I don’t imagine myself as an “Influencer,” and no one is going to pay me for mentioning products. I don’t have 15 million followers. But, in my own struggles to live more healthily, sustainably and largely without plastic over the past few years I have found some useful sources to share. Remember that when I am recommending products, these are not ones that I have scientifically tested. They are just ones I like and have found satisfactory.
I began by trying to live without plastic, knowing that it takes eons to break down, even if properly disposed of or recycled. We all see how much ends up along our roadways and read about how much clogs our sewers, ends up in our rivers, and eventually creates continents of plastic waste in our oceans. It also breaks down into microscopic particles that end up in our food chain and in us. We don’t know exactly what most of those forever chemicals are doing to our bodies, but it can’t be good.
I began by ceasing to use plastic wrap and bags. Substitutes were hard to come by at first. But here are some substitutes I’ve discovered over the years:
- Parchment paper. You can line baking pans with it, wrap fish and meat to cook in it, even use it as freezer wrap. (Note: both “waxed” paper and freezer paper have plastic coatings.) Source: your local supermarket.
- Aluminum foil. You can cook things in it, store food in it, cover bowls with it, and freeze things in it. If you can clean it after use, you can ball it up and throw it in recycling. Source: your local supermarket.
- Silicon covers: They come in stretchable and solid forms. The stretchable ones can cover bowls and food containers. The solid ones are great for covering microwaved food in bowls. I’ve been using the solid Charles Viancin Poppy Lids for about eight years. Still working great. Easy to clean. Source: Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Stasher Reusable Bags: I saw these silicon bags at a friend’s house, bought two starter sets and a few extra and have not used plastic bags since. They’re sturdy, washable, even microwavable. Source: stasherbag.com
- Glass jars and food storage pieces. Over the last few years I’ve replaced most of my plastic food storage containers with glass. I’ve saved one cup, two cup and quart jars from food I buy. I’ve bought two cup mason jars and larger square and rectangular glass containers with silicon lids. It’s nice to be able to warm up leftovers right in them (covered by my Poppy Lids) rather than have to transfer the food to a ceramic bowl for reheating. Source: Target and second-hand stores.
For other kitchen, bath and cleaning products I’ve found these sources:
- Dish brushes, pot scrubbers, biodegradable dental floss, bath scrubbers from Smile Boutique; all made of bamboo with natural bristles or loofah and sisal fibers. Great products, and this company ships sustainably. No packaging that can’t be recycled or composted. Source: Smile Boutique on Etsy.
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day dish soap, liquid hand soap and multi-surface cleaner. I’ve been very happy with these three products. They are, the company says, made with plant-derived ingredients, natural scents, and come in recyclable containers (except pumps and tops). Source: your local supermarket.
- Seventh Generation laundry detergent. I know that it’s not rated it as highly as Tide by consumer labs, but it is among the best rated ecological products. It gets my clothes clean. (Sorry, Mr. Procter. But thanks for your generosity to the Diocese of Southern Ohio.) Source: your local supermarket.
That’s it for my recommendations. But, to conclude, here are some recommended sources from a real expert:
“One-Stop Shops for Buying Less-Toxic Products; There’s an app for that!”by Jessian Choy, Sierra Club Insider newsletter, May 5, 2021
Thanks for your commitment to Creation Care!
You can find this and all the Creation Care blogs for the church website I have written at a consolidating blog I have created: ststephenscreationcare.blogspot.com