Plastic is everywhere around us. It has become a part of everything we touch and possess: our clothing, our furniture, our cars, our cookware, even our houses are at least partially built from plastic.
There is no doubt that without plastic we would not have so much of the technical advances and commodities that we enjoy today.
At the same time, plastic can be extremely toxic to our bodies and there is more and more evidence for the adverse effect of long-term plastic exposure.
This is why we have ventured on a quest to minimize the plastic in our lives, especially in the areas where it can do the most damage to our health.
Why do we want to minimize the plastic in our lives
We both suffer from diseases which are a result of our immune system not working properly. These diseases are also a pandemic in the developed world of today but were not common at all a century ago.
We believe (as the research suggests) that this is to a large extent due to the ubiquitous presence of toxins all around us – in our food, in our clothing, in our homes, in the very air we breathe.
As toxins are basically chemicals that our bodies do not recognise (i.e. man-made for the most part), we have ventured on a conscious quest to reduce our exposure and intake of such chemicals.
Therefore, the first place to start is the most widely spread man-made material we know of – plastic.
Our wake-up moment
Our “trying” to reduce the plastic in our lives has been going on for years. Even so, a while back, however, we decided to find out just how much plastic was a part of our life. And the results were horrifying:
- we stored almost all of our food in plastic;
- our cookware was about 40% plastic;
- our kitchen appliances had hidden plastics, which came into close contact with our food;
- our drinking water was filtered in a plastic jar and stored there for a lot of time;
- chopping boards were plastic;
- so many of our cooking utensils were plastic;
- half of our wardrobe was plastic (polyester, which is the same)…..
- …. the list went on and on…
Apparently, we were only thinking that we were doing progress because we were buying/having less plastic. And the result was that we were actually accumulating more…
Getting rid of plastic has to be a conscious endeavour
We have known that plastic is bad for our health and, in general, we tried not to buy it for some years now. And in retrospect, because we were simply ‘trying’ and were not fully committed, we ended up buying more and more plastic.
It was easier. As you will see in these series of posts, finding non-plastic alternatives can be quite a challenge.
As you know, our philosophy of life, the ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ ᴍɪɴᴅsᴇᴛ, is about being conscious about our health and consciously seeking to eradicate everything that could undermine our health. Simply “trying” to use less plastic items is a state of mind where we are not fully vested and our goal could be achieved in the distant future. Or not? It is like trying to lose weight – before you get on a rigid diet/lifestyle, the goal will always be elusive.
That is why we are at war with plastic. We are getting rid of what is not good for us. Period.
Plastic is in more places than you might think
What is synthetic leader made from? How much of our furniture is made from MDF, HDF or similar material covered with plastic foil? How about the interior of the average car?
So much of the plastic around us is hidden in plain sight, and while we cannot avoid it, we can at least make sure it is of a better plastic.
This is why we need to consciously seek and question everything we buy and possess and not only compare prices at the shop. The answer to why both seemingly identical items have noticeable price difference is not only because the manufacturer is trying to rob you. Probably the expensive one is made of a better material.
There is no black and white though
Plastic has tremendously improved our way of life and its role in human progress deserves to be recognised.
Plastic serves its purpose and it is not realistic to remove it all from our lives, without inadvertently starting to live in the last century. We seek to reduce our exposure to plastic where it can be harmful to our health in the following order of importance (and mercilessness):
- When it comes in touch with the food we eat – read more on our post on kitchen appliances, cooking utensils or plastic packaging;
- When it comes in touch with our skin – it is the largest organ in the human body and polyester clothing can leach toxins;
- When it can shed dust or evaporate toxins into the air around us – such as furniture made from MDF, HDF or similar material line with plastic foil;
- All else;
Not all plastic is created equal
There are hundreds of varieties of plastic and the actual chemicals are unknown to the public, for the most part. This is why we aim to remove as much plastic from our environment, as we can.
Sometimes, it is almost impossible not to buy plastic items, though. So you should know which plastics are safer than others.
- SAN or AS;
- PP (Polypropylene);
- LDPE and HDPE (Low-density polyethylene and High-density polyethylene) – do not expose to sunlight;
- PET – do not expose to sunlight;
Notable unsafe plastics:
- PS (Polystyrene);
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride);
- PC (polycarbonate);
What are your considerations about plastic? Share in the comments bellow.