Monday, April 18, 2011


It seems like everything is a debate today. Last week a friend of mine sent me an article about the absurdity of organic meat. I will attach it to this blog, so you can check it out if you want. While I didn’t fully agree with the article, it made a hearty argument. That same week, I picked up my Health magazine and read an article about the ten things to buy organic. What was number one??? Beef. It got me thinking… are there ever any concrete answers??

Lately, I have been concerned about BPA. I can’t seem to get a handle on the issue, but it doesn’t look good. One of the interesting aspects to the article I read about the top organic things to buy was that half of the list wasn’t food related. Household cleaners, food storage containers, and water bottles were all on the list. Why??? For most, it is the threat of BPA.

BPA, or bispherol A, is an endocrine disruptor. What the hell is that?? In women, it can pose an increased risk in breast cancer. In men, it can lower sperm count. And that is just what we know right now. How do you catch it? You don’t catch it…. you intake it. Found in plastic, it can leach into your food, your water, I even read today that it can be found on receipts printed from the store.

SHIT. Look around your house, how many plastic things to you own? How many plastic bags have you used to pack your kids lunch? Just today, I put a PB&J in a plastic bag for Drew. And a few weeks ago, I bought a bunch of food containers to store my dried good… all plastic. Money well wasted!

So what are we to do??? Throw it all out? That isn’t good for the environment either. And what happens in a year when the experts change their minds and all of a sudden BPA is a thing of the past? How can you safeguard your family without breaking the bank and going too extreme?

I have come up with a few things:
1) Buy glass food storage containers (think glass Tupperware). BPA free and durable, they are a great addition to your kitchen and won’t break the bank. I found a set at Costco two years ago and love them.
2) Ditch the plastic water bottles and get a reusable metal one (or any reusable water bottle that is BPA free. It will say it on the label). Not only are plastic water bottles trashing the environment (pun intended), but they aren’t good for you. Leaching BPA all over those things.
3) Watch the number of canned goods you consume in a week. What is this about? Some cans, like tomatoes (crushed, diced, sauce, etc), are lined in plastic = BPA.
4) When you can buy in bulk, do it. Use a paper reusable bag (they offer them at Whole Foods) in the bulk section and store your food in glass container. Avoid buying stuff packaged in plastic. When you get your produce, don’t wrap it in the plastic bag they offer at the grocery store (if you can). I am not 100% if these bags have BPA, but the environment doesn’t like them. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
5) Relax. You do the best you can with what you got. Little things go a long way.

I can’t tell you that in ten years everyone who ditched all their plastic and restocked with kitchen with cast iron will live longer lives. Who the hell knows? But if the rule of thumb is to live like your great-grandmother did, glass containers and cast iron is moving in the right direction. Bottom line, eat fresh, eat green (environmentally and actual green things), reduce your waste.

Which leads me to another topic… HAPPY EARTH DAY (a few days early). I love this planet. Last summer, I was sitting out on a deck in the middle of the Rocky Mountains at midnight just staring up into the sky. It was pure awesomeness. I could have stayed their all night. If you haven’t taken time to look around at the beauty this earth has to offer, do it this week. Then ask yourself how you can help from deteriorating. Small things can go a long way. Here are a few to get you started:
1) Drop your paper towels: WHAT?? I am a mom with dirty kids and messy floors. I can’t do that! Yes you can. A year and a half ago, I had an addiction… to paper towels. I used them for everything. One day, I looked into my garbage and was appalled. Most of my garbage was paper towels, so I put a stop to it and haven’t bought a roll since. In fact, I dumped all paper products. No paper towels, no paper napkins, no paper plates (we use toilet paper and tissues). I bought reusable rags, reusable napkins, and did the dishes when all my plates were dirty (luckily, I don’t entertain huge groups often). I don’t miss them one bit… okay, on occasion I miss them, but it isn’t often enough to tempt me back.
2) If you don’t recycle… please start. Approximately 85% of what we use daily is recyclable. Put an extra garbage can under your sink and separate your trash. My 83 year old grandma recycles. You can.
3) Turn off your lights and water and unplug appliances when you aren’t using them. It drives me crazy when I hear Drew in the bathroom running the water and playing in it. What a waste! There are two saying we have in our house: don’t be a litter bug and turn off the damn water! My husband has a home office, which sucks a lot of energy. I read today that we should hook all his equipment into one power chord so we can turn it off all at once. Sounds good to me! And easy. Take a look around and see what you can turn off or unplug. Do you leave your cell phone charger just plugged into the wall? Is your coffee maker always plugged in?
4) Ditch your common household cleaners and get natural. But they don’t work as well! Yes they do and they won’t pollute the air or your kids’ lungs with harmful chemical.
5) Compost… I have two goals for this coming year: cut down on all the crap in my house and reduce the amount of waste we produce and compost. I have tried for a year to get Kyle to buy me a composter. Now that we are going to have a yard and the space to put a tub for our scraps, game on!

Okay, I think five things is a good place to start.

There will always be opposing views and confusing information. I struggle with the “right” way to live and raise my kids all the time, but one thing holds true. If we don’t love our Earth, our kids and their kids will have a diminished lifestyle. If we teach our kids to love each other, we need to teach them to love the planet that sustains them. Call me a tree hugger, call me a foodie, call me a mom with a cause. This year, I’m going to sit on the top of a mountain once again and look up at the stars and know I am doing something to make this world more beautiful. Happy Earth Day everyone!!!