after 9 months of storage in a PET bottle.

#2 High Density Polyethylene

#4 Low Density Polyethylene

#5 Polypropylene


Best Reusable Bottles: Sigg canteens (Jake and mama's favorite), Betras USA Sports Bottles, Brita Fill & Go Water Filtration Bottle, Arrow Canteen

Better Baby Bottles: Choose tempered glass or opaque plastic made of polypropylene
(#5) or polyethylene (#1), which do not contain bisphenol-A.

Tips for Use:

*Sniff and Taste: If there's a hint of plastic in your water, don't drink it.

*Keep bottled water away from heat, which promotes leaching of chemicals.

*Use bottled water quickly, as chemicals may migrate from plastic during storage. Ask retailers how long water has been on their shelves, and don't buy if it's been months.

*Do not reuse bottles intended for single use. Reused water bottles also make good breeding grounds for bacteria.

*Choose rigid, reusable containers or, for hot/acidic liquids, thermoses with stainless steel or ceramic interiors.

Another thing to watch out for are the products we use every day to clean our bodies & homes. Better living by chemicals is not always good sense. It's time to realize that as cancer rates are rising, so are the chemicals in our lotions, deodorants, shampoos and floor cleaners. Try getting back to basics. The kind of stuff our grandma's used to clean and beautify. Vinegar, lemon juice and water is one of my all time favorite all purpose cleaners. There are now so many products out there that are organic and free of carcinogens. I like Melalueca and Sun & Earth for that stuff.

Reuse as much as you can. The local economy really doesn't need you to by a new phone because it has ambient lighting. Maybe tonight you can flick off the lights and dine by candle (safe ones) light instead. Bring your bags to the store when you do have to shop. Compost. Eat organic. Buy local. That is all. Stay healthy!

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