And a major hello!
It has definitely been a while thanks to #yogaeverydamnday but what better opportunity to come back to The Healthy Haus than Earth Day?
Earth Day is more than a Hallmark holiday or superficial marketing initiative. It is a global movement that has been organizing and celebrating events on April 22 every year since 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. If nothing else, I think it is a wonderful reminder for all of us to truly pay attention to how we treat our planet and should inspire us to consume just a little more mindfully.
I am celebrating Earth Day today by finally sharing how I have further reduced the use of plastic in our home – a post that has been in the making since the beginning of this year. If you recall, I had done a major plastic swap last year and vowed in January to finally get rid of all the colorful and convenient yet chemical-leaching plastic plates, cups, bottles and bowls my kids were still using during meals (insert *see no evil monkey emoji*). I challenged myself to add only items that the whole family could utilize as opposed to adding more kid-specific stuff that my littles would outgrow again in no time (an anxiety-inducing pile of strollers in the garage is reminder enough that my kids are growing up at lightning speed). This meant finding “real” plates and bowls and glass drinking vessels that are somewhat sturdy and practical and that match what we already have. All items were supposed to be somewhat easy to find and were not to cost a fortune.
After some research and briefly yet unsuccessfully browsing around some of my local discount stores, this is what I actually ended up purchasing – all from Amazon.com and for a total of about $70.00 (admittedly, not exactly free but still relatively affordable especially when taking the cost of single use plastic over time into consideration).
Made from lightweight yet surprisingly durable glass, this set includes six winter white plates that match our basic white dinnerware perfectly. 8-1/2 inches in diameter, they work well for kids and smaller adult meals such as salads or appetizers. Nothing fancy but definitely sleek and with that about 1000 times more aesthetically pleasing than cheap plastic plates, they are dishwasher safe and can be used in the microwave and oven. They are break and chip resistant and take up minimal cupboard space due to their compact stack-ability. I am happy to report that we have yet to lose one despite me banging them against the counter while unloading the dishwasher multiple times!
These little bowls come in a set of four and have the same benefits regarding durability and ease of use as the Corelle plates as mentioned above. My kids use them all the time and for pretty much anything – granola, yogurt, fruit, crackers…They have been dropped numerous times and have not yet chipped or broken. The only complaint I have is that I wish they came in a larger set as four is definitely not enough for our family.
This 12-pack of small Mason jars has quickly become a staple in our house! They are the perfect size for our kids’ drinks, for storing and freezing sauces and soups and for taking snacks with us to go. While they are pretty durable and resistant to hot and cold temperatures they are not entirely shatter proof (these silicone sleeves offer extra breakage protection if you need it). However, so far we only had to throw away one that fell on the tile. Not too bad for two small kiddos and one totally clumsy mama!
I figured the biggest problem we would run into with the Mason jars was not necessarily my kids throwing them on the floor but occasionally tipping them over during meal time shenanigans. These straw hole tumbler lids by Mason Jar Lifestyle are absolutely perfect for keeping water or milk from spilling all over the dinner table.
Mason Jar Lifestyle is a Colorado-based company founded by husband and wife team Maggie and Ryan Helseth. With three kids four and under, their family uses Mason jars for everything from canning and fermentation to drinking glasses and pitchers. They love their jars and they have made it their mission to share that love with all of us!
One word of caution: These specific tumbler lids are not 100% plastic-free as they are lined with a white rubberlike seal made of plastisol, which is a plastic product. I, for my part, do not think this is of too much concern as the beverage virtually never touches the lid. However, if you want to be extra sure that no plastic is involved, try their stainless steel straw hole tumbler lids without any lining instead.
These durable, chew and bite resistant silicone straws are great for most child sized cups or glasses, and they are the perfect length for half pint Mason jars! They come in a 10-pack (five blue and five coral) that also includes a high quality stainless steel and nylon cleaning brush. Made of 100% food grade silicone rubber, these straws are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe. Silicone is a non-toxic, green, BPA-free material that does not leach any chemicals like plastic can.
After I had placed my order with Amazon for the items as mentioned above, Mason Jar Lifestyle was kind enough to send me some additional samples of straws and lids to test. Overall, I have to say that I could not be happier with their products! One of my favorite ones is this silicone drinking lid that can be used with a wide-mouth jar and that is awesome for coffee, tea or any iced beverage. I also love their assortment of glass* and stainless steel straws* that come in different lengths and widths. They are sleek, easy to clean and 100% environmentally-friendly!
How are you celebrating Earth Day?
*Samples generously provided. This post includes affiliate links. Please see the general disclaimer for details.