There's a lot of great information in this post and I encourage you to read through it ... however, if you don't have the time right now, you might find the following quick links helpful:
Last week we banned plastic wrap and opted, instead, for Eco-friendly and safe food storage. It seems like such a small thing but ... consider this ... plastic wrap is made from petroleum and as we all know, petroleum is a limited resource (when it's gone, it's gone). Most countries of the world recognize that a dependence on oil will eventually cause dramatic problems so reducing/eliminating our use of it is important. Also, because plastic wrap is a film-type material, it is rarely accepted for recycling. So ... it's made from non-renewable materials and it can't be recycled ... bad stuff!
The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments. Here's what they had to say:
EcoGrrl accepted our challenge and had this to say "I've not used saran wrap in several years and got "off" foil a year or so ago, at the same time I donated all my tupperware. I use glass dishes for all my storage, period. My only bummer is two of my glass dishes have plastic lids, so I'm about 95% plastic free now :) Note - I stopped freezing in plastic bags as well -- canning jars have worked better anyhow for my frozen berries!" She also cautioned people about reusing disposable items, like plastic utensils, sharing that they, too, leach out chemicals into our food (and mouths).
The Accessory Lady accepted the challenge but wonders about cheese. She says "Another great challenge! I'd love to hear what everyone uses instead of cling wrap. I admit I keep a roll but use it very seldom. We mostly use ceramic or glass tupperware to store food and many of those containers can go from the fridge, to the freezer to the oven. A common use for plastic wrap is to keep cheese fresh and mold free. If anyone knows of a really great re-usable or biodegradable container or material for cheese storage, I'd really appreciate the tip. :)" AL, have you tried parchment paper or safe waxed paper to wrap cheese? As I understand it, plastic will actually compromise the integrity of cheese. Anyone else have recommendations? (One word of caution ... some waxed paper is coated with a petroleum product .. some even contain Formaldehyde ... so be sure to find out what's in your wax paper before buying it.)
Tori Peterson joined us and shared a terrific article on safe, plastic-free food storage methods: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/plastic-less-and-low-tech-way-store-your-food-better-taste.html. I'm particularly fascinated with the sand storage method. Regarding last week's challenge, Tori shared this "... you can also take all those socks that are missing mates or have holes in them and after they are washed stick them in a rag bag, and they make great clean up rags. When your done with them they can either be rewashed as cleaning rags or thrown away which also uses less paper towels."
Brian shared some great information about last week's challenge. He says "You know, paper products make a large environmental impact but there are some brands that are starting to use recycled material to make things like paper towels. If you use them I highly recommend looking into that. Another massive waste of paper is the school system in this country. My son had an evaluation over the course of the school year last year. When all said and done the amount of paper used easily equaled two packs of paper and most of that was duplicate copies. We asked that they email the copies for our records and they refused. Mind you, this was for one student! At some point the departments of the government needs to adjust their wasteful ways." Regarding this week's challenge he says that he and his family never use the stuff. Yay!
Can you guess what Argentum Vulgaris uses to store his food? Check out Change the World Wednesday – 11th July to find out ... and be sure to read the comments ... a great discussion takes place about what others are doing.
Pat stopped by and shared this: "We seldom use cling wrap or aluminum foil and are gradually switching to glass storage, but we will accept this challenge to see what we can do to use these things even less! Thanks for the challenge. You asked how I did last week. Well, not very good, I am afraid. I did use paper towels to clean up after our dog had tummy troubles and to clean up paint brushes during our remodel project."
EcoWarriorMe has disappointing news ... "I read all the great success stories about quitting paper towels this morning, only to go in to work and find that the cloth dish towels have been replaced with - you've guessed - paper towels. Apparently for "hygiene" reasons. Now where did they put the staff suggestion box?" Wow ... that's really sad! Hopefully they'll come up with something better which also meets their hygiene rules.
Alicia has tried various food storage methods. So what works best for her? She says "About three years ago I decided that I didn't want us to use a lot of plastic wrap anymore and started buying glass storage containers. I put them on my Christmas and Birthday lists and now I have such a nice collection of them. I have really small ones all the way up to really large ones. The only thing is they do have plastic tops but they are Eco Friendly. I don't like using aluminum foil so I have gone to pretty much using roasting pans that have tops. That way I don't need to cover things with foil. Since I have found out how bad Teflon is I have been doing my best to switch over to ceramic cookware."
Jacqueline, who you may know as The Organic Blonde, accepted the challenge. She shared this "We don't do plastic in our house for many health reasons not to mention the sheer volume of garbage it creates!" She wrote this POST about those health reasons ... it'll make you think twice about using plastic wrap! By the way, Jacqueline has two new (and awesome) blogs: The Blissful Beet, which is a blog about whole foods, and The Detox Diva which talks about detoxing our bodies ... and our lives.
Did you know that the better a plastic wrap clings, the more petroleum was used to make it? You'll find that fact and some alternative food storage methods in Kim's post HERE.
Ann is on holiday and wrote this POST about a tribe she visited. In her comments she shares that this tribe uses bamboo to cook their rice. Hope you're having a great vacation, Ann!
When we make the decision to give up plastic wrap (or any plastic food containers) we might find that stocking up on safe alternatives is expensive. Kristina shows us HERE that it doesn't have to break the bank. She offers a ton of great ideas ... and check out those wonderful labels on her containers.
I absolutely LOVE this POST by Katie. So ... who's crazy??
Cat gave us a visual update on the challenge ... find it HERE. Looks like a "to be continued" story, Cat ... keep us posted on the next chapter. :-)
Our Twitter friends shared their thoughts:
- Great challenge! I despise disposables! Say that that ten times, fast, lol!
- I use all glass! I use the inverted plate trick as well! Have a roll of plastic wrap that I don't know what to do with!!
- Oh, and for a cake on a sheet pan, instead of using plastic wrap or foil, I invert another sheet pan over it to cover! :)
- Yes I save all wide-mouth glass jars; just be careful when pouring hot foods in b/c they're not Pyrex.
- binned the cling ages ago. Use Tupperware containers mostly and recycled tinfoil that then gets recycled.
- I had to double check if we had cling film because we use it so seldom. Unfortunately we did.
- challenge this week is refuse to use plastic wrap on anything or for anything. This one is easy for me, how about you?
The #CTWW Gang are those folks who share our challenges on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they have a lot of great things to say. Let's meet them:
My Final Thoughts:
Plastic wrap is bad for the environment. But here's another consideration ... there is some evidence that the chemicals in plastic wrap leach out into our food. These chemicals are linked to diseases such as cancer. Granted, depending on where you look, the evidence is inconclusive. But I would rather error on the safe side and avoid the stuff. What about you?
Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I have Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share feature at the bottom of this post.
This Week's Challenge:
This week's challenge comes from EcoGrrl. It really asks us to take an honest look at our actions and make improvements. Here it is ...
This week do a 'waste audit' or ask a super green person you know to do one and help you see where you can do better in creating less waste. For guidelines on how to do an audit, read How to Reduce Your Household Waste.
Since we all produce waste and can always do better, we don't have a second level this week.
Since we all produce waste and can always do better, we don't have a second level this week.
Thanks, EcoGrrl ... this one should be fun!
Please join me in our mantra ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!