The Plastic Challenge
Can you reduce your dependence on chemicals and plastic?
I look around my home, and I see plastic everywhere (shampoo bottles, laundry detergent, sippy cups, tupperware, moisturizers, ...)

My quest to eliminate plastic started with a quest to eliminate chemicals. Since most commercial creams and moisturizers contain chemicals known to be toxic, I quickly filled a box full of these creams and moisturizers stored in practically every room of my home. It felt quite nice to rid myself of these chemicals. But as I stared at the filled box of cosmetics, creams and lotions, I also realized that it would be a great deed to also reduce my need of so many plastic containers. I have for some time thought we use too much plastic. When I walk into a pharmacy I sadly think that everything I see will end up in the landfill, and I also have thought that companies should reclaim and reuse their packaging, somehow. The cosmetic industry definitely uses and wastes a lot of plastic. Just what is on the shelf of one pharmacy is overwhelming to think about ending up in the landfill. How many of these pharmacies are there?

My initial cleansing felt so great, that I went on into the kitchen and cleared all my children's sippy cups and plastic bottles. Though they are BPA free, plastic does still have other chemicals which do leash into foods, and liquids. Next my favorite plastic ladle had to go, to be replaced with a metal ladle. Then on to the laundry room; I have to get rid of my need for those plastic laundry detergent containers. And of course we consume a fair amount of shampoo and conditioner, so that has to be on my list as well. I have never been very big on commercial all purpose cleaners, so that aspect did not contribute to the many chemicals, and plastic containers, in my home, thankfully.

I do not advocate throwing out any cosmetic, detergent, shampoo, soap or cleaning product. It is quite wasteful to do so, and these items do contain chemicals which means they must be disposed with the hazardous waste at your local waste depot. You have to decide for yourself how you think is the best way to dispose of your unused products. You may choose to use them but not buy them again, if you are comfortable with that solution. While I do not advocate using products that you know to be a hazard to you, and passing these on to others seems cruel, there still are people who do use these products. They will be purchasing them anyway, with or without your donation, so passing them on may be a solution. The products will be used in small quantities, and disposed of in small quantities, as opposed to a box full of everything you have gathered.

I personally could not in good conscience lather my babies with creams knowing there are chemicals in them. I tried to lay the thoughts aside and just use up the creams that I had already purchased. Many families do. But I just could not. Would other families do it if they were informed about what is actually in their lotions and moisturizers?

Now, that we have eliminated the plastic packaging, as well as the chemical products from our home, we do need to find alternatives for some of these products. We still need to wash ourselves, our homes, as well as our clothes. But we can do so with a new perspective, keeping in mind that we do not want any chemicals, or plastic packaging.

The Challenge:
Choose ALL natural over ANY chemical. Choose glass, metal, or cardboard over plastic.

Choose natural dry or powdered ingredients such as washing soda, borax and natural soap bars for your laundry.

Choose all natural shampoo and conditioning soap bars over liquid shampoo, conditioners and liquid soap.

Skip the chemical cleaning products and old fashioned baking soda, vinegar, and lemon to clean your home.

Choose pure nourishing oils to care for your and your children's skin over petroleum-based products.

Related Information:

What to do with old shampoo and bubble bath!

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