Easy swaps that are good for your health and the health of our planet.
In one of my previous posts, I mentioned why the use of plastic can be harmful to you and your family and that finding more eco-friendly options may be a good idea. Here are some of the smartly designed alternatives I have been using to reduce my dependence on plastic which, inadvertently, continues to eliminate a lot of waste. By now, you know that I’m all for readily available, affordable, and practical, and all of these products fit the bill!
No more stained, smelly plastic storage containers that leach chemicals into your food! These oven, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe dishes come in different shapes and graduated sizes for easy storage. They come with matching, color coded write and erase lids which feature a silicone seal for airtight and leak proof handling. I love this set so much I just bought a second one at Costco and donated all my old plastic containers.
While some people (and by some people I mostly mean my husband) may think that spending $35.00 on a water bottle is a little excessive let me tell you that this is the one item I utilize more than anything else in my entire house. I have been using my bkr all day every day for more than a year which brings the cost per use down to virtually nothing. Ha! These glass bottles with silicone sleeves are dishwasher safe and leak proof. The bkr’s come in three different sizes and in an ever changing assortment of pretty colors. I currently have the 500ml version which is small enough to throw in your purse yet sleek and stylish to leave out on your desk. I hope to buy the bigger size (1l) before the summer hits so I can stay hydrated as the Arizona desert turns into a burning cauldron of fire. If you’re a sucker for minimalist design like I am, these beauties are for you!
This environmentally friendly tumbler features double-wall insulation which keeps your drinks hot or cold. Its large 16 oz. capacity and tight seal preventing leaks and spills make it a perfect travel companion. It is dishwasher safe. My favorite part – not just the tumbler itself but also the straw is stainless steel. No plastic touching and leaching chemicals into your drink!
The U.S. alone goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually with one single bag taking up to 1,000 years to degrade. Help stop this devastating trend by bringing your own reusable bags to the store. I always keep a bunch in the car and this chic Baggu bag in my purse. It comes in three different sizes and a variety of grown-up designs and colors to choose from. While this magician of a bag folds into a small zippered 7″ by 7″ pouch, it can hold up to 50 lbs and is machine washable. You can use it for groceries, the gym, travel, dirty laundry, even a slouchy tote if you’re in a bind.
The only kids’ water bottles I could find that are 100% plastic free are made by Pura Kiki. Unfortunately, I have read multiple times that while great for babies, they are not ideal for older children due to their relatively slow flow. Therefore, these EcoVessel bottles seemed like the best alternative! Made from durable #304 stainless steel, they do not leak and are the perfect size (13 fl oz) to fit into my children’s lunch boxes. The Scout bottles use a TPR (thermoplastic rubber – a mix of rubber and plastic polymers) flip top spout that is highly resistant to biting, chewing, heat, and bending. Like silicone and stainless steel, TPR is recyclable and does not contain leaching chemicals that would contaminate your water. With six different kid appropriate designs to choose from, these EcoVessel bottles have an integrated handle for easy portability. They are shatter proof but since my toddler drops his about five times a day, they do get a little dented. Whatever! In my mind that just adds a little rustic charm.
I have been in love with these lunch boxes ever since I bought them at the beginning of the school year! The 3-piece set includes an upper and a lower food container plus a small, nesting snack container. Perfectly suited for packing an entree and two side dishes, the EcoLunch Box can hold more than enough food for a kid’s meal. The unique bento design keeps all their bites and nibbles from getting mixed up or squished, and the clips that hold everything in place can easily be opened and closed by little hands. Since this lunch box does not have any plastic or rubber lining it is not entirely leak proof though. Don’t repeat my mistake: Hummus – good! Maple syrup – very bad!
Full disclosure: I used to work at Bumkins in my former life but never knew just how awesome their products were until I had kids of my own. It literally took more than 4 years of daily use and countless washes until my daughter finally wore her beloved SuperBibs to shreds! Equally as amazing are these Bumkins lunch and snack bags made with the same silky soft, easy wipe, water proof material. They are lead, PVC, phthalate, and vinyl free, and are 100% food safe. They come in two sizes and beautiful Disney and Bumkins original prints. I love the zipper closure, which my 4-year old can easily maneuver, as it holds all of her goodies in place without spilling. I’ve been trying a couple of different brands but Bumkins is by far my favorite. Biggest bonus: These snack bags have already saved me from mindlessly using and tossing hundreds of plastic zipper bags that end up in landfills. A quick wipe down or wash in the laundry/hang dry has these bags ready for re-use in no time.
*Samples generously provided
**Photo Credit (top): Bumkins Finer Baby Products
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