By now we all know to be wary of plastic. Everyday items such as plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags are bad for your health and even worse for the environment. But, most of us go on using these things, at least some of the time, if not all of the time. Largely, because we aren’t entirely aware of just how bad these things are. 

Plastic bottles. First, there’s the health concern. Polycarbonate plastic (the kind used to make plastic water bottles) leaches the chemical bisphenol-A (or BPA) into the water being contained by the bottle. Consumption of BPA can alter hormones and have other negative effects on our health. I am guilty of grabbing a plastic water bottle from the bodega in a time of need, but the majority of the time we use a stainless steel reusable bottle like THIS one. And for Lily, we like THIS. They’re affordable and durable and I can rest easy a night knowing that I’m limiting my contribution to the 60 million water bottles used daily in the United States alone. Just writing that statistic really freaks me out, guys. And according to the Container Recycling Institute, 86% of those bottles end up in landfills. That’s about 18,834,000,000 each year. 

Not into metal? (drea can’t stand metal near her teeth) You can try THESE reusable glass options. Or one of THESE plastic (bpa free) ones or THESE colorful ones (also pba free too of course). 

Plastics shopping bags. Speaking of freaky statistics, according to reuseit.com about 1 million plastic bags are used each minute. And apparently, plastics bags are the most abundant type of trash in the ocean, which currently contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic per square mile. Plastic bags take up to 1000 years to break down and even after doing so, they’re still toxic. The message here, don’t use them. Invest in a reusable bag and take it with you everywhere. We really love THIS one. The price is right on and they have a ton of cute colors to choose from. Want something a bit more sturdy? Try a larger canvas tote or inexpensive burlap bag. Or join the trend, and buy a market basket to lug your goods. 

I won’t even get started on my opinion about the amount of energy used to make these items, because I’ll start to rant. But, National Geographic reports that if we stopped consuming these items we could spare 15-17 million barrels of oil each year. That’s enough to power 100,000 vehicles for an entire year. 
So please, try to keep this post in mind next time you’re at the grocery store and share it with your friends! 
Emily 
Author & Illustrations by Emily De Nicolais exclusively for ohdeardrea. To see more of Emily’s work, click HERE
*From drea: Emily didn’t link these, but you could totally check out THESE amazing bags she designed. Not related, I love THIS print— and check out the rest of the goods too 😉 Also, on water bottles, I’m also guilty of buying bottles out from time to time, but using a good re-fillable bottle is a hell of a great way to save pennies— I’ve already mentioned it HERE, but you could save a good chunk of money a year by skipping drink buying. 

11 Comments

  1. I'm totally guilty of buying bottled water! The water in our new house is horrible and it leaves a white crystalized looking film on things. (I don't even like brushing my teeth with it!!!) Like if I keep a glass bottle of water in the fridge! It's totally gross! I can't wait to get our new fridge with the water filter!! Then I can totally skip out on the bottled water!!!

  2. I must admit a bit of an obsession with reusable containers. I even bring my own origami dishes to potlucks! There are worse things I suppose 🙂

    • I'm currently packing for a camping trip right now— I have stacks and stacks of linens and and glassware– more to lug, but no waste and it looks a lot better I think 🙂

  3. I stopped buying bottled water when I went to the zoo and they charged me $4.50 for it. From that point on I thought as bottled water as the enemy. I've been looking into buying reusable bags, because I'm quite tired of having all these plastic bags in the house. I love the metal water bottle, maybe I should get one, seeing my current one is from vs. x

  4. I started taking my own reusable bags to stores so I don't have to find a spot for all that plastic…when I was in Dublin this summer they actually charged people $0.25 per bag to encourage people to buy proper ones (why haven't we caught on to that???) I work at a Target and I try to sell our reusable red bags…and if I'm the cashier bagging someone's groceries (knife in my own heart) I try to put as much as I can in the bags…seriously, get smart America!!!
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

  5. I prefer to use reusable bags while grocery shopping, they're more sturdy and hold a lot more. Plus, I can easily carry them with their long straps. (Less trips back and forth between the car and taking them in.)

    StephanieLists.com

  6. What a useful post! We don't realize the good we can do with the simplest action. I never drink bottled water, maybe it's because where I grew up tap water was clean and good, but I see buying tons of plastic bottles as a waste of resources and money. Now I use a Brita filter and a metal bottle for gym and treks.
    About plastic bags… I copied my grandma! When I was little I remember her reusing one plastic bag over and over until it ripped – she said many plastic bags took a lot of space in her kitchen. Now we both are happy with our colored canvas tote bags 🙂

  7. What a useful post! We don't realize the good we can do with the simplest action. I never drink bottled water, maybe it's because where I grew up tap water was clean and good, but I see buying tons of plastic bottles as a waste of resources and money. Now I use a Brita filter and a metal bottle for gym and treks.
    About plastic bags… I copied my grandma! When I was little I remember her reusing one plastic bag over and over until it ripped – she said many plastic bags took a lot of space in her kitchen. Now we both are happy with our colored canvas tote bags 🙂

  8. Oh, the water here is horrible. But we have a nice little faucet filter; no idea what we'd do without it!

    I definitely buy bottled water if we're out and have no access to more water from home (even though we never leave with less than two full glass bottles each!) But knowing that I only do that infrequently, as opposed to buying a full pack daily like I used to is definitely refreshing. Huge steps in the right direction.

    I don't like metal near my teeth / I don't really like the taste of water in metal; so we all use glass. 🙂

  9. I love in Tasmania (the island state at the bottom of Australia) and plastic bags are banned here – you have to bring your own or buy more hardy reusable plastic bags each time. A few stores are getting onboard the biodegradable bandwagon, which is amazing! Trouble is when you're looking for a little bin liner at home they are few and far between!!

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