Switch to Clean Living: Ditch Toxic Plastic (and what to use instead)

In 2018 or so I really started to become aware of toxins and chemicals that are all around us and started to learn about small changes I could make to limit or reduce my exposure to them.  You've probably heard the term "hormone disruptors"; and hearing about that was one of my motivations.  I didn't want the things around me to affect my (or my families) health in a negative way; and so where I can help it, I'm making changes in my home. I'll be starting a new series about switching to clean living and try to break it down so it's easy, affordable, and enjoyable. If you are just starting out on your own clean living journey I hope this post helps you!

My whole life I have grown up thinking it was normal and safe to use plastic wear in the kitchen or on the go.  My mom was a tupperware distributor for goodness sake!  It was absolutely the thing to have in the 90's and so I didn't question it. If it didn't melt in the microwave it was good enough for me! Let's be honest, sometimes things did melt a little but I still used them *facepalm. Since running my own home, I've used plastic water bottles, warmed food up in "microwave safe" plastics, used the ever popular and convenient non stick pans, used plastic cooking utensils while cooking, and on and on.

One day while I was making my child a grilled cheese I noticed that the plastic spatula I was using melted on the pan and when I flipped the sandwich, some of the black plastic was sticking to the food.  I picked it off and assumed all would be well, our bodies have an incredible ability to rid itself of unwanted things.  While that may be true, I started to wonder if it really did matter?  Have you ever left a plastic water bottle in a hot car and drank it only to discover it tasted really funny?  It was moments like these that I felt a little nudge, a little pull towards finding out if it did matter.

I love social media because it's now easier than ever to learn about these things.  But, it can be overwhelming and inundate you with so much information you don't even know where to start. In my opinion, starting in the kitchen is the best place.  There's a ton of research online that can tell you all of the negative impacts plastic can have on your body - you probably already have heard this, but here's your nudge to start making healthier changes if you are trying to figure out where to start.  I definitely want to remove unnecessary micro plastics, chemicals, and toxins from my life!

Here's what you will want to swap out in the kitchen to reduce toxins:

  • switch plastic tupperware for ---> glass or stainless steel containers.  I love these glass meal prep containers!  They are the perfect size and are safe to microwave.  I don't want to freak you out but not all glassware is chemical or plastic free! I know, the madness. See more favorites HERE.
  • switch plastic cutting board for ---> Solid wood cutting board. Acacia wood is amazing and super durable.  I love this one!

  • switch plastic cooking utensils for ---> Wooden spoons (HERE) /spatulas (HERE) or Stainless steel (HERE).  In my opinion you really need both.  I love both types of utensils for different reasons and I love that they are so much healthier than plastic!  No more plastic grilled cheese sandwiches! 😅 I own this set from All-Clad and can't sing their praises enough.  I also love these measuring spoons. While you are at it ditch plastic straws and go with these.  I love these for my smoothies, they are super easy to clean too.

  • switch saran wrap for ---> Beeswax or PFAs free cloth food wraps/bags OR silicone lids (here).  These have thousands of amazing reviews! More options linked HERE!
  • switch teflon non-stick pans/baking sheets for ---> cast iron and stainless steel.  I cannot stress this enough.  STOP using non-stick!  I own this set, this sauce pot, and this frying pan. Stainless steel baking sheets are the only way to go.  Love these. I'm sure you've heard of cast iron (shout out to my mom who did cook with it frequently!) and they are just timeless and incredible.  If you are low in iron they are said to help with that.  See all HERE.

  • switch plastic food bag for ---> silicone bags here (younger kids would love these), paper here, or PFAs free cloth bags.  I found these paper bags are much better for dried foods as they did dry out sandwiches a bit but I love them for crackers, dried fruit, or even carrot sticks and the like. More options here. Why silicone you may wonder? There's a lot of info out there about this but in short: Silicone doesn't turn into micro plastic when lost in the environment. It's hygienic and hypoallergenic with no open pores to harbor bacteria making it great for food containers and lunchware.  The key to being a careful consumer is to only buy high-quality silicone that's food safe. 

  • switch plastic water bottle for ---> Stainless steel (here) or Glass (here).  Water has never tasted so good since switching from plastic bottles.  Wish I had known this sooner in life!
The above swaps are such a great place to start!  Just avoid plastic and use these healthier alternatives instead!

One swap at a time - and remember, we don't need to be 100% perfect to be healthy!

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