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!
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.