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You Are Made of Pieces of Earth

Everything we use, touch, smell, & see comes from planet Earth. Everything we eat, absorb, & breathe is of planet Earth. Some substances are toxic to us, & others are beneficial, and our knowledge what is healthy continues to grow. As such, I am increasingly conscious of what I put on & in my body, and often refer to research to determine which products are safe to use, both for my health and for the health of the ecosystem.

  • Sustainable Purchase Power = what to buy that is good for your body and the environment

  • Choosing Sustainable Materials = trying to figure out what can be reused, recycled, and what materials are sustainable is not cut and dry so hopefully this information helps you decide what you want to have in your built environment

  • Recycling Guide = disposing of materials in a way that ensures is will be recycled in s sustainable manner, and many recyclable materials cannot be recycled through the curbside recycle bin, but these sources will help you figure out how to recycle consciously. This topic requires not just a section, but a page all its own.

Broken link? The internet is changing faster than I can keep up, so if a link is broken please let me know so I can fix it.

Sustainable Purchase Power

Sustainability requires that we use products at a rate that does not compromise the needs of future generations. Whether a product is sustainable depends on how much is being used, how it is being manufactured, if it produces toxins, how it affects the environment, and how it is deposed of. Which materials are sustainable? Which should be avoided? As usual, there is no easy answer, but there are options. and some retailers make finding ecofriendly products easy..

Zero & Low Waste Stores: Refills and minimal packaging

Choosing Sustainable Materials

PLASTIC: I avoid plastics whenever possible, because they is made from crude oil (aka petroleum =  fossil fuels = ancient partially decomposed dead things) that contribute to carbon emissions, contain toxic ingredients, are not biodegradable, and only some are recyclable. They also break down into micro-plastics that are easily ingested by animals (including humans), and are not ocean friendly.  If you must use plastic, avoid the filmy plastics that wrap items, because it can only be recycled if you ship it to a special recycling facility.

BIOPLASTIC: Bioplastic is a reasonable alternative to traditional plastics because it is plant based rather than petroleum based, it is renewable, compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable. However, creating bioplastics does contribute to carbon emissions, but not as much as regular plastics. Though bioplastics are biodegradable, it takes time for them to break down and they harm organisms in the interim. They are also more expensive to make than traditional plastics, and because they break down faster they are less reusable.  However, if you are throwing away plastic, like a plastic garbage bag, a bioplastic bag is a much better option, so replace your traditional garbage bags & pet waste bags with compostable bags.

  • Green Earth compostable food scrap bags & tall kitchen bags

  • UNNI 100% Compostable bags

GLASS: Glass is made of silica, which comes from quartz sand melted and formed into glass. The melting process commonly uses heat derived from burning petroleum, which is not sustainable. Glass is fairly durable, and it is recyclable and lacks toxic ingredients. Glass can be recycled indefinitely. However, not all glass is created equal and some is more temperature change resistant. Unfortunately, broken glass is contaminating the waste stream, it is heavy and more difficult to transport, and some recycling facilities no longer accept glass so it is not always the best option....but it is much better than plastic and a eco friendly option, especially if you purchase products made of recycled glass.

  • Lifefactory glass water bottle with silicone sleeve

  • EcoVessel Surf Glass Water Bottle is made with up to 60% recycled glass

METALS: Food grade stainless steel is a safe metal to store food in, because it will not leach toxins into food...the same cannot be said for many other metals. Food grade aluminum is usually safe, as long as it has not been damaged. Any acidic food such as fruit and pickles should not be stored in metal because acids react with metals. There is no easy answer when it comes to the safety of storing food in metal containers, because different food react with different metals in unique ways. However, food grade stainless steel is usually a safe and durable choice. Both stainless steel and aluminum (even foil) can be recycled.

  • Hydroflask water bottles (eco friendly and socially responsible company)

  • YETI (environmentally sustainable company)

FOOD GRADE SILICONE: I choose food grade silicone over plastic whenever possible because silicone is more environmentally friendly and easy to clean. Silicone is made from sand (like glass), it is very durable, withstands a huge range of temperatures, and it can be recycled. Silicone is not THE most sustainable product because petroleum is burnt to create silicone products. Silicone products that are not food grade will have more petroleum byproducts in it. Silicone is also not renewable, not biodegradable, and silicone is not always accepted at recycling facilities. Importantly, silicone does not break down like plastics so it is much more ocean-friendly. It is easy to transport and reusable for longer than plastic is.

  • Stasher reusable silicon ziplock bags (replaces ziplock baggies)

  • Silipint silicone dish ware (replaces plastic containers)

  • Unwasted Store silicone stretch lids (replaces saran wrap)

  • Charles Viancin silicon bowl/cup lids (replaces aluminum foil & saran wrap...and they are pretty)

PAPER TOWELS: Paper towels are made of cellulose (plant fibers) so they can be composted (if there are not used to clean up a toxic mess), but it takes energy to create paper towels, and all paper products, so a "reusable paper towel" is a great option.

  • Skoy Cloths: paper towel replacement that is reusable, washable, compostable, & biodegradable (this may be my very favorite product)

TEXTILES & CLOTH: Natural fibers are durable, recyclable, and part of the carbon drawdown cycle

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