I have recently been convicted about being hypocritical. It never occurred to me before, but it was true. Here we are, claiming to live a simple life, and striving to protect the environment, and yet, we are polluting the earth–not to mention our bodies–with plastic, plastic, plastic. Assuming I have my facts straight, plastic is one of the few substances that takes upwards of 70 years to even begin decomposing, kills countless animals every year in different ways, contaminates our food and water that we consume daily, and yet, it is everywhere. It is used to produce kitchen utensils and dishes, condiment bottles, wraps, dog tags, cleaning bottles, furniture, and so much more. As a result of my internal conviction (not to mention a tremendous eagerness to start doing SOMETHING to work toward my goal of being self-sufficient, healthy, and more natural), I began to notice the items that surround me everyday that are a>made of plastic, and b>could be changed to another material. At first, I thought it would be an easy transition–just work toward replacing all my plastic with glass, ceramic, wood, or metal, all of which are naturally occuring substances. The more involved I become with this idea though, the more realistic I become as well. I have, sadly, realized that either I can’t or am just not willing to give up EVERYTHING I have that is plastic. My van is full of plastic, but I consider it something of a necessity. I also can’t give up things like carseats, strollers, toothbrushes, medical supplies, and several other things which offer no alternative. There are 3 big items I have struggled with, however, as I COULD give them up, but have basically decided I just am not ready at this point. One is my cleaning wipes. I LOVE those too much, and must admit, my house is SOOO much cleaner with their regular use. Unfortunately, they come in a plastic container. Another is ziploc bags. I use them for tons of stuff, and in the case of air travel, they are considered a necessity. Finally, is disposable diapers. I feel REALLY bad about this one, but I have used cloth diapers a bit when I potty-trained, and I HATE them! I hate cleaning them, I hate the frequency with which they have to be changed out, I have yet to figure out how to get a child to go through a night with drenching through them. So, for now, I must confess, I like my disposables.

WHEW! OK, now that the truth is out, I don’t feel so hypocritical. That all being said, here is what I am planning to change:

  • Switch all my plastic kitchen cook/bakeware to metal or wood.
  • Switch my plastic food storage containers to glass (unfortunately, most of these still come with a plastic lid, but at least it helps!)
  • While I won’t get rid of the kids’ current plastic toys, if I must buy a toy, I will aim to start buying wood or other natural type toys whenever possible.
  • Become more faithful about using my re-usable cloth grocery bags, as well as try to re-use the plastic produce bags (just to prevent sending more to the landfill).
  • Try to start making my own baby food. A is getting old enough he can eat more variety, and although I will still have to use our plastic ice-cube trays and ziploc bags to freeze the stuff, at least I will cut down on baby food in plastic container purchases (and save some money in the mean time!)
  • Use a refillable water-bottle instead of using disposable plastic water bottles.
  • As we make purchases in preparation for the setup of our farm, I will avoid plastic whenever possible. There are many ways we can do this!

I have realized there just aren’t many alernatives today for some items that we use regularly. My desire here is to prevent contamination of my body, my family’s bodies, and our earth where I can though. Every little bit helps, right? If you have any additional ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!! Leave me a comment!

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